Our senior population is growing, yet senior resources are diminishing. Federal and state budget cuts have put the sustainability of existing senior programs at risk—an issue that will be exasperated should current Congressional proposals be passed.
Admittedly, the city has a limited capacity to compensate for these service deficits, or for the increases in the costs of healthcare, long-term care and prescription drug prices. However, the city can work to maximize enrollment in assistance programs, advocate for state and federal reforms, and provide the supports for seniors to stay in their homes and remain engaged in their community. Also See: Advocating at the State & Federal Level for Seniors.
Empower Home Retention
- Expand affordable housing options, tenant and homeowner protections, and retention services like Evanston’s Handyman program and weatherization subsidies.
- Promote awareness of senior-eligible property tax reductions and exemptions.
- Expand supports for family caregivers as well as awareness of caregiver tax credits.
- Support & adapt programs that maintain independence, such as free and subsidized transportation.
- Enhance understanding of consumer rights and financial literacy so residents can better monitor and avoid senior-targeted scams, fraud and other financial exploitations.
- Provide workforce training and retention supports for quality home-based eldercare.
Address Changing Realities for Seniors
- Incentivize senior-friendly workplace policies for residents who still work, such as flex time and time banking.
- Increase supports for grandparents who are raising grandchildren.
Bolster Healthcare Supports
- Use outreach to ensure eligible seniors are enrolled in federal, state and community assistance programs.
- Offer free counseling to seniors of healthcare options and changes.
- Support Evanston’s prescription discount card.
- Extend community access to preventative care to avoid chronic health issues.
Promote Civic & Community Involvement
- Provide the resources for self-advocacy, such as establishing a senior council to recommend actions to the city’s Commission on Aging committee.
- Establish a senior community service program through potential partnerships with the Senior Corps and Northwestern.
- Support expansion of recreation programs and senior benefit card merchant discounts.
Promote Long-Term Quality Care
- Work with our city’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman to protect senior rights, resolve complaints and recommend policy changes.