Social Connection Initiatives
Loneliness and social isolation are major issues for older adults and are linked with negative physical and mental health consequences. The Illinois Department on Aging and AgeGuide are working in collaboration with other community-based providers to address social isolation among older adultsthroughout the region and to provide programs and services that increase social connection.
AgeGuide is Addressing Social Isolation by funding and supporting the following programs and services:
Education and Technology:
AgeGuide has expanded its technology related programming to further close the digital divide and increased offerings to reduce social isolation. The Tablet to Seniors special project provides tablets to older adults who agree to attend computer classes so they can learn to use technology to connect with their family, friends, and community resources.
Good Memories Choir Program & Sing Along Memory Cafes:
AgeGuide collaborates with the Good Memories Choir to address the needs of persons with dementia and caregivers who are at risk of social isolation through two different music programs, both of which are designed to offer a safe, welcoming and mentally stimulating virtual environment for the caregiver and their loved one to enjoy music together with others. Registration required: https://ageguide.typeform.com/SingAlong
FREE Sounds Good Choir & Good Memories Choir Spanish Sing-Alongs
AgeGuide and the Sounds Good Choir are launching their popular sing-alongs in Spanish! Juan Díes of Sones de México Ensemble will be conducting FREE sing-along sessions via Zoom for Spanish-speaking older adults aged 60 and up every other Thursday starting at 11 AM. Enjoy music from Mexico, Central & South America, the Caribbean and more! Register here: https://ageguide.typeform.com/SingAlong
¡AgeGuide y Sounds Good Choir están lanzando sus populares canciones en español! Juan Díes de Sones de México Ensemble realizará sesiones de canto GRATUITAS a través de Zoom para adultos mayores de habla hispana de 60 años en adelante cada dos jueves a partir de las 11 a.m. ¡Disfruta de la música de México, América Central y del Sur, el Caribe y más! Registrar aquí: https://ageguide.typeform.com/SpanishSAForm
AgeGuide and the Good Memories Choir are launching their popular sing-alongs in Spanish! Juan Díes of Sones de México Ensemble will be conducting FREE sing-along sessions via Zoom for Spanish-speaking older adults with memory concern and their care partners. Sing-Alongs will be held every other Thursday at 12 PM. Register here: https://ageguide.typeform.com/SingAlong
¡AgeGuide y Good Memories Choir están lanzando sus populares canciones en español! Juan Díes de Sones de México Ensemble realizará sesiones de canto GRATUITAS a través de Zoom para adultos mayores de habla hispana con problemas de memoria y sus cuidadores. Los Sing-Alongs se llevarán a cabo cada dos jueves a las 12 p.m. Registrar aquí: https://ageguide.typeform.com/SpanishSAForm
Inclusive Community Initiatives
Dementia Friendly Communities Initiative:
In order to improve the quality of life for people with dementia, their caregivers, and their families, AgeGuide continuously provides dementia friendly trainings and further assistance to create dementia friendly communities. Throughout our region, we aim to
- Provide Dementia Friendly Trainings
- Educate the public about dementia
- Discuss the role of dementia friendly organizations and communities
- Explore dementia friendly communication strategies and best practices
- Offer guidance and support for communities to become more dementia friendly
Targeted Outreach to Limited English-Speaking Older Adults:
This special project is a partnership with the Coalition of Limited English-Speaking Elderly (CLESE) to conduct region-wide targeted outreach activities to Limited English Speaking (LES) older adults and family caregivers to increase their access to Older Americans Act services and other community services and supports.
Supporting Ethnic and Culturally Diverse Populations:
AgeGuide continued to engage efforts to support ethnic and culturally diverse populations including Limited English-speaking (LES) older adults and family caregivers and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-gender conforming, and queer (LGBTQ+) older adults and family caregivers to help them feel supported and to reduce barriers to accessing services.
AgeGuide Learning Center:
An educational resource for aging service providers, the business community, first responders, health care professionals, faith communities, older adults and caregivers. The AgeGuide Learning center offers on-line courses and webinars to educate on practical tools, resources, and information to guide people on their aging journey. Current resources available to the public include Dementia Friendly Business Sector Trainings and “Medicare How To” videos in multiple languages.
Digital Equity and Inclusion:
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and in the aftermath, there remains a significant discrepancy within the older adult population to be connected to the internet. While 60% of persons aged 65+ are connected to the internet, the other 40% are not and this can lead to poorer health outcomes, increased social isolation, and a decreased quality of life. AgeGuide intends to assist in bridging the digital divide, leveraging successes in previous and current technology programs to improve Digital Equity and Inclusion for older adults. AgeGuide will offer technology training and education based on an individuals’ needs and capacities, utilize multiple resources for education including, on-line, in-person, intergenerational volunteers and more. AgeGuide will strengthen the educational network in the region by helping to identifying technology needs and collaborating with community partners to develop content and programs to meet service gaps. In addition, AgeGuide will advocate for expanding internet access among older adults by participating in the statewide Digital Inclusion initiatives and efforts that seek to expand availability and reach of technology to older adults.
Family Caregiver Support Initiative:
The AgeGuide Family Caregiver Support Initiative helps caregivers self-identify their role and what it means for them. By helping caregivers recognize emotions, tension, and stressors that they may not even notice they are experiencing, we can better support them with much-needed resources, programs, and services (such as respite, gap-filling, legal assistance, counseling, support groups, training, education, and more). AgeGuide continues to advocate for family caregivers by collaborating with legislators, our funded partners, community providers, and other key stakeholders.
To find out if you fit the description of a family caregiver, click here to complete a tailored care questionnaire. To read more about the AgeGuide family caregiver services available in your area, click here.