jonesfloor 052120CHICAGO – The state budget for the next fiscal year will increase funding to senior services to help some of the most vulnerable Illinoisans cope during the COVID-19 crisis, State Senator Emil Jones, III (D-Chicago) announced Wednesday.

This pandemic has affected senior citizens harder than any other age group,” Jones said. They are at more risk of contracting the disease and family members have had to limit in-person visits to decrease risk of exposure. This budget provides additional funding to ensure seniors have the services they need and to try to make social isolation a litter easier for them.”

To offer much-needed assistance to struggling seniors during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, the budget provides $201.7 million in additional funding to the Illinois Department on Aging. 

This includes $1 billion in support for the Community Care Program, which provides cost-effective alternatives to nursing home placement and helps seniors maintain their independence. As long-term care facilities account for a disproportionate number of COVID-19 deaths across the country, programs that enable older adults to remain at home may save lives.

The funds will also allow the Department on Aging to continue to offer home-delivered meal services and run the Senior HelpLine, which connects older adults and caregivers with local programs and services. In addition, the budget increases funding to Adult Protective Services to expand efforts to prevent abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of older adults.

Area Agencies on Aging will receive an additional $1.2 million to provide community-based services to seniors at a local level.

Tasks as simple as grocery shopping can be a risk for some seniors, so I encourage them to take advantage of services, like Meals on Wheels,” Jones said. Seniors need to know we have their back and Illinois wants to ensure they stay safe during this time.”

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