May 6, 2016

City Announces Public Hearings and Events in Celebration of Older Americans Month

DFSS to hold three citywide public hearings to inform Chicago’s senior outreach and aging plan

Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) today announced a schedule of events at 21 Senior Centers around the city and three public hearings to discuss the DFSS-Chicago Area Agency on Aging plan to deliver services to Chicagoans, age 60 years and better, to celebrate Older Americans Month. Each year, the City celebrates May’s Older Americans month to honor the contributions of its senior citizens, and to gather feedback to inform its senior service outreach and delivery plan, titled the Area Plan on Aging.

“The City of Chicago possesses a distinguished history shaped, recollected, and shared by Chicago’s 425,000 residents aged 60 or better and growing each day,” said DFSS Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler. “Having an age-friendly city is especially important when, the number of seniors in the Chicago area is expected to double by 2040.”

DFSS will host 21 events across the city will celebrate the diversity of Chicago’s trailblazing seniors.  Events, which are free and open to all of the city’s seniors, will range from dance parties, karaoke, country western line dancing, celebration of our veterans, and Mexican Folkloric dancing.

The three public hearings are an opportunity for seniors and other residents to provide feedback that will be incorporated into the final Area Plan document that will be submitted to the Illinois Department on Aging.  The public is encouraged to comment and inquire on the Area Plan on Aging at any of the citywide Public Hearings listed below:

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 Tuesday, May 17, 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Englewood Senior Satellite Pilsen Senior Satellite Austin Senior Center
653-657 W. 63rd Street 2021 S. Morgan 5071 W. Congress Parkway
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM  10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

The Area Plan on Aging is submitted to the Illinois Department on Aging to request Federal and State funds for activities and services for older Chicagoans. The Plan also includes a detailed summary of the condition and needs of Chicago's senior population, and a strategy outlining the programs and services that DFSS will deliver to meet those needs based on its budget.

“Older Americans Month is a perfect opportunity to recognize the value in helping older adults successfully contribute to and benefit from their communities,” said Joyce Gallagher, Executive Director of DFSS’ Senior Services. “Their contributions to the City of Chicago have been immeasurable, and we are committed to making sure that our seniors remain actively engaged in their community.”

In July 2012, Mayor Rahm Emanuel secured Chicago’s place in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities. As a part of the WHO network, Chicago is an active partner in striving to better meet the needs of residents of all ages by creating an inclusive and accessible urban environment.

Based on its participation in WHO’s network, the City's 21 senior centers were developed to ensure that Chicago is an age-friendly and accessible city for all citizens. These centers were designed to address the needs and interests of older Chicagoans, from those who are healthy and active, those who are limited in mobility. Across its centers, which act as focal points for resources and assessment, the city provides classes in health and fitness, education and recreation.

The network of senior centers include Village Interdependent Collaboratives (VIC), which work with seniors who want to continue to live in their homes in their communities to remain engaged in their communities. Each of the citywide public hearings are being held in the city’s three VIC centers, located in Englewood, Austin and Pilsen. Additionally, the Englewood site will hold an “On the Table” community event, led by Chicago Community Trust, which will engage residents in a conversation around “What Makes A Community Age-Friendly?”

In May of 1963, Older Americans Month (OAM) began in order to acknowledge the contributions of older people. The annual observance offers the opportunity to learn about, support, and celebrate our nation’s older citizens.  The City of Chicago participates every year.  This year’s theme, “Blaze a Trail,” emphasizes the ways older adults are reinventing themselves through new work and new passions, engaging their communities, and blazing a trail of positive impact on the lives of people of all ages.

Department of Family and Support Services Official Press Release

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