Community Care Program
Designed to help older people live independently, the Community Care Program provides in-home and adult day services to frail seniors each month. To be eligible for service, clients must be 60 or over and their asset level (for a single person) cannot be over $17,500 (not including home, car or furnishings); a cost share is applied if the client’s income is above a specified level.
- Care Coordination – Care Coordinators, who work in community-based agencies called Care Coordination Units, arrange for an array of support services and make appropriate referrals for older people who need assistance. It is the care coordinator who determines eligibility and designs the care plan.
- Homemaker – Homemakers provide assistance with personal care, as well as with household tasks such as cleaning, laundry, shopping, running errands, and planning and preparing meals. The homemaker service is available in every county in Illinois.
- Adult Day Service – The Department funds many adult day service centers in the State. The service is designed especially for older people who cannot be at home during the day. Not only does the program provide socialization for clients, it offers respite for family members.
- Senior Companion – The program, which is offered in limited areas of the state, matches frail older people who cannot be left alone with low income senior volunteers who provide companionship.
- Choices for Care – If you need long term care, this program makes it possible for you to learn about community-based care (homemaker service, home delivered meals, etc.), as well as nursing home care. Local case managers meet with older people and their families to discuss various care options. As a result, people can make more informed decisions about what kind of care is most appropriate and affordable.
Demonstration Projects – In the continuing effort to provide consumer-directed, cost effective services to the most frail elderly in the state, the Department also works on demonstration projects around the state.
Older American Services
Provided through the Federal Older Americans Act, with support from State funds, these community-based services are offered to persons age 60 plus (age 55-plus for employment programs) throughout Illinois. Although donations are encouraged for services such as meals and transportation, there are no fees associated with these programs.
- Senior Centers – There are about 180 senior centers that work in partnership with the Illinois Department on Aging and the Area Agencies on Aging. They provide services such as meals, transportation, counseling, legal assistance, and health screening.
- Illinois Family Caregiver Support Program – Over 150 Caregiver Resource Centers are available statewide to assist individuals caring for older relatives or friends. Services which are offered to caregivers include information, assistance, respite (temporary relief of caregiving responsibilities), counseling, support groups, training and education, and emergency support services.
- Meals – Older adults throughout the state receive congregate and home-delivered meals.
- Information and Assistance – Every Area Agency on Aging has designated local information and assistance sites, which are often located in senior centers.
- Transportation – Area transportation systems help older people benefit from trips to and from locations in their communities.
- Outreach – Outreach is defined as face-to-face contact initiated by service provider staff with an older person who does not know about services or cannot utilize needed services.
- Employment – The Senior Community Services Employment Program fosters and promotes public service assignments for low-income people age 55 and over.
These programs support the rights and benefits of Illinois’ vulnerable older population, including residents of long term care facilities and victims of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. The Adult Protective Services program is established through State law and is predominantly funded with State GRF funds. Ombudsman and Legal Assistance are established under the Federal Older Americans Act with the Ombudsman program receiving some state funding.
- Adult Protective Services – This program is designed to respond to reports of alleged abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of an adult age 60 or older or a person with disabilities age 18-59 who lives in their own home.
- Long Term Care Ombudsman – The program provides information and investigates and resolves complaints made by or on behalf of long term care facility residents.
- Legal Assistance – Older adults received legal assistance last year through this program, which provides help with civil legal matters such as elder abuse and neglect, financial exploitation, consumer fraud, simple estate planning, advance directives, nursing home residents’ rights, and government benefits programs.
Community Services, Communications and Training
A goal of the Department on Aging is to provide information, education and assistance to older adults, their caregivers and to the various target groups that have a stake in an aging society.
- Senior HelpLine – The Department’s statewide toll-free number, 1-800-252-8966, 1-888-206-1327 (TTY), handles numerous calls Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Department also provides an Adult Protective Services Hotline (1-866-800-1409) that receives confidential abuse reports 24-hour, 7-days-a-week.
- SHIP - The Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is a free statewide health insurance counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers.
- Grandparents Raising Grandchildren – Through this program, the Department establishes and assists support groups for grandparent caregivers, provides education and training to professionals, and information and referral assistance to grandparents.
- Intergenerational and Volunteer Programs – Statewide intergenerational programs link senior volunteers with children in various programs throughout the state, ranging from reading to mentoring. The Illinois Department on Aging provides funding to the State’s Retired Senior Volunteer Programs (RSVP), as well as to its Foster Grandparent Programs. The Department also encourages the development of intergenerational programs through the Volunteers In Service to America (VISTA) Program.
- Training – Each year the Department develops and provides conferences and workshops attended by more than 6,000 participants.
The Illinois Department on Aging does not discriminate in admission to programs or treatment of employment in programs or activities in compliance with appropriate State and Federal Statutes. If you feel you have been discriminated against, you have a right to file a complaint with the Illinois Department on Aging. For information, call the Senior HelpLine: 1-800-252-8966, 1-888-206-1327 (TTY).