Illinois Department on Aging issued the following announcement on Sept. 26.
Joined by more than 500 attendees, the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) held their annual conference in Peoria last week. IDoA Director Paula Basta opened proceedings and joined State Senator Dave Koehler and National Association of Area Agencies on Aging CEO Sandy Markwood to give opening remarks.
This annual event brought together professionals from agencies who provide services to older adults, from all corners of Illinois for a three-day educational and networking conference. The conference offered over 45 different educational presentations with an array of focuses, including: person-centered practices; defeating social isolation; IDoA policy and programs; risk mitigation strategies; and stronger staff & stronger agencies.
"Our Aging Network needs to be prepared for the future of aging, and to ensure that our older adults have what they need to live more comfortably and independently," said Director Basta. "The goals of the conference included learning from national experts, exploring cutting edge innovation, engaging with Aging Network peers, and celebrating 40 years of the Community Care Program (CCP) and all the dedication and compassion exemplified by the Aging Network."
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging Chief Executive Officer, Sandy Markwood, was the plenary speaker of this conference. During her address, she discussed the negative consequences of older adult social isolation - a major theme at the conference. Markwood cited data from AARP Foundation, "An estimated one in five adults over age 50 - at least 8 million in the U.S. - are affected by isolation." Markwood continued, "The statistics on social isolation are important, but it has a very personal face. Consequences can include immobility, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and several other physical and mental health issues. We - as professionals working with an aging population - all have a responsibility to recognize and subsequently intervene when social isolation is occurring."
The Conference came as IDoA celebrates 40 years of its Community Care Program (CCP), which helps older adults, who might otherwise need nursing home care, maintain their independence and remain in their own homes by providing cost-effective alternatives to nursing home placement like in-home and community-based services.
Created in 1973, IDoA strives for efficient and effective access to services that prevent premature nursing facility placement and maximizes the state's nearly 2.7 million older adults' ability to remain as independent as possible within their community. For more information about programs and services to assist older adults in Illinois, their families and caregivers, log on to the department website at: www.illinois.gov/aging/ or call the Senior HelpLine at (800) 252-8966 (hearing impaired call 888-206-1327).
Original source can be found here.