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2008-2010 State Initiative

The Maturing of Illinois:
Getting Communities on Track for an Aging Population

city streetThe number of persons 60 years of age and older in the state of Illinois is expected to increase from 2 million today to over 3.6 million by the year 2030 ' a 77% increase. By 2030, one in every five Illinoisans will be 60 or older. To respond to this challenge, the thirteen Area Agencies on Aging in partnership with the Illinois Department on Aging are pursuing a statewide initiative entitled, 'The Maturing of Illinois: Getting Communities on Track for an Aging Population.'

A livable community:

  1. Provides affordable, appropriate, accessible housing.
  2. Ensures accessible, affordable, reliable, safe transportation.
  3. Adjusts the physical environment for inclusiveness and accessibility.
  4. Provides work, volunteer, and education opportunities.
  5. Ensures access to key health and support services.
  6. Encourages participation in civic, cultural, social, and recreational activities.

Within each of these six areas, a livable community strives to maximize people's independence, assure safety and security, promote inclusiveness, and provide choice.

While no one community has addressed all six of these goals to equal degrees, many counties and local communities have made extraordinary improvements in their livability for senior adults and people with disabilities in one or even several of these areas. Their experiences and achievements can serve as inspiration and provide replicable "best practices," which other communities can emulate as they strive to become more livable.

The goal of this initiative is to promote the development of livable communities for all ages in Illinois. The objective of this initiative is to collaborate with at least 45 selected communities across 13 Planning and Service Areas to complete a comprehensive assessment of their preparedness for the aging of the population over the span of the three-year Area Plan for Fiscal Years 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Ultimately, the Area Agencies on Aging will submit final reports on the preparedness of these communities to the Illinois Department on Aging by October, 2010. The Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging (I4A) will assist the Area Agencies on Aging and the Illinois Department on Aging to complete a report of the State's preparedness by January, 2011.

The Department on Aging required that Area Agencies on Aging take specific activities to assess existing policies, programs and services within selected communities to determine whether they address the needs of an aging population. The assessment activities must include the areas of health and human services, land use, housing, transportation, public safety, workforce and economic development, recreation, education, civic engagement, and emergency preparedness.

The Department required the Area Agencies on Aging to assess selected communities to determine their 'aging readiness' to provide programs, policies, and services that address the needs of older adults and their caregivers.

The Department required that, at minimum, all Area Agencies on Aging must use the same assessment tool that will be jointly identified and selected by the Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the Department on Aging.

The Department required that Area Agencies on Aging must employ mechanisms to survey targeted groups of older persons as part of the community assessment process, including older persons that are in greatest economic and/or social need, older individuals who are minorities, older individuals with limited English proficiency, family caregivers, and grandparents raising grandchildren.

The Department required that Area Agencies on Aging evaluate their performance responding to the planned activities of the Statewide Initiative.

The Department required the Area Agencies on Aging develop a report with a summary of major activities conducted as part of the assessment process, and specific recommendations for the Area Agency selected communities to undertake to prepare for the aging of their populations. This report will be due to the Department and I4A by October 1, 2008.

ApartmentsThe Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging (I4A) has produced a Power Point presentation entitled, 'The Maturing of Illinois,' and a statewide assessment tool and guidelines entitled, 'The Livable Communities for All Ages Assessment Tool.' I4A recognizes the staff of Age Options ' the Area Agency on Aging for Suburban Cook County, for taking the lead in developing the statewide assessment tool and guidelines. I4A also acknowledges our sources including: the 'Livable Communities Evaluation Guide' published by AARP and the Michigan Community Toolkit for a Lifetime. I4A conducted a training session on the Assessment Tool and Guidelines for staff of the Illinois Department on Aging and all Area Agencies on Aging on October 23, 2007 in Urbana, Illinois. The Power Point presentation, the ten sections of the Assessment Tool and the Guidelines were presented and demonstrated.

I4A has contracted with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Urbana-Champaign for a Graduate Assistant for the period August 16, 2007 through August 15, 2008 to assist the Association and the Area Agencies on Aging in the implementation of the statewide assessment of community preparedness. The Graduate Assistant provides technical assistance, coordinates data collection, collects and disseminates models of livable communities and best practices identified through the assessment process, assists in monitoring and evaluating the performance of the AAAs in conducting the assessment process, and assists I4A in the preparation of reports.

Area Agencies on Aging are conducting the following activities in Fiscal Year 2008:

  1. Educating and involving members of AAA governing boards, advisory councils, community leaders and advocates about the Maturing of Illinois statewide initiative.
  2. Selecting communities to be assessed in consultation with local leaders.
  3. Collaborating with Universities and Community Colleges in the assessment process.
  4. Researching data sources.
  5. Preparing socio-economic profiles of selected communities.
  6. Recruiting community leaders and volunteers to serve on assessment teams.
  7. Training assessment team members.
  8. Selecting key informants for interviews for ten issue areas.
  9. Conducting interviews with key informants.
  10. Selecting persons to participate in focus groups.
  11. Facilitating focus groups.
  12. Identifying documents for review and analysis for ten issue areas, e.g., land use plans.
  13. Preparing an annual report of finding and recommendations.

I4A is conducting the following activities in support of the Maturing of Illinois statewide initiative in Fiscal Year 2008:

  1. Producing 'The Livable Communities for All Ages Assessment Tool and Guidelines'.
  2. Producing the 'Maturing of Illinois' PowerPoint presentation.
  3. Arranging and conducting assessment tool training for IDOA and AAA personnel.
  4. Arranging and conducting presentations on the 'Maturing of Illinois' to statewide organizations including: Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association, Township Officials of Illinois, United Counties Council of Illinois, etc.
  5. Producing a media release to inform the public about the statewide initiative.
  6. Producing a summary of communities selected for assessments by 13 Area Agencies on Aging.
  7. Producing a standardized format for community profiles.
  8. Producing a list of suggested key informants for the ten issue areas of the assessment.
  9. Preparing draft language and advocating for the passage of joint resolutions in the Illinois House and Senate on the Maturing of Illinois statewide initiative.
  10. Developing an annual report of findings and recommendations received from 13 AAAs.

During Fiscal Year 2009 Area Agencies on Aging will conduct the following activities:

  1. Providing on-going training for assessment teams in selected communities.
  2. Coordinating the assessment of selected communities across ten issue areas.
  3. Reviewing and analyzing documents across ten issue areas.
  4. Coordinating interviews with key informants across ten issue areas.
  5. Coordinating focus groups in selected communities.
  6. Coordinating data collected from the assessment teams within the PSA.
  7. Helping assessment teams reach consensus about the preparedness of their communities.
  8. Identifying, documenting and reporting best practices within selected communities.
  9. Preparing an annual report of findings and recommendations.

During Fiscal Year 2009, I4A will conduct the following activities in support of the statewide initiative:

  1. Supervise one or more university graduate assistants to support the initiative.
  2. Provide on-going training on the Assessment Tool and Guidelines for AAAs and IDOA.
  3. Arrange a statewide training conference on the Maturing of Illinois to include public officials, professionals, advocates, and consumers representing the ten issue areas in the assessment.
  4. Conduct presentations on the Maturing of Illinois for statewide organizations.
  5. Serve as a clearinghouse for best practices of communities for all ages in Illinois.
  6. Coordinate reports of findings and recommendations from 13 Area Agencies on Aging.
  7. Prepare a statewide report of findings and recommendations.

The Maturing of Illinois - PowerPoint from 2007 Gov. Conference


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This page was last updated 02/15/2017