FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
5/6/2010

 The State Honors Seniors during Older Americans Month

Observance highlights state’s commitment to providing quality programs thatoffer independent living and other protections to seniors

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn has proclaimed May as Older Americans Month in Illinois and joins the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) in encouraging older adults to find out about state resources available that help seniors remain independent in their homes and communities.  The governor’s proclamation in honoring more than two million seniors living in Illinois coincides with the national observance.  (See the full proclamation below.)

“On behalf of the Governor, I am proud to have this opportunity honor older adults who have spent their lives
contributing to make this a great state and better country,” said IDoA Director Johnson. “Older Americans Month is a wonderful time to inform older adults in Illinois about the services the state provides.”

Director Johnson spoke about state programs today, in Chicago, at the 2010 Citywide Senior Conference.  The event included new program announcements, a resource fair and workshops to help seniors maintain active, healthy lifestyles in their communities.

One such program is the Community Care Program (CCP) which includes services such as case management, in-home care, emergency home response and adult day services.  In recent years, CCP eligibility requirements were expanded to allow additional older adults to qualify for the program.  The Department works with Area Agencies on Aging and a network of local service providers so older adults may benefit from additional services funded through the federal Older Americans Act, such as information and assistance, respite, transportation and home delivered meals.  

This year’s Older Americans Month theme “ Age Strong! Live Long!” recognizes the diversity and vitality of today's older Americans who span three generations.  The theme perfectly complements a statewide initiative to
improve the health and lives of adults, ages 55 years and older, by encouraging their involvement in service, learning, and work.  Illinois was selected to participate in the National Governors Association (NGA) Policy Academy on Civic Engagement of Older Adults.  As part of the effort, the state team members are working on a year-long campaign to create stronger connections among the generations.  For more information, log on to www.law.siu.edu/GenServeGen.

For more information about program services to assist older adults in Illinois and their caregivers, call the Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 or for TTY (hearing impaired use only) call 1-888-206-1327. 

The text of the Governor’s proclamation follows: 

WHEREAS, the State of Illinois is home to more than two million citizens aged 60 years or older; and
   
WHEREAS, the older Americans of the State of Illinois are a vital part of our nation’s demographic makeup; and
   
WHEREAS, older citizens are members of our community entitled to dignified, independent lives free from fears, myths, and misconceptions about aging; and
   
WHEREAS, each community in the United States must strive to recognize the contributions of our older citizens, understand and address their evolving needs, and support their caregivers; and
   
WHEREAS, our society is dependent upon intergenerational cooperation and support, and benefits from our collective efforts to serve older Americans and the people who love and care for them; and
   
WHEREAS, increasing numbers of adults are reaching retirement ago and remaining strong and active for longer than ever before; and
   
WHEREAS, this year marks the 45th anniversary of the passage of the Older Americans Act by the United States Congress, which ensures government aid and programs for older persons; and
   
WHEREAS, older adults in our state deserve to be recognized for the contributions they have made and will continue to make to the culture, economy, and character of our community and our nation:
   
THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim May 2010 as OLDER AMERICANS MONTH in Illinois, and encourage all citizens to recognize the significant impact older Americans have made on the State of Illinois.

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