The Illinois Department on Aging, and the local offices across the state, provide a number of services and resources to the aging, elderly and seniors. The majority of programs provide information, referrals, and non-monetary aid. Examples include details on government health care options, energy bill assistance, free legal aid, and more. However some Illinois centers can also provide food, meals, and help seniors apply for financial assistance from programs such as LIHEAP or housing vouchers.
Meals-on-Wheels in Illinois can bring free or low cost meals to seniors and the disabled who are homebound. It is paid for by the state and federal government, and can provide home-delivered meals on weekdays only. The home-delivered meals are available for older adults who cannot leave their apartments or homes and who cannot personally prepare nutritious meals at their own home.
Most of the Meals-on-Wheels and home delivered items are carried out by volunteers who deliver free or low cost food, groceries and meals to homebound older or disabled persons. At the same time they do this delivery, this also offers them the opportunity to check on the welfare of the homebound elderly, and it gives people an opportunity to socialize.
The food assistance program also operates around the holidays, including Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. As funding allows, it provides for holiday, weekend and emergency meals for the less fortunate, and can help fill the gaps left by federal and state of Illinois funded meal programs.
Group site meals are also available at hundreds of Agency on Aging locations in Illinois, including churches, senior centers, community buildings, and also senior housing facilities. All meals served to elderly and seniors under the Nutrition Program must provide at least one-third of the daily recommended dietary allowances that are needed for seniors and that are established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council.
Home repair and renovation services are administered by some office on aging locations and they are available in some Illinois communities. Residential renovation and repair services include adaptations and improvements to homes to make them safer and more livable. A goal of many renovations can make it easier and safer for seniors to carry out activities such as cooking, bathing, and climbing stairs. The physical structure of the home can be improved, including its overall safety and condition.
Information is readily available from the Illinois Office of aging centers. Counselors, volunteers, and assistance service providers can provide free information and advice on Property Tax Assistance Programs, Medicare, Prescription Drug and Income Tax Assistance Programs, Medicaid, LIHEAP energy bill assistance, and many more. Specially trained staff are ready and willing to share facts and information about available public benefits programs and services to help older persons, elderly, seniors, and those family members who may care for them.
Illinois Volunteer Money Management was created in partnership with the AARP Money Management Program. This program is a financial services resource that can that assists older persons who meet low income guidelines and who are having difficulty in paying bills, managing their personal household budgets, completing medical forms, keeping track of banking records, intervening with creditors, reducing debts, and handling other financial matters and issues related to personal finances and unpaid bills. Get advice on topics such as debt consolidation, financial hardship and settlement programs. Click here for more tips on these options, including consolidation.
The Money Management program matches trained credit counselors and volunteers with older persons who need help. Together you will work through issues and start tasks such as writing checks, organizing bills, balancing a checkbook, completing medical forms, and intervening with creditors. People who volunteer with the Illinois Agency on Aging can also serve as Representative Payees. This means that they will be designated by the Social Security Administration to manage the monthly government benefits and cash vouchers of certain low income and senior beneficiaries.
Seniors and disabled may qualify for financial help with utility, heating, and cooling bills from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This is a federal government funded program that helps low-income households, with a focus on seniors, disabled, and elderly. It can help with paying heating and cooling bills. Read more.
Public benefits and services for senior citizens in Illinois are provided by outreach staff. Individuals will conduct home visits with older persons (including their caregivers if applicable) and/or their immediate family members. Get free information on public benefits and services, such as free health care and insurance, medications, rental assistance, and more. The outreach staff will also encourage older persons to participate in local senior programs and they can both link them to needed assistance and help them apply.
The staff from the office on aging locations can share facts and information about available services and public benefits programs to. A senior, older person or a family caregiver can receive up-to-date information on a wide range of community-based and public aid programs such as homemaker services, respite services, transportation, home-delivered meals, housing vouchers, etc. Some of the services in highest demand from the outreach workers include information on prescription drug assistance programs, medical bills, Medicare, heating bill help, foreclosure prevention, Medicaid and many more. Find more on public assistance in Illinois.
Senior centers operate across Illinois. The locations can offer the elderly and seniors information on and access to wide range of assistance programs, social services and activities for older adults. This can include transportation, free congregate meals, education, counseling, legal assistance and health screening. In addition, importantly, Senior Centers and the service programs they offer provide older persons with a link to local community resources and non-profits in their Illinois town and county.
Health insurance counseling is offered in Illinois from Senior Health Insurance Program. It is a free statewide insurance counseling program for Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers. It can offer information on benefits, health care and medical assistance such as Pharmaceutical, Medicaid and Medicare assistance, and Social Security.
Transportation assistance may be offered to seniors and older persons. Oftentimes access and transportation is the critical link that assures seniors access to vital services such as a doctor appointment, social and nutritional services, family and friends, health care, stores for shopping and jobs. The availability of affordable transportation from volunteers and the Agency on Aging centers allow seniors and older adults to live independently in their communities. It also helps prevent isolation and/or premature nursing home placement.
Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs runs a number of assistance programs for veterans and their immediate family members. Programs can provide for one or more of the following. Prescription medicines (after an initial dispensing fee); health care provided at Veterans Administration hospitals; in-home assistance; and adult day services.
The Department on Aging provides low cost (or free) high quality legal advice to Illinoisans who are income qualified and who are 60 years of age or older. Civil cases can be addressed by these lawyers and attorneys. Some of the matters include landlord-tenant relationships, evictions, consumer fraud, nursing home residents’ rights, elder abuse and neglect, and financial exploitation. Seniors who are dealing with Medicare, Medicaid, Social security and pension issues may also qualify for free legal aid in Illinois. Another resource offered by legal aid can help with powers of attorney, simple estate planning, living wills, and a wide variety of other legal issues and matters.
AARP Tax Preparation is available for seniors on all simple tax returns. Interested parties need to make an appointment during the income tax filing season. This program is limited to certain counties across Illinois.
Dial 1-800-252-8966 to reach the Illinois Department on Aging. Receive more information on programs available for seniors.
Illinois Rx Buying Club – Can provide savings of around 20% on prescription medications, both generic and brand name. It is a free discount card that is accepted at thousands of retailers and pharmacies across Illinois. There is no application, no limits to its use, and the card is free to those seniors who apply. The buying club also has a mail order service for even greater savings on medications. Call 866-215-3463, or inquire at an Agency on Aging office.
Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, 1615 W. Chicago Avenue, 3rd Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60622, call 312-744-4016
AgeOptions, Inc., Suburban Cook County is located at 1048 Lake Street, Suite 300, Oak Park, Illinois 60301. Main phone number is 1-800-699-904
Egyptian Area Agency on Aging, Inc. covers the counties of Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, and Williamson. 200 E. Plaza Drive, Carterville, Illinois 62918-1982. Phone 1-888-895-3306
Southeastern Illinois is served by offices that can help seniors and the elderly in Crawford, Edwards, Hamilton, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne, and White Counties. 516 Market Street, Mt. Carmel, Illinois. 1-800-635-8544
Midland Area Agency on Aging covers Illinois counties of Clay, Effingham, Fayette, Jefferson, and Marion Counties. Address is 434 S. Poplar, Centralia, Illinois 62801-1420. Dial 1-877-532-1853 for information.
Southwestern Illinois programs support families in Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, and Washington Counties. 2365 Country Road, Belleville, Illinois 62221-2571. Phone number is 1-800-326-3221
Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland, Inc. is for people in Cass, Christian, Greene, Jersey, Logan, Macoupin, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Sangamon, and Scott Counties. Location is 3100 Montvale Drive, Springfield, Illinois 62704-4278. Call 1-800-252-2918
West Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging - Adams, Brown, Calhoun, Hancock, Pike, and Schuyler Counties. 639 York Street, Room 204, Quincy, Illinois 62301. Telephone 1-800-252-9027
East Central Illinois office offers assistance in the counties of Champaign, Clark, Coles, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Iroquois, Livingston, McLean, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt, Shelby, and Vermilion. 1003 Maple Hill Road, Bloomington, Illinois 61704-9327. Main phone number is 1-800-888-4456
Central Illinois Agency on Aging, Inc. supports Fulton, Marshall, Peoria, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford Counties. Main address 700 Hamilton Boulevard, Peoria, Illinois 61603-3617. Or dial 1-877-777-2422 for intake.
Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging covers Bureau, Henderson, Henry, Knox, LaSalle, McDonough, Mercer, Putnam, Rock Island, and Warren Counties. 729 34th Avenue, Rock Island, Illinois 61201-5950, telephone 1-800-322-1051
Northeastern Illinois senior center provides assistance, including food, health care and more for the elderly in DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties. Kankakee Community College, River Road, West Campus - Building 5, Kankakee, Illinois 60901. Main phone number is 1-800-528-2000
Northwestern Illinois Area Agency on Aging – Counties supported are Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, JoDaviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, and Winnebago Illinois. Main address is 1111 South Alpine Road, Suite 600, Rockford, IL, 61108, dial 1-800-542-8402
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