Department of Aging promotes wellness for Illinois seniors in September
Volunteering, vegetables and visits comprise just some of the advice outlined by the Illinois Department of Aging (IDoA) in its recipe for promoting September as healthy aging month and providing information to senior citizens year-round.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has predicted that by 2050, the number of Americans living into old age (65 and up) will be double what it was in 2010. With a steadily increasing population of older adults in Illinois — mirroring a national trend — the Illinois Department on Aging encourages residents to stay well and, additionally, to stay aware of their health.
IDoA plans to address the rapidly growing senior sector with resources and services. Collaborating with Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration and industry colleagues, the Springfield-based agency is working to establish consistent access to programs for older citizens such as financial education, mental health services and even funding for residential accessibility upgrades.
“We all experience the day-to-day challenges of maintaining our physical and mental health; the Department understands the increased danger this can have on seniors dealing with various medical issues,” IDoA Director Jean Bohnhoff said. “We’ve found a way to … provide older adults with greater access to services that can help them maintain healthier and more independent lifestyles.”
IDoA recommends that older adults stay active, eat healthily, manage their finances responsibly and set out to accomplish reasonable goals, as well as nurture social connections. Awareness of one’s health is important, the department says, and it encourages citizens to see a doctor for a yearly physical to establish a baseline for one’s health profile.