Recent Posts

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Last updated August 20, 2020


While older adults and their loved ones are practicing physical distancing due to the spread of COVID-19, it’s important now more than ever to continue to find ways to connect with our family, friends, and community.

To support our community while we shelter in place, AgeGuide will be updating this resource guide with a new topic each week to help older adults and their loved ones stay informed, healthy and connected. Resources to support older adults and families during COVID-19 are also available on our website here.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns!

Staying Engaged During Physical Distancing

Resources to Support Caregivers while Sheltering in Place

Access to Meals for Older Adults while Sheltering in Place

Shape Your Future with the US Census

Avoid Coronavirus Scams

Telehealth: A New Way to Connect with Healthcare Professionals during COVID-19

Watch for Signs of Abuse toward Older Adults and/or Persons with Disabilities during COVID-19

Keeping Long Term Care Residents Engaged and Safe During COVID-19

Accessing Legal Assistance During COVID-19

Accessing Benefit Programs During COVID-19: Part One

Accessing Benefit Programs During COVID-19: Part Two

Resources for Veterans during COVID-19


Staying Engaged During Physical Distancing

Feeling Lonely? Would you like a friend to talk to?

The following organizations are offering friendly phone calls to older adults who are interested in receiving calls on a regular basis to check in on them and provide friendly conversation and reduce feelings of loneliness.

DuPage County

Tri-Town YMCA Sunshine Seniors Phone Call Program connects volunteers with older adults who wish to receive a daily check-in call and want someone to say hello to for a few minutes. Call (630) 629-9622 or visit www.tritownymca.org

Grundy & Will Counties

The Crisis Line of Will and Grundy Counties offers Friendly Phone Calls through its Sunshine Calls program. This program calls older adults, persons with disabilities and home-bound individuals to provide a friendly chat to check on their well-being. Call

(815) 744-5280 or visit www.willfinduhelp.org

Kane, Kendall & McHenry Counties

Senior Services Associates is offering Friendly Phone Calls to older adults who are looking to talk with someone who cares. Those who are interested may also choose to enroll in the Senior Companion/Friendly Visiting Program. Kane: (847) 741-0404 Kendall: (630) 553-5777 McHenry: (815) 344-3555 or seniorservicesassoc.org

Kankakee County

Catholic Charities Diocese of Joliet Sunshine Callers Program connects volunteers with home-bound older adults for phone calls that provide a friendly chat, a security check and informal assistance. Call (815) 932-1921 or visit www.cc-doj.org

Lake County

ElderCARE of Lake County is temporarily transitioning their Friendly Visiting program to friendly phone conversations to engage older adults and assess what needs they might have during this time. Call (847) 406-4683 or email info@eldercarelakecounty.org

Lake County Sheriff’s Office “Are You Okay?” (R.U.O.K) is a personal wellness check made by phone to home-bound residents at a pre-determined time each day. Contact Community Services Team via email or at (847) 377-4211

Additional Resources: Stay Engaged during Physical Distancing

Covia Well Connected

FREE phone and online program offering activities, education, friendly conversation, classes and support groups targeting older adults. The current catalog can be found here.

Mather Lifeways Telephone Topics

Participants call a toll-free number to listen to a wide range of interesting discussions and programs. There is no cost to participate. Call (888) 600-2560 to get started. To learn more, click here.

Institute on Aging’s Friendship Line

The Friendship Line is the Institute on Aging’s 24-hour toll-free accredited crisis line for persons aged 60 years and older and adults living with disabilities. To speak with a friend, call (800) 971.0016. The Friendship Line is also a crisis intervention hotline providing around the clock crisis support services.

Need help with your mobile device?

Not sure how to use your mobile device (tablet, smartphone or laptop) to connect to online programs? Check out these fact sheets on how to use mobile devices for social connection:

Apple Mobile Device

Android Mobile Device

Looking for activities to do while at home?

AgeGuide also compiled virtual activities including virtual tours of museums, zoos, national parks and more to keep older adults connected during this time. To view the list, click here.
Back To Top

Resources to Support Caregivers while Sheltering in Place

Are you caring for a loved one? Are you feeling overwhelmed?

There are organizations that offer valuable resources for those who are caring for an adult 60+ and for those with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder. There are also resources available for relatives raising children. These resources include respite services, financial assistance, legal services, Caregiver Counseling Centers, training and education and support groups. There is a Caregiver Resource Center in each county to help you access the services you need.

Not sure who to contact?

Caregiver Resource Centers give you information about available services. The Centers assess your situation and help connect you to programs to assist you.

Caregiver Counseling Centers help to coach/counsel you through troubling times, such as bringing the family together or helping an older adult accept needed services.

To find a Caregiver Resource Center or Caregiver Counseling Center in your county, click here.

Additional Resources: Recorded Webinars/Teleconferences for Caregiver Support and Information

AARP Weekly Tele-Town Hall

AARP is hosting weekly live Tele-Town Hall with Coronavirus Information on Thursdays at 12pm

AARP Live Tele-Town Hall

National Health Council Webinar (Recorded on March 26)

Coronavirus Preparedness for People with Chronic Diseases: What Do Caregivers Need to Know?

Wellmed Caregiver Support Webinar (English) (Recorded on March 18)

Coping With the Coronavirus Outbreak while Caregiving

Wellmed Caregiver Support Webinar (Spanish) (Recorded on March 27)

Cómo Hacerle Frente al Brote del Coronavirus en su Papel de Cuidador

Alzheimer’s Foundation

Coronavirus Information for Alzheimer’s Caregivers (English & Spanish)

Includes COVID-19 information for families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. It also includes steps caregivers can take to help prevent the spread, caregiving tips and therapeutic activities.

Alzheimer’s Association

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Tips for Dementia Caregivers

National Alliance of Caregiving and Caring Across Generations

See Tips for Sandwich Caregivers in the Era of COVID-19

This tip sheet can be helpful to all caregivers responsible for both the young and old.

Resources for Relatives Raising Children

Illinois State Board of Education, Meals available during COVID-19

isbe.net/nutrition

Some districts have expanded meal services to include any child under the age of 18. Call your school district office or school office to find specifics including days and times of meal pick-up.

Call 211 to find additional food resources in the community.

For more information on services available through AgeGuide for relatives raising children, click here.
Back To Top

Access to Meals for Older Adults while Sheltering in Place

Are you in need of meals during COVID-19?

Making sure older adults receive the nutrition they need during the Coronavirus pandemic is a top priority in Illinois. We want to ensure the health, safety and welfare of older adults. Because of this, the home delivered meals program is being expanded to include anyone who is 60 and older. Meals are available on a temporary basis until further notice. There is a Care Coordination Unit in each county that can help you sign up for meals. To receive meals yourself or learn more about getting meals for a loved one, click here.

During the shelter in place order, select Community Dining locations are providing carry out meals for older adults. If you are interested in carry-out meals:

  • Contact the Care Coordination Unit in your county to register for the program
  • Call your preferred Community Dining location and reserve a meal (Participants must be registered in the program and make a reservation for a meal in advance).
  • Any older adult who is concerned about accessing food or experiencing other concerns during this crisis, is encouraged to reach out to the Care Coordination Unit in their county for assistance.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefit Information

SNAP is the largest federal nutrition assistance program. SNAP provides benefits to eligible low-income individuals and families via an Electronic Benefits Transfer card. This card can be used like a debit card to purchase eligible food in authorized retail food stores. If you are interested in more information or applying for SNAP benefits, please contact the Care Coordination Unit in your county.

If you are a SNAP recipient who receives less than the monthly maximum SNAP allotment for your household size, you will receive supplemental emergency SNAP allotment to bring you up to the maximum benefit in April and May 2020.

April 2020 emergency allotments were made available to active SNAP households on or before April 20, 2020. May 2020 emergency allotments should have be available around the same date the emergency allotment was received in April.

For more information, click here.

SNAP interview requirements have been adjusted due to the Coronavirus. Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) is allowing an adjustment in requiring a SNAP household to be interviewed prior to the approval of benefits. This adjustment applies to all initial applications, including expedited cases, requiring an interview from March 01, 2020 through May 31, 2020.

For more information, click here.

Other Nutrition Resources for Older Adults

Food safety is very important especially for older adults and anyone with a weakened immune system. The good news is that food borne illness is preventable. We should all be extra diligent about food safety during this pandemic so we can stay as healthy as possible. Just a few basic precautions can really make a big difference. Remember, harmful bacteria can be present in foods before we can see or smell it! “When in doubt, throw it out.” Freezing is a good way to extend the storage life of foods, so properly wrap and label items for the freezer to use later. The key to freezing is to split larger items and freeze in meal size portions. Remember to cook all foods to the proper temperature and remember to heat leftovers to 165oF

More information: foodsafety.gov/keep-food-safe/4-steps-to-food-safety

Follow the guidelines below for storing food in the refrigerator and freezer. The short time limits for home-refrigerated foods will help keep them from spoiling or becoming dangerous to eat. Avoid cross-contamination by using separate utensils, plates, and cutting boards for raw and cooked foods. Just always think, “If raw food has touched a plate, utensil or cutting board then use a different one for the cooked product.”

More information: foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/cold-food-storage-charts

The resources on this page align with the CDC messaging and offer science-based information about supporting health with good nutrition during this pandemic.

More information: eatright.org/coronavirus

Food Pantry Resources

Local Food Pantry Finder – Call to Check Hours

solvehungertoday.org/get-help/where-to-get-food

Mobile Food Pantries Calendar

solvehungertoday.org/get-help/mobile-pantry-calendar
Back To Top

Shape Your Future with the US Census

How 10 Minutes can Change the World!

These are unprecedented and uncertain times, but there’s one thing you can control that makes a big difference in your corner of the world – filling out your 2020 US Census. By now you should have received an invitation to go online to  my2020census.gov , call (844) 330-2020, or mail in your form to complete your Census. It takes less than ten minutes to complete.

Put the Us in Census

The global pandemic has forced all of us to stop and evaluate what we value and what our purpose is. As we shelter at home and physically distance from friends and loved ones, we’re compelled to acknowledge our interconnectedness and how each one of us has a role to play in fighting the spread of this deadly virus. Here’s your chance to make a big impact without leaving your house. The Census is about all of us. Everybody counts.

How it Helps

The US Census effects political representation as well as financial resources for your neighborhood, town, city, and state. More than $34 billion in federal funding was directed to Illinois based on the 2010 Census. This funding supports important services like senior housing, Medicare Part B, Home Delivered Meals, hospitals, and first responders.

Leave A Legacy

The Census allows you to make a difference to future generations. The impact of this year’s census will be felt for the next decade. Just think of it, a grandchild born today will be ten years old before the next census. The Census you complete today will impact the quality of your grandchild’s schools, health, and neighborhoods. You can make sure the next generation flourishes by making sure you get counted.

$1,400 for 10 Minutes

Wouldn’t it be fun to be a philanthropist and go around giving out large donations to your community for libraries, public colleges, local parks, and hospitals? Well, guess what? You can! Each Census response is worth $1,400 a year, almost $17,000 over the next ten years, to our state. Those nine simple questions can make a world of difference for you, for future generations, and for all of us!

Now is the Time

In an effort to make sure the Census isn’t overshadowed by the virus, the U.S. Census Bureau has delayed the timeline for completion. The Census deadline is now extended until October 31, but Illinois residents have already stepped up to the plate. In the three weeks since invitations went out to households, 50 percent of Illinois residents responded — a rate that places us in the top 10 in the nation. Complete your Census today.

Get Social While You’re Distancing

Want to kick your impact up a notch? Complete your census and then show us your selfie! Show us you count and post a picture of yourself using #CensusSelfieChallenge and tag @AgeGuide on Facebook or Twitter. Let’s get a movement going around the census!

Other Census Resources for Older Adults

AgeGuide Census Resources Page

ageguide.org/advocacy/census

[VIDEO] How-To Guide to Completing the 2020 Census Online

youtube.com/watch?v=vCM0XrSynFw&t=5s

AARP: Is It the Census or Is It a Scam?

learn.aarp.org/is-it-the-census-or-is-it-a-scam

How to Identify a Census Employee

census.gov/about/regions/chicago/contact/identify.html

Follow AgeGuide on Facebook and Twitter for the most up to date information on the Census!
Back To Top

Avoid Coronavirus Scams

Don’t fall victim to a scam!

The Coronavirus is not only causing physical harm to people’s health, but also financial harm as scam artists are trying to take advantage of vulnerable people. Scammers are preying on fears surrounding the Coronavirus to obtain money and financial information. These scams come in all different forms including emails, texts and social media posts. Below are some helpful tips to avoid falling for a Coronavirus scam.

  • Don’t respond to texts, emails or calls about checks from the government.
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There are no products proven to treat or prevent COVID-19 at this time.
  • Be wary of ads for test kits. The FDA just announced approval for one home test kit, which requires a doctor’s order. Most test kits being advertised have not been approved by the FDA, and may not be accurate.
  • Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work-at-home schemes.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO). Use sites like govand usa.gov/coronavirus to get the latest information. And don’t click on links from sources you don’t know.
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations. Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money.
  • Do not give your Medicare number to anyone other than your doctor or other healthcare provider.

Source: Federal Trade Commission

Report Coronavirus Scams

How to report:

Adult Protective Services and Older Americans Act legal assistance programs can also support people who have been targeted by scams. Contact AgeGuide if you need assistance at (800) 528-2000

Source: Administration on Community Living

Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program

The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program empowers consumers to prevent healthcare fraud. Program staff and volunteers help people with Medicare and Medicaid to:

  1. PROTECT themselves from Medicare & Medicaid fraud, waste, and abuse.
  2. DETECT Medicare & Medicaid fraud, waste, and abuse.
  3. REPORT Medicare & Medicaid fraud, waste, and abuse.

The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program works to ensure fewer people become victims of healthcare fraud. With training and support from the Illinois SMP Program and its partners, SMP volunteers provide outreach and education in their communities. By giving presentations to groups, hosting exhibits at community events, and providing one-on-one counseling, volunteers help spread the message of Protect, Detect, and Report healthcare fraud.

Coronavirus Tip Sheet  (English)

Coronavirus Tip Sheet  (Spanish)

For more information or to volunteer for Senior Medicare Patrol at AgeGuide, contact Glenda Love at 630-293-5990 or glove@ageguide.org

Other Resources about Scams for Older Adults

Beware of Scams Related to the Coronavirus

consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/beware-coronavirus-related-scams

Avoid Scams while Finding Help during Quarantine

consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/04/avoid-scams-while-finding-help-during-quarantine

Coronavirus Scams Spread as Fraudsters Follow the Headlines

aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2020/coronavirus
Back To Top

Telehealth: A New Way to Connect with Healthcare Professionals during COVID-19

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you’ve probably found yourself craving personal interactions during this time of physical distancing. Many of us have turned to technology from telephones to video chats and conference calls to stay connected with family and friends. These virtual interactions are a lifeline that allows us to experience some sense of togetherness, but when it comes to your health, is there any substitute for a face-to-face with your doctor or healthcare provider?

One area that is evolving very quickly during the COIVD-19 pandemic is healthcare. The public health emergency has forced us to adopt digital health technologies to a greater degree than ever before. Here’s what you need to know.

Healthcare Goes Virtual

Telehealth, or virtual visits, allows physicians and other health care providers to deliver services to their patients via phone or video. To protect older adults at a higher risk for COVID-19, Medicare participants are able to use telehealth for the duration of the public health crisis. Providers, including doctors, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers can now offer telehealth to patients in their homes so older adults can avoid going to a doctor’s office or hospital where they would risk exposure to the virus.

Types of Remote Medicare Visits

Medicare has outlined three types of allowable remote healthcare visits:

  • Medicare telehealth visits: Patients may use telecommunication technology for office, hospital visits and other services that normally occur in-person. This requires the use of a device such as an iPad, tablet, smartphone or laptop computer that has internet connection and audio and video capability (in other words, not just an audio-only telephone) to facilitate real-time communication between provider and patient.
  • Virtual Check-Ins:Established Medicare patients may have a brief (5-10 minute) communication with practitioners via a number of communication devices including telephone or video.
  • E-Visits:  Established Medicare patients may have non-face-to-face patient-initiated communication with their doctors without going to the doctor’s office by using online patient portals.

While several commercial health plans and The Veteran’s Administration (VA) Hospitals are allowing the use of audio-only phones for telehealth visits, Medicare is not. Only the second two options, which are limited to existing patients, allow for the use of a telephone.

Virtual Health Resources

Have symptoms of COVID-19 but it is not an emergency?

The Remote Patient Monitoring Program utilizes Telehealth Services and Pandemic Health Workers (PHW) to provide virtual, in-home health and mental health services. This new program is available to anyone in the state regardless of whether they are insured. Pandemic Health Workers will digitally connect with patients who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and need to stay home or quarantine to protect themselves and others.

If you have symptoms, call the COVID-19 hotline at 833-673-5669. More information can be found here

It’s important for everyone to keep in mind that urgent and emergent healthcare procedures will continue as scheduled in offices, clinics and hospitals. Anyone experiencing acute health problems should still go to their nearest hospital emergency room.

Need emotional support?

Call4CalmThe Illinois Department of Human Services’ free-of-charge emotional support text line, is for any residents experiencing stress or mental health issues related to COVID-19. Just text “TALK” (or “HABLAR” for Spanish) to 5-5-2-0-2-0, to speak with a mental health professional. You’ll receive a call from a counselor within 24 hours.

Resources for Veterans

If you are a military veteran and don’t have an internet compatible device, you can get an iPad through the VA Tablet Loan Program. The iPads allow veterans to communicate with their doctors from home using a video calling app, as well as enabling them to easily track and send relevant health data. Ask your VA healthcare provider for more information.

Need help using technology?

This website will help you learn to use your smart phone, computer or tablet. Find hundreds of tutorials on topics like smart phone basics, web cameras, video conferencing, email, and more.

Need more information on telemedicine

See this fact sheet
Back To Top

Watch for Signs of Abuse toward Older Adults and/or Persons with Disabilities during COVID-19

The safety measures put in place to protect older adults and people with disabilities from COVID-19, unfortunately, also put them at a greater risk for abuse and exploitation.

Because of the pandemic, adult children may have returned to their parent’s home due to job loss which may be causing emotional and financial strain. Older Adults may be living with a spouse or other loved one who suffers from alcohol and/or drug addiction and feel they have no way to escape the situation. An older adult may rely on the care of others to assist them with living in the home. Caregivers are experiencing higher levels of exhaustion and burn out due to lack of formal assistance like adult day services, and in-home care. Some caregivers have opted to stop in home assistance to protect their loved one from COVID-19 and as a result, they are providing around the clock care. Due to the Shelter-in-Place order, it is hard for an older adult, or caregiver to seek relief or refuge from difficult situations that may be heightened during this crisis.

Now, more than ever, we need to check in on older adults who might be at risk of physical, emotional, and financial abuse.

What is abuse?

Abuse refers to any negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable older adult or an adult (age 18 to 59) with a disability. Abuse can be caused by a loved one, a hired caregiver or a stranger. Abuse can happen at home, at a relative’s home, or in an eldercare facility.

There are many types of abuse, the most obvious being physical abuse. Abuse can also consist of emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, neglect, and abandonment. Illinois law now considers self-neglect to be a form of elder abuse as well.

Self Neglect is a condition resulting from a person’s inability to take care of themselves due to physical and/or mental impairments or a diminished capacity that threatens their own health. Essential self-care tasks include providing essential food, clothing, shelter, and health care; and obtaining goods and services necessary to maintain physical health, mental health, emotional well-being, and general safety.

What are some signs of abuse?

  • Withdrawal from normal activities, depression, or confusion
  • Isolation from friends and family (more so than with the current stay at home order)
  • Unexplained bruises, burns, broken bones or scars
  • Appearance is dirty, under-nourished, dehydrated, over- or under-medicated, or not receiving needed care for medical problems
  • Bed sores or other preventable conditions
  • Recent changes in banking or spending patters
  • Strained or tense relationships, frequent arguments between the caregiver and older adult

How can abuse be prevented?

Educating older adults, adults with disabilities, professionals, caregivers, and the public on abuse is critical to prevention. On an individual level, use some simple but vital steps to reduce the risk:

  • Take care of your health
  • Seek professional help for drug, alcohol and depression concerns, and urge family members to get help for these problems
  • Attend support groups for spouses and learn about domestic violence services
  • Plan for your own future. With a power of attorney or a living will, health care decisions can be addressed to avoid confusion and family problems, should you become incapacitated. Seek independent advice from someone you trust before signing any documents
  • Stay active in the community and connected with friends and family. This will decrease social isolation, which has been connected to abuse
  • Know your rights. If you engage the services of a paid or family caregiver, you have the right to voice your preferences and concerns
  • If you live in a Nursing Home or Assisted Living, call your Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is your advocate and has the power to intervene on your behalf.

Who do I call if I suspect abuse, neglect or exploitation?

Call 911 immediately if someone is in immediate, life-threatening danger.

If the danger is not immediate, but you suspect that abuse has occurred or is occurring, please tell someone. Relay your concerns to the local Adult Protective Services provider agency, Long-Term Care Ombudsman (for nursing homes/assisted living), or police.

AgeGuide Adult Protective Services Providers

DuPage County

DuPage County Community Services
(630) 407-6500
www.dupageco.org/community

Grundy & Kankakee Counties

Catholic Charities Diocese of Joliet
(815) 932-1921
www.catholiccharitiesjoliet.org

Kane County – North

Senior Services Associates, Inc.
(847) 741-0404
www.seniorservicesassoc.org

Kane County – South

Senior Services Associates, Inc.
(630) 897-4035
www.seniorservicesassoc.org

Kendall County

Senior Services Associates, Inc.
(630) 553-5777
www.seniorservicesassoc.org

Lake County

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
(847) 546-5733
www.catholiccharities.net

McHenry County

Senior Services Associates, Inc.
(815) 356-7457
www.seniorservicesassoc.org

Will County

Guardian Angel Community Services
(815) 729-0930
www.gacsprograms.org
Back To Top

Keeping Long Term Care Residents Engaged and Safe During COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, senior living communities are on the front lines of this crisis. About 11,500 cases of Coronavirus and over 1,550 deaths are linked to nursing homes in Illinois. AgeGuide’s service area has been especially hard hit. Four of our counties, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and Will are among the hardest hit in the state, with over 100 cases each.

Even though senior living communities are not allowing visitors, we need to protect the residents, their rights and keep them socially engaged while remaining safe from the Coronavirus. Here are some ways to connect with your loved ones and advocate for them during this time.

What precautions should senior living communities be taking to protect residents?

  • Staff should wear personal protective equipment such as face masks and gloves
  • Staff should wash their hands or using hand sanitizer before and after contact with a resident
  • Communities should not allow outside visitors except those permitted in compassionate care situations, such as end of life, and only if they are not showing symptoms of COVID-19
  • Communities should restrict visits of non-essential health care workers and long term care ombudsman
  • They should suspend all community dining and group activities
  • They should actively screen residents and staff for fever and other symptoms of COVID-19

How can I connect with family and friends in senior living communities?

  • Connect virtually through technology including video calls through FaceTime or Skype, text messages or email*
  • Call family/friends by phone to talk and keep them engaged
  • Write to friends or family by letters or cards
  • Send video messages through apps such as WhatsApp or MarcoPolo*
  • Drop off food, cards, or flowers (where permitted)
  • Visit though a window or glass door (where permitted)

*Ask staff what apps they prefer you use to communicate and when they are available to set this up. Facilities should have the staff and technology to help you connect virtually, at least occasionally.

What should I do if I am concerned about the community’s infection control practices or other issues?

  • Talk to the director of nursing or administrator about your concerns and ask what they will do to address them
  • Contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program for assistance. The Ombudsman program advocates for residents and can help resolve concerns. Contact AgeGuide at (800) 528-2000 for more information

While several changes and limitations have been temporarily put in place because of the COVID-19 crisis, residents still have the right to:

  • Receive the care and services needed to obtain their highest possible level of well-being
  • Participate in developing and implementing a plan of care that reflects their personal and cultural preferences
  • Make decisions about their care now and in the future, such as what treatment they might want related to COVID-19
  • Be free from abuse, neglect, exploitation, and misappropriation of resident property
  • Voice grievances without discrimination or retaliation, or the fear of it, and prompt efforts by the facility to resolve those grievances
  • Not be discharged or transferred except for certain reasons, to appeal the decision, and have a safe and orderly discharge/transfer if the resident leaves the facility.

Residents and families can promote good, safe care and keep up resident morale by:

  • Washing their hands (or asking staff to assist them) or using hand sanitizer and reminding other residents to do the same
  • Practicing social distancing from other residents – staying 6 feet away
  • Informing supervisors/administration if they observe staff who appear to be sick or not taking the steps listed above to prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • Requesting that the administrator:
  • Provide regular updates to residents about what the facility is doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and/or care for any residents who are ill
  • Share the results of the facility’s self-assessment of its infection control practices
  • Asking staff to schedule a regular time for residents to communicate with their family and to assist them if they need help
  • Asking activities staff to find creative ways to continue regular activities even with residents in their rooms, such as playing bingo using call lights or conducting an exercise class via video chat

Families can advocate for their loved ones by:

  • Finding out what steps the facility is taking to keep residents safe. Request that the administrator tell families how the facility performed on its self-assessment
  • Asking how the facility will provide updates on their loved one and whom they should contact if they have questions
  • Requesting that the facility set up a schedule for when they can connect with their loved one by phone, video, “window visiting,” or other method
  • Asking the administrator to seek permission from the family of other residents to share their email addresses with each other. Families can create a group email and use it to communicate with other family members, bring questions and concerns to the facility or the Ombudsman program, or provide support to one another

Source: The National Consumer Voice for Long-Term Care

Other Resources for Family Members in Long Term Care:

AARP: Coronavirus Nursing Home Questions

IDPH: Coronavirus Long Term Care Guidance

CDC: Nursing Homes Responding to COVID-19

IDPH: COVID-19 Long Term Care Facility Outbreaks
Back To Top

Accessing Legal Assistance During COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an older adult might have lost a part-time job they relied on for income. Older adults may be living with a spouse or loved one who suffers from alcohol and/or drug addiction and fears for his/her safety. An older adult may be at risk for eviction or foreclosure on their home due to loss of income. A family member might need assistance advocating for a loved one in a nursing home or an older adult might fall victim to abuse by an adult child or other friend/family member.

Legal assistance providers have played an important role in securing life essentials and protecting older adults during this crisis. Our Legal Services provider, Prairie State Legal Services, continues to serve older adults while working remotely during this pandemic. They are helping clients with a variety of issues including:

  • SNAP/Food stamps
  • Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare
  • Nursing homes and Assisted living facilities
  • Domestic violence, elder abuse, financial exploitation and/or orders of protection
  • Evictions or other housing issues
  • How your stimulus payment affects your benefits or your monthly long term care payment

All services are provided at no cost to persons age 60 and older. Call the Older Adults Legal Assistance Helpline at (888) 965-7757, Monday through Thursday between 9 AM and 1:30 PM. No walk-ins are available during this time.

Prairie State Legal Services

www.pslegal.org

DuPage County

630-690-2130

Grundy County

815-727-5123

Kane County

630-232-9415

Kendall County

630-232-9415

Kankakee County

815-935-2750

Lake County

847-662-6925

McHenry County

815-344-9113

Will County

815-727-5123

Other Resources for Legal Assistance:

Legal Issues during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Work, Coronavirus and the Law: FAQs

Housing, Coronavirus and the Law: FAQs

Money and Debt Issues Related to Coronavirus

Back To Top

Accessing Benefit Programs During COVID-19: Part One

Looking for a Discount on your License Plate?
Illinois Benefit Access Program

This program offers qualified applicants a discount on their automobile license plate, for one vehicle per household, and free rides on public transit such as PACE or Metra. Applicants must be Illinois residents, either age 65+ or persons with disabilities age 18-59.

Last January, Governor JB Pritzker raised the income eligibility limits on the Benefit Access Program. With this adjustment, more older adults and persons with disabilities will be eligible for free rides on public transportation and for license plate discounts. It’s important to note that the license plate registration fee paid by a vehicle owner with an approved Benefit Access application will continue to be $24.00.

Any person who applied in 2019 but were denied based on 2018 income using the previous income limits may re-apply using their 2019 income. Once approved, benefits are valid for two years.

  • Applications must be filed online.
  • Those already receiving it are covered for two years, and may re-apply not more than 90 days before their current eligibility expires.
  • It takes the Illinois Department on Aging up to twelve weeks to process an application.

Due to COVID-19, the Secretary of State has extended the expiration dates for driver’s licenses, ID cards and vehicle registrations at least 90 days after the Governor’s June 1 disaster proclamation executive order ends.

For assistance in applying, call the Illinois Department on Aging’s Senior Helpline at (800) 252-8966

To learn more about the Benefit Access Program, click here.

Need Assistance Paying your Utility Bills?
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The LIHEAP application period has been extended until June 30, 2020, or until funding is exhausted. Due to COVID-19 precautions, local agencies are closed to the public, however they are taking applications remotely.

For information on how to apply for LIHEAP, click here.

In Need of Medicaid Assistance?
Medicaid Asset Limits Waived during COVID-19 Pandemic

Medicaid has both an income and an asset limit, and applicants must meet both in order to qualify. The income limit for Aid to the Aged, Blind, and Disabled (AABD) Medicare is $12,756 for a single person or $17,244 for a couple. The asset limit is $2,000 for a single person or $3,000 for a couple, not including the value of a home, car, personal property, or household goods. (Medicaid provided under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has a higher income limit and no asset limit.)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has waived the asset limit, but the income limit is still in effect. Thus, someone whose income is under the income limit is eligible, even if resources exceed that limit.

For further information about Medicaid, any of the other benefits listed above or assistance in applying for benefits, contact the Care Coordination Unit in your county.

DuPage County

DuPage County Community Services
630-407-6500
www.dupageco.org/seniorsvcs

Grundy County

Grundy County Health Department
815-941-3404
www.grundyco.org/health

Kane County

Senior Services Associates
847-741-0404
www.seniorservicesassoc.org

Kankakee County

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet
815-523-9918
www.catholiccharitiesjoliet.org

Kendall County

Senior Services Associates
630-553-5777
www.seniorservicesassoc.org

Lake County

Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Chicago
847-546-5733
www.catholiccharities.net

McHenry County

Senior Services Associates
815-344-3555
www.seniorservicesassoc.org

Will County

Senior Services of Will
815-723-9713
www.willcountyseniors.org

Back To Top

Accessing Benefit Programs During COVID-19: Part Two

What Medicare services are covered during COVID-19?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced several new policies, and clarified others, in response to COVID-19. These are the services that will be covered during the pandemic.

  • COVID-19 Test: FREE to Medicare (fee-for-service – FFS) and Medicare Advantage customers
  • Vaccine: No vaccine is currently available, but if and when it is, it will be covered subject to deductible and co-payment rates by a Part D drug plan
  • Out-of-Network Care for COVID-19 Patients: Covered at in-network rates by Medicare Advantage plans
  • Pharmacies: More flexibility to use closer pharmacies or mail order – check with your plan
  • Telehealth: Covered under Part B for all FFS Medicare enrollees for ANY health condition, coverage varies for Medicare Advantage plans
  • Scams: Avoid scammers using telemarketing, social media, email, and door-to-door visits to try to sell phony COVID-19 tests and vaccines, hand sanitizer, wipes, and similar products. Never give your Medicare number to anyone other than your own doctors, pharmacists, or other trusted people who with work with Medicare on your behalf.

Where do I go for assistance with Medicare?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) continues to offer Medicare enrollees and their caregivers a wide variety of help with Medicare issues. Enrolling in Medicare, applying for Part D Extra Help or the Medicare Savings Program, selecting a Part D or Medicare Advantage plan are among the many services a SHIP site can provide. SHIP advice is available year-round, and invaluable at any time.

SHIP offers free, objective, and confidential advice statewide, including at many sites throughout AgeGuide’s eight counties. Some sites have temporarily closed or are providing service only by phone or email during the pandemic, but assistance is always available at another site. Our funded service providers are also SHIP sites, to find the SHIP site in your county, click here.

Avoiding Social Security Scams

Con artists of all kinds are trying to take advantage of the uncertainty and apprehension created by the Coronavirus pandemic. Scammers often pretend to be employees of the Social Security Administration (SSA) or other government agencies, and pressure people to provide personal information or even to send money. Scammers sometimes email documents that look official, and use the names of real SSA officials readily obtained from Social Security’s public website.

The SSA will NEVER email beneficiaries attachments with personal information on them, or call a beneficiary out of the blue to say that their Social Security number has been suspended or to request payment to resolve a benefit or identity theft problem. The SSA will never request a specific means of debt repayment, such as a retail gift card, prepaid debit card, wire transfer, internet currency, or cash, nor will the SSA insist on secrecy about a legal problem, or urge you to make up stories to tell your family or friends to explain what you are doing in response to these messages. If a beneficiary owes money to Social Security, the SSA will mail a letter explaining payment options and appeal rights.

The SSA urges beneficiaries to hang up on scam phone calls, and then to report them to its law enforcement office at oig.ssa.gov. A single report will not solve the problem, but it helps the SSA recognize patterns of scams and keep up with the ingenious methods that scammers devise.

Avoiding Medicare Scams

The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program empowers consumers to prevent healthcare fraud. Program staff and volunteers help people with Medicare and Medicaid to:

  1. PROTECT themselves from Medicare & Medicaid fraud, waste, and abuse.
  2. DETECT Medicare & Medicaid fraud, waste, and abuse.
  3. REPORT Medicare & Medicaid fraud, waste, and abuse.

The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program works to ensure fewer people become victims of healthcare fraud. With training and support from the Illinois SMP Program and its partners, SMP volunteers provide outreach and education in their communities. By giving presentations to groups, hosting exhibits at community events, and providing one-on-one counseling, volunteers help spread the message of Protect, Detect, and Report healthcare fraud.

For more information or to volunteer for Senior Medicare Patrol at AgeGuide contact Glenda Love at 630-293-5990 or glove@ageguide.org.

Where do I go for assistance with Social Security?

Social Security Administration (SSA) local offices are closed for in-person service during the pandemic, but are still providing service by phone, and many services are available online. You can apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare online, check the status of an application or appeal, request a replacement Social Security card, print a benefit verification letter, and much more, all at www.socialsecurity.gov.

If you can’t conduct your Social Security business online, your local office can help you apply for benefits, answer your questions, and provide other services by phone. Check the SSA’s online field office locator for information about how to contact your local office.

For further information about Medicare or Social Security, contact the Care Coordination Unit in your county:

DuPage County

DuPage County Community Services
630-407-6500
www.dupageco.org/seniorsvcs

Grundy County

Grundy County Health Department
815-941-3404
www.grundyco.org/health

Kane County

Senior Services Associates
847-741-0404
www.seniorservicesassoc.org

Kankakee County

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet
815-523-9918
www.catholiccharitiesjoliet.org

Kendall County

Senior Services Associates
630-553-5777
www.seniorservicesassoc.org

Lake County

Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Chicago
847-546-5733
www.catholiccharities.net

McHenry County

Senior Services Associates
815-344-3555
www.seniorservicesassoc.org

Will County

Senior Services of Will
815-723-9713
www.willcountyseniors.org
Back To Top

Resources for Veterans during COVID-19

AgeGuide’s Veterans Independence Program (VIP) is a Veteran’s directed home and community-based service program that serves eligible veterans of any age who are at risk of nursing home placement and their family caregivers. VIP allows Veterans to receive home and community-based services that enable them to avoid going into a nursing home and continue to live in their homes for as long as possible. Currently, AgeGuide has 65 veterans enrolled in area counties. These veterans were already in the high-risk category amid COVID-19. Options Counselors transitioned from in home visits to providing support via phone as well as providing resources for personal protective equipment such as face masks for veterans and caregivers. Referrals were paused for approximately 6 weeks and resumed May 1st. Assessments and enrollments are being conducted by phone and email to enroll veterans for in home care.

To learn more about the Veterans Independence Program, click here.

For Information about Eligibility and Enrollment, contact Desiree Cox at (224) 610-3665

For General Program Information contact Joy Sobczak at (630) 293-5990

Other Resources for Veterans

Information about Hines VA & Lovell VA Hospitals: Updates, procedures, what buildings are open or closed on the campuses.

Hines VA Hospital

Lovell VA Hospital

Apps to assist Veterans and/or Caregivers

  • VA Video Connect
  • PTSD Coach
  • Mindfulness Coach
  • VA Veteran Launchpad
  • VA Health: RxRefill
  • COVID Coach

Veterans Affairs: Mental Health Resources

Lessons from Military Caregivers Amid Coronavirus

Elizabeth Dole Foundation: Accessing VA Telehealth Services during COVID-19

Veteran’s Affairs COVID-19 Response

Coronavirus Veteran Frequently Asked Questions

AARP: Resources to Aid Veterans, Military, and their Families Amid COVID-19

Staying Engaged through Virtual Activities During COVID-19

While older adults and their loved ones are practicing physical distancing due to the spread of COVID-19, it’s important now more than ever to continue to find ways to connect with our family, friends, and community. Illinois is heading in the right direction with increased recovery rates and decreasing positivity rates, which is good news for older adults. According to Dr. Kiran Joshi, Cook County Department of Public Health Senior Medical Officer, older adults still account for 36% of the cases and 89% of the deaths. Therefore, as the state reopens, DPH recommends that older adults follow CDC Guidelines very strictly including social distancing, mask-wearing, and minimizing the number of social contacts, even as others in the community begin to do more social activities.

AgeGuide has put together a comprehensive list of virtual activities for older adults to stay engaged while physical distancing.

Stress-Busting Program for Family Caregivers of those with Chronic Illness including Dementia. The program has a proven track record of success in helping family caregivers to manage their stress and cope better with their lives. It consists of 90-minute sessions that occur once per week (virtually via ZOOM) for 9 weeks. AgeGuide is currently conducting 10 sessions region wide and is providing additional 12 programs beginning this October. Contact AgeGuide at (800) 528-2000 for more information.

Inter-Generational Music & Memory at Home – This program helps reconnect individuals with their memories using personalized music playlists on a pre-programmed headset. AgeGuide is implementing the program using a consultant and high school music student volunteers who partner with older adults living with memory loss in the community and their caregivers to create a customized playlist. These playlists are given to the person with memory loss to be used on demand; providing relief for the person and the caregiver as well.​ Contact AgeGuide at (800) 528-2000 for more information.

Good Memories Choir Summer Rocks Program – Good Memories is a fun, upbeat community where people with early-stage memory loss sing familiar music that they love, together with their care partners and singing volunteers. All weekly rehearsals are online in a Virtual Choir format! This program culminates in a virtual performance on August 18th at our virtual Senior Lifestyle Expo. Click here to register.

Memory Café Sing-A-Longs – Weekly (virtual) Memory Cafe one (1) hour sing-a-longs beginning Wednesday July 15th and held every Wednesday from 1-2pm. Click here to register.

Thrive with Pride: An Inclusive Online Cafe – AgeOptions is piloting a new program to provide safe and affirming spaces for all older adults, currently held online through a monthly plenary. Join a Thrive with Pride Café in your local area for a follow up discussion where you can share and receive support, learn more local services and resources, and discuss topics that matter. This is open to older adults and caregivers in the suburbs of Chicago. Click here for announcements, Zoom links, discussion questions, and archived recordings for each month’s virtual plenary presentation.

TimeSlips: Ask A Beautiful Question – This program promotes engagement through creativity. Lists of questions to ask to engage isolated older adults in conversation. “What is a well-worn path in your home?” “What games did you play as a child and can you teach us?”. Click here for more information.

Senior Services Associates

Senior Services Associates is hosting a variety of virtual activities, exercise classes, educational sessions and more! Click here to see the calendar of virtual events.

Need assistance registering online? Click here.

Senior Services of Will County

Senior Services of Will County is hosting a virtual book club! Call (815) 723-9713 for more information

Coffee with Barry! Barry Kolanowski, Executive Director of Senior Services of Will County, is hosting virtual coffee sessions on Zoom on Thursday, July 2nd, August 6th and September 3rd. Call Senior Services of Will at (815) 723-9713 for more information or assistance with the Zoom platform.

Catholic Charities (Kankakee County only)

Catholic Charties, Diocese of Joliet is hosting Crafting Connections virtually this summer! Participants will decorate a cheerful flower pot for summer! All necessary supplies for the craft will be delivered to each participant’s home prior to class. Crafting Connections will be held on Thursday, July 9th. Choose from two time slots, either 10:00am – noon or 2:00pm – 4:00pm. Registration is required by Friday, July 3rd by calling Kelli at 815-933-7791 extension 9910. This program is FREE to participants.

Catholic Charities – Grundy, Will, Kankakee

Join Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet for FREE online Tai Chi Classes! If you are age 60 or older, join us for this FREE, gentle exercise class designed for all fitness levels! This is your chance to try a class in the privacy of your own home! You are guaranteed to feel energized without even breaking a sweat! Classes will be held on Wednesday mornings from 11:00am – 12:00pm on July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and August 5, 2020. Pre-registration required. Please visit BTPD.org to register. Questions? Call Amanda at 815-310-5816.

Feeling Lonely? Would you like a friend to talk to?

The following organizations are offering friendly phone calls to older adults who are interested in receiving calls on a regular basis to check in on them and provide friendly conversation and reduce feelings of loneliness.

DuPage County

Tri-Town YMCA Sunshine Seniors Phone Call Program connects volunteers with older adults who wish to receive a daily check-in call and want someone to say hello to for a few minutes. Call (630) 629-9622 or visit www.tritownymca.org

Grundy & Will Counties

The Crisis Line of Will and Grundy Counties offers Friendly Phone Calls through its Sunshine Calls program. This program calls older adults, persons with disabilities and home-bound individuals to provide a friendly chat to check on their well-being. Call (815) 744-5280 or visit www.willfinduhelp.org

Kane, Kendall & McHenry Counties

Senior Services Associates is offering Friendly Phone Calls to older adults who are looking to talk with someone who cares. Those who are interested may also choose to enroll in the Senior Companion/Friendly Visiting Program. Kane: (847) 741-0404 Kendall: (630) 553-5777 McHenry: (815) 344-3555 or seniorservicesassoc.org

Kankakee County

Catholic Charities Diocese of Joliet Sunshine Callers Program connects volunteers with home-bound older adults for phone calls that provide a friendly chat, a security check and informal assistance. Call (815) 932-1921 or visit www.cc-doj.org

Lake County

ElderCARE of Lake County is temporarily transitioning their Friendly Visiting program to friendly phone conversations to engage older adults and assess what needs they might have during this time. Call (847) 406-4683 or email info@eldercarelakecounty.org

Lake County Sheriff’s Office “Are You Okay?” (R.U.O.K) is a personal wellness check made by phone to home-bound residents at a pre-determined time each day. Contact Community Services Team via email or at (847) 377-4211

Additional Resources: Stay Engaged during Physical Distancing

Covia Well Connected

FREE phone and online program offering activities, education, friendly conversation, classes and support groups targeting older adults. The current catalog can be found here.

Mather Lifeways Telephone Topics

Participants call a toll-free number to listen to a wide range of interesting discussions and programs. There is no cost to participate. Call (888) 600-2560 to get started. To learn more, click here.

Institute on Aging’s Friendship Line

The Friendship Line is the Institute on Aging’s 24-hour toll-free accredited crisis line for persons aged 60 years and older and adults living with disabilities. To speak with a friend, call (800) 971.0016. The Friendship Line is also a crisis intervention hotline providing around the clock crisis support services.

Need help with your mobile device?

DOROT Tech Coaching can assist with one-on-one technology coaching over the phone. Available topics include texting and messaging, using email, navigating with maps, video chatting and more. Click here for more information.

Not sure how to use your mobile device (tablet, smartphone or laptop) to connect to online programs? Check out these fact sheets on how to use mobile devices for social connection:

Apple Mobile Device

Android Mobile Device

Tax Preparation Assistance During COVID-19

Due to COVID-19, the federal tax filing due date was extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020. Here is some helpful information and resources for filing your 2019 tax return.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Most Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and AARP Tax-Aide programs, which provided free basic income tax return assistance, have suspended service due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out these options available for those who still need assistance:

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Online, or call (888) 227-7669

LadderUP primarily for low-to-moderate income families

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly, or call (800) 906-9887

Illinois taxpayers can file their state returns for free at MyTax.Illinois.gov. If you have income tax questions, email REV.TA-IIT@illinois.gov or call (800) 732-8866. Qualified taxpayers may also be eligible to participate in the IRS’ Free File program for federal returns (more details here).

Other Tax Related Resources

AARP:

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program

Find Your 2019 Tax Bracket

Should I Use the New 1040-SR Tax Form?

IRS:

Tax Counseling for the Elderly

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program

Resources to Help You Prepare Your Tax Return and Resolve Tax Disputes

Free Tax Prep Locator

Tax Counseling for the Elderly

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program

Resources to Help You Prepare Your Tax Return and Resolve Tax Disputes

Free Tax Prep Locator

Staying Healthy & Active Safely During COVID-19

Over the past few months, many things have evolved as we have learned more about COVID-19, but one thing has remained the same, older adults are more at risk of having serious complications from COVID-19. As we move into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, it is still important to use preventative measures to protect yourself from contracting the virus.

What does Phase 4 in the Restore Illinois plan look like?

  • Gatherings of 50 people or more are allowed
  • All health care providers can be open
  • All outdoor recreation is allowed
  • Bars and restaurants can be open with limited capacity
  • All barbershops, salons, spas and health and fitness clubs can be open with limited capacity and IDPH approved safety guidance
  • Cinema and theatres can be open with limited capacity and IDPH approved safety guidance
  • Retail stores can be open with limited capacity and IDPH approved safety guidance

How do I protect myself from COVID-19?

  • Know how the virus spreads: The virus is known to spread by person-to-person contact through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
  • Wash your hands often: Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in public or after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with others: It is important to stay 6 feet apart when in close proximity to others
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a face cover: In the state of Illinois, everyone is required to wear a face covering when in a public setting where you cannot physically distance from others.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your home.
  • Use hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol
  • Monitor your health daily: Be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19 and watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or loss of taste or smell. Take your temperature frequently if symptoms arise.

Do I need a doctor’s orders to get tested for COVID-19?

The requirements vary depending on the testing site. Call the testing site you wish to visit for more information about the requirements to receive a COVID-19 test.

Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

State of Illinois Community-Based Testing Sites

Aurora

1650 Premium Outlet Boulevard, Aurora

Open 8 am – 4 pm while daily supplies last

Harwood Heights

6959 W. Forest Preserve Road, Chicago

Open 7 am – 3 pm while daily supplies last

Rolling Meadows

Rolling Meadows High School

2901 Central Road, Rolling Meadows

Open 8 am – 4 pm while daily supplies last

Waukegan

102 W. Water Street, Waukegan

Open 8 am – 4 pm while daily supplies last

Other COVID-19 Testing Sites

What activities can I enjoy this summer while physically distancing?

It is vital for older adults to stay active and engaged during this pandemic. There are many activities you can do while physically distancing this summer.

  • Have a picnic at a park
  • Enjoy a bike ride
  • Go hiking at a state park
  • Plant a garden
  • Join a virtual book club
  • Go strawberry or blueberry picking
  • Go to a drive-in movie theater

For more activity ideas, click here.

Other Resources

https://ageguide.org/covid-19-resources-for-older-adults

https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/restore-illinois-phase-4

https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19

Supporting Minority Mental Health Month During COVID-19

Mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity. Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background. However, background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult. National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 2008 to start changing this. Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition.

Taking on the challenges of mental health conditions, health coverage and the stigma of mental illness requires all of us. In many communities, these problems are increased by less access to care, cultural stigma and lower quality care.

About You Are Not Alone

NAMI’s You Are Not Alone campaign features the lived experience of people affected by mental illness to fight stigma, inspire others and educate the broader public. Now more than ever, the mental health community must come together and show that no one is ever really alone. The campaign builds connection and increases awareness with the digital tools that make connection possible during a climate of physical distancing. NAMI supports all diverse backgrounds, cultures and perspectives, reminding everyone that you are not alone.

To join the campaign, click here.

Source: National Alliance on Mental Health

Minority Mental Health Month Webinars

International OCD Foundation is hosting a variety of webinars on Wednesday’s for Minority Metal Health Month on topics surrounding OCD

Click here to see the Calendar

The Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities National Training Center (MHDD-NTC) presents a webinar exploring the unique intersection of disability, mental health, and people of color. People of color experience higher rates of disability and mental health conditions, but often face decreased access to care and have other co-occurring health disparities. This presentation will highlight these inequities and discuss how we can work towards eliminating these disparities and becoming stronger allies for people of color.

The webinar will be on Thursday, July 23 at 1 PM CST

Click here to register for the webinar

Other Mental Health Resources

COVID-19 and Behavioral Health Disparities for Black and Latino Communities in the US

American Hospital Association: COVID-19 Stress and Coping Resources

CDC: Managing Stress & Anxiety during COVID-19

NAMI: COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide

National Institute on Mental Health: Supporting Mental Health during COVID-19

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: COVID-19 Resources

Virtual Programs to Keep Active & Connected During COVID-19

*Published on July 23, please check with Provider for latest schedule of events

Many resources, events, and classes have been developed as a result of COVID-19, but these resources can lack social connection and interaction and a sense of being part of something. Service providers for older adults have adapted to offer live and interactive programs for our older adults help them remain connected and engaged during these difficult times. Below is list of interactive programs offered by county presented live and virtually. This is not a comprehensive list of all programming available. If you would like to join a virtual class to get more active and meet new people in a new exciting way, contact the organization listed for your county here.

Lake County

Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Chicago
Contact Kari Pohar at 847-740-6708 for information and registration for following classes and workshops.

Bingocize!
A twice weekly exercise workshop interspersed with a game of bingo, complete with prizes.
Tuesdays & Fridays starting July 21 from 10-11 am

Otologic Dizziness
Julie Chan from Northwestern talks about the most common type of dizziness which involves the ear
Thursday, July 23 from 1-2 pm

Photography: Learn How to Take Better Photos with Your Cell Phone
Monday, July 27 from 2-3 pm

Yoga for Strength & Vitality
4 week class using optional hand weights, or water bottles, cans of food, etc.
Monday, August 3, 10, 17 & 24 from 1-2 pm

Prepare Wisely: End of Life Strategies
Learn documents you need to ensure your final wishes and peace of mind for you and your family.
Wednesday, August 5 from 1-2 pm

Plant Based Protein
Mary DiPietro from Northwestern presents how to get more protein in your diet and which plant-based foods can help you reach your goal.
Thursday, August 6 from 2- 3 pm

Cooking Demo
YouthAge Culinary honey ginger chicken breast w/ sautéed spinach.
Wednesday, August 12 from 1- 2 pm

White Crane Wellness Center
Contact Mayra Flores at 773-271-9001 for information and registration for below workshops.

Bingocize!
A twice weekly exercise workshop interspersed with a game of bingo, complete with prizes.
3 workshops in Spanish, 4 workshops in English starting July 27th

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet – Kankakee County
Contact Kelli Coy at 815-933-7791 x 9910 for information and registration for below class.

Crafting Connections
Supplies provided, call for more information.
Friday, July 31 from 1:30-3:30 pm

Contact Amanda Foltz at 815-310-5816 for information and registration for below workshops.

Take Charge of Your Health
A six week workshop designed to help make better health choices.
Thursdays beginning August 6th from 10-12:30 pm

Coming Soon: Tai Chi
8 week session, new session to start in early October.

Kane County

Senior Services Associates
Contact Minnie Vasquez at 847-741- 0404 for information and to register for the classes and workshops below.

Bingocize!
A twice weekly exercise workshop interspersed with a game of bingo, complete with prizes.
Tuesday & Fridays starting 7/21 from 11:30am-1pm

Copsicle Cart & Box Lunch
Wednesday, August 26 from 11am-1pm

Weekday Virtual Activities beginning Monday, August 3rd

Mondays:

Line Dancing from 10-11 am
Tai Chi from 11:15-12:15 pm
Exercise from 2-3 pm

Tuesdays:

Bible Study from 10-11 am

Wednesdays:

Bingo from 11:30 am – 1 pm
Trivia from 1:15 – 2 pm

Thursdays:

Morning Stretches from 8:30-9:30
Prayer Shawl from 10-11 am
Healthy Cooking from 11-12 pm
Sing-a-long from 12:30-1:30 pm

Fridays:

Exercise from 10-11 am

Kane & Kendall Counties

Senior Services Associates

Contact Jennifer Huber at 630-553-5777 for information and to register for the classes and workshops below

Bingocize!
A twice weekly exercise workshop interspersed with a game of bingo, complete with prizes.
Tuesdays & Thursdays beginning August 4 from 1-2 pm

Weekday Virtual Activities beginning Monday, August 3rd

Mondays:

Chair Yoga from 10-11 am
Bingo from 1-2 pm

Tuesdays:

Chat with Senior Services Associates from 10-11 am

Wednesdays:

Bingo from 10-11 am
Chair Exercise for Arthritis from 1-2 pm

Thursdays:

Chat with Senior Services Associates from 10-11 am

Fridays:

Tai Chi from 9-10 am
Bingo from 10-11 am
Chair Exercise for Arthritis from 1-2 pm

Protecting Older Adults with Special Conditions During COVID-19

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, it is important to keep older adults safe and healthy, especially the most vulnerable with chronic and underlying conditions. IDPH continues to recommend that older adults follow CDC Guidelines very strictly including physical distancing, mask-wearing, and minimizing the number of social contacts, even as others in the community begin to do more social activities.

The conditions and special needs that older adults have vary and COVID-19 can affect older adults differently. Below is a list of various conditions that might affect a friend of loved one and helpful information about COVID-19 related to that condition or diagnosis.

Coronavirus Information Related to a Condition

American Cancer Society – COVID-19 & Cancer

American Diabetes Association – Diabetes & COVID-19

American Heart Association – Coronavirus Information

American Lung Association – Stay Safe & Informed about Coronavirus

American Macular Degeneration Foundation – Coronavirus and Your Macular Degeneration Care

American Parkinson Disease Association – COVID-19 Overview for the PD Community

Alzheimer’s Association – COVID-19, Alzheimer’s and Dementia: What You Need to Know

Alzheimer’s Association – Tips for Dementia Caregivers during COVID-19

Arthritis Foundation – Care & Connect

COPD Foundation – Coronavirus Information for the COPD Community

Glaucoma Foundation – What You Should Know as a Glaucoma Patient during COVID-19

Illinois Deaf & Hard of Heating Commission – COVID-19 Resources

Lung Cancer Research Foundation – COVID-19 & Lung Cancer

National Association of the Deaf – Coronavirus Information

National Breast Cancer Foundation: COVID-19 – How NBCF is Responding

National Kidney Foundation – Coronavirus & Kidney Patients: Updates & Guidelines

National Osteoporosis Foundation – COVID-19 Updates & Resources

Need more information on a diagnosis not listed? AgeGuide has a resources page with various organizations, associations and more to help with any need you may have. To view the resources page, click here.

Senior Lifestyle Expo Goes Virtual During COVID-19

For the past 25 years, AgeGuide has hosted the Senior Lifestyle Expo. This year, due to COVID-19, the Senior Lifestyle Expo will be changing course and going virtual!

The Expo will be held on Tuesday, August 18 and Wednesday, August 19, 2020. Join us in “Navigating Aging” from the comfort of your own home. This year’s Expo is FREE but registration is required! Register now!

This is truly an event not to be missed for older adults and the wide variety of senior friendly businesses and organizations throughout Chicagoland! The Senior Lifestyle Expo provides the ultimate marketplace showcasing all of the best products, services available to older adults. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend educational seminars, engage in some fabulous entertainment, visit virtual exhibit booths and more!

Expo Schedule

Tuesday, August 18

All Day – The Exhibit Hall will be open all day! Visit the virtual booths, interact with exhibitors, and get your questions answered!

10 AM – Tele-Town Halls hosted by AARP! Guest panel including Paula Basta, Director of the Illinois Department on Aging, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health and Marla Fronczak, CEO of AgeGuide.

11 AM – Andy Head “Wild & Wacky Juggler on the Entertainment Stage! Andy Head has been bringing fun, laughter & learning to events throughout Chicago and the suburbs for over 30 years!

12 PM – Join us for a Memory Cafe! Love to sing? Get ready to have some fun! The Good Memories Sing-along Café is an hour of fun and song. This cafe features the music of beloved American composer and songwriter, Cole Porter. Many of his songs became standards, noted for their witty, urbane lyrics, and many of his scores found success on Broadway and in film. This sing-along is led by Paul Langford, a renowned singer, arranger, conductor, keyboard player, and producer who has performed for two U.S. presidents and collaborated with the likes of Kenny Rogers, Josh Groban, and Celine Dion along with symphony orchestras across the country. Paul is one of the leaders of the weekly Good Memories Sing-Along Café which takes place on Zoom this summer and fall, partially sponsored by AgeGuide.

1 PM – Jimmy Mac on the Entertainment Stage! When Jimmy Mac picks up his guitar and starts to sing, something magical happens. Jimmy’s love for music and performing is contagious.

2:30 PM – Stryker Orthopedics will be hosting an informational seminar featuring Dr. Andrew Ehmke. Dr. Ehmke will discuss the latest advances for joint pain, including Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Technology. To register, log onto Zoom here or contact Julie Dillon at julie.dillon@stryker.com if you need assistance registering.

3:30 PM – Good Memories Choir on the Entertainment Stage! Good Memories is a fun, upbeat community where people with early-stage memory loss and their care partners sing together, enjoying familiar music that they love.

Wednesday, August 19

All Day – The Exhibit Hall will be open all day! Visit the virtual booths, interact with exhibitors, and get your questions answered!

10 AM – Tele-Town Halls hosted by AARP! Guest panel including Mary O’Donnell, President of RRF Foundation for Aging and Marla Fronczak, CEO of AgeGuide.

11 AM – Jasmine + Perona on the Entertainment Stage! JASMINE + PERONA puts a different spin on everything from 50’s classics to modern day favorites by combining the smooth vocal stylings of singer Christa Jasmine with the classical flamenco sounds of guitarist Jim Perona.

12 PM – Mo Beats Showcase on the Entertainment Stage! The Mo’ Beat Blues Show – You simply have to experience it! Samuel & Janice Lozada are your literal “match made in heaven,” full-time Entertainment Service Professionals that have earnestly been serving the Greater Chicago Area and beyond since 2004.

12 PM – Join us for a Memory Cafe! Travel to the Beach with the Gail Borden Library and Guest Author Ralph Fletcher. Just a few words and lines on the page and participants are transported to the beach. The café focuses on a book of poems all centered around one day at the beach where the words used to describe the feeling of the air, water, sound and surf transports participants to a calm and serene destination.

2 PM – Rick Lindy on the Entertainment Stage! Rick Lindy and The Wild Ones offer a salute to the legendary artists of rock ‘n roll including the hits of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Church Berry, Buddy Holly, Bill Haley & many more

3:30 PM – Good Memories Choir on the Entertainment Stage! Good Memories is a fun, upbeat community where people with early-stage memory loss and their care partners sing together, enjoying familiar music that they love.

The Expo is sponsored by AARP, AAA, ComEd, Aetna, Seniors Blue Book and Senior News 50 and Better.

We are so excited to be able to bring the Senior LifeStyle Expo to you in the comfort of your home!

For more information or to register, visit www.SeniorLifestyleExpo.org or call (630) 293-5990. Like us on Facebook to see the most updated information about this year’s Expo!

Connecting to Technology During COVID-19

For many older adults, isolation during this pandemic has as much of a health risk as COVID-19 itself. Technology is a great way for older adults to stay healthy and engaged during this time. It allows them to connect and engage socially but remain physically distant to remain healthy. AgeGuide and select partner organizations have programs available to older adults. Contact the Care Coordination Unit in your county for more information!

Tablets to Seniors

AgeGuide Northeastern Illinois and T-Mobile have teamed up to provide internet connected tablets to older adults aged 60+ who do not have access to a desktop or a laptop computer or who have little no experience with technology of this type. We wish to help them connect to their family, friends and community through technology on a prepaid data plan of up to 2 years. To see if you, or someone you know qualifies, contact Alaine Kvedaras at 630-293-5990 or akvedaras@ageguide.org.

To apply for the program, click here.

AgeGuide will provide internet connected tablets to eligible older adults with little to no experience with technology. Along with the tablet, there will be three mandatory educational sessions to assist older adults in learning how to effectively use the tablet. At the end of the data commitment, the tablet is the property of the participant, but the provided data plan will be discontinued. We are excited to be able to offer this opportunity, free of charge, to residents of our 8-county region on a first come, first served basis and provided you meet the following requirements:

  1. Participants must be age 60 or older.
  2. Participants must not currently have access to a computer or laptop.
  3. Participants must complete three 1-hour technology education classes.

Small classes will be held virtually, starting with a phone call. The phone number to call will be provided in the AgeGuide Welcome Packet along with the tablet. Classes will cover the following topics:

  • Class 1: Conference call to start, technical assistance regarding operation of the tablet, including how to use the camera and microphone, setting up a Google account (Gmail) and an introduction to Zoom video conferencing.
  • Class 2: Meeting on Zoom, setting up and accessing email and social media to connect with family and friends.
  • Class 3: Meeting on Zoom, surfing the web, and understanding and utilizing applications safely for information, education, banking, health and shopping.

To receive a tablet and welcome packet, participants must complete an intake form and the UCLA Three Item Loneliness Scale questionnaire prior to receiving the tablet and tutorials. The loneliness questionnaire is intended to measure the project’s effectiveness at reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness and will be completed over the phone.

Illinois Care Connections

The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) received $1.7 million through the CARES Act from the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living to provide services to older adults and persons with disabilities who are socially isolated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Illinois Care Connections will provide technology devices such as iPads or Tablets to participants to help facilitate social connections with family and friends. The agencies are working in partnership with the Illinois Assistive Technology Program (IATP) to provide the devices.

Participants MUST be receiving services through the Care Coordination Unit in their county, or can be referred through AgeGuide. Community Care Program, IDHS-Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) OR Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) providers and programs. Participants are eligible if they have been socially isolated as a result of COVID-19 and are experiencing loneliness and a lack of connected-ness. To learn more about this program, contact your local Care Coordination Unit.

Back To Top

Subscribe

Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates from us!