— Individuals ages 50 and older make tremendous contributions to improve our communities. Their life and professional experiences shape and inform their ability to disrupt, innovate, and create. They truly are champions and trailblazers, and their efforts and groundbreaking contributions need to be recognized. That’s why AARP Illinois and Crain’s Chicago Business have joined together to launch 50@50+ Illinois – a recognition of Illinoisans over the age of 50 who are making a positive impact in their communities. They don’t adhere …

— By Ryan Gruenenfelder   For too long Illinois has been without a comprehensive, balanced budget that helps make life better for residents of all ages. Since 2002, the Governor and the General Assembly have failed to pass a truly balanced budget. And for almost two years, the State has operated without anything beyond a ‘stop-gap’ budget.  This budgetary inaction has led to a current fiscal year 2017 budget deficit of somewhere between $5.4 billion to $7.8 billion, depending on whose …

— Millions of family caregivers in Illinois will have many reasons to celebrate during National Caregiving Month in November, as new laws will provide much and urgently needed help for them as they take care of their loved ones. Thanks to the tireless advocacy of AARP, the Hospital Association and other groups, the Illinois CARE Act will help to significantly increase coordination between caregivers and hospitals. The law requires hospitals to: Provide your loved one the opportunity to designate a family …

— Take a virtual tour and learn how to make every room safer. April 12, 2017 6 p.m. CT Are you a family caregiver? If so, don’t miss Home Safe Home, a virtual room-by-room makeover tour on how to make every room in your home safer for loved ones. And stay tuned as caregiving author Sherri Snelling and livable communities expert Karen Kafantaris answer your questions from the studio. What will you learn? Dozens of smart solutions to make any home …

— Making Your Mess Your Message Featuring Dan Gasby with Sherri Snelling February 27, 2017 Special Evening Time 6 p.m. CT Register for our webinar and you could win a copy of the inspiring book “Before I Forget:  Love, Hope, Help & Acceptance in our Fight against Alzheimer’s” by B. Smith and Dan Gasby.* The reality of becoming a family caregiver seen through the eye’s of B. Smith’s husband Lifestyle guru B. Smith and Dan Gasby had it all. They were partners …

— State lawmakers recently passed the Employee Sick Leave Act, which allows family caregivers to use up to half of their sick leave benefits at work to take time off for a family member’s illness, injury or medical appointments. AARP Illinois was the leading advocate for the new law, which will take effect Jan. 1. More than 1.5 million Illinoisans are family caregivers, and many struggle to balance their paid work with the responsibilities of caring for a sick parent, spouse, …

— Both chambers of the General Assembly have passed a bill that would allow workers who are also family caregivers to use up to six months of accrued sick leave annually to care for their loved ones. AARP Illinois supports the bill and is urging Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) to sign it into law. About 1.6 million Illinoisans are family caregivers, and about 60 percent of caregivers nationwide also work outside the home. Among Illinois workers, 56 percent have some paid …

— AARP Illinois was proud to contribute to a Fox Illinois news story on Gov. Bruce Rauner recent passage of a law that would help Illinois Caregivers.   AARP supports this piece of legislation which provides much needed assistance to families across the state. AARP ON FOX ILLINOIS      

— AARP IL Applauds Governor Rauner for Supporting Working Family Caregivers Governor Rauner has signed into law a bill permitting employees to use up to six months of earned sick leave benefits for caregiving responsibilities.     AARP Illinois stands behind the Governor’s action to provide countless Illinois family caregivers with much needed relief and peace of mind as they struggle to balance the pressures of providing unpaid care for a loved one while meeting the demands of their jobs. “Too …

— Over 40,000 Illinois vulnerable seniors will face reduced services and potentially daunting waitlists in obtaining in-home care due to Governor Rauner’s veto of the Community Care Program Protection bill.  Last Friday, the Governor vetoed a measure which safeguards in-home and community care for seniors and people with disabilities across our state. The bill, House Bill 4351, was sponsored by State Representative Greg Harris and Senator Daniel Biss to keep the state’s leading in-home senior care program, the Community Care Program, …

— We received such positive feedback from last month’s blog post, so I’m sharing a few additional questions I’ve recently received from patients and their families. Should you have a question of your own, please comment below so others can benefit from the discussion. Q: I am 45 years old and want to know if there is a vitamin that could protect me from getting Alzheimer’s/dementia when I grow older? Agnes, Wauconda A: There is evidence that vitamin D deficiency is …

— By Lisa Bertagnoli Three times in her life, Chris Damon has served as a caregiver to loved ones. “I know what a challenge it is,” said Damon, 66, executive director of CareSmart Illinois, a Wadsworth-based nonprofit that provides support to older adults, adults with physical and cognitive challenges, and their caregivers. “With so many caregivers, their parents are discharged, and they don’t know what to do,” Damon said. “They’ve never been involved, and many hospitals haven’t wanted to involve family …