Older adults living on a fixed income have something to celebrate! The budget appropriations bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in March included funding for many aging services. Although many programs were slated to be cut, most were level-funded and some even had their budgets increased.
Several programs that CJE SeniorLife offers to older adults in the community were among the budget winners:
- The Senior Health Insurance Program, which helps CJE’s Consumer Assistance department provide free counseling and guidance to older adults on Medicare, received a slight increase. CJE’s certified Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) counselors can help older adults untangle the mystery of medical bills, and advocate on their behalf with doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and health insurance companies. SHIP counselors can help them find assistance in paying for medications, medical bills, or health insurance plans.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant also received a boost in funding, which will allow Consumer Assistance to better serve older adults in need of affordable housing in Chicagoland. Through free appointments made through CJE’s Housing Resource Center, Consumer Assistance team of bilingual (English- and Russian-speaking) staff can:
- Identify and help older adults apply for housing, including CJE’s subsidized independent apartments, group living, or assisted living facility.
- Help older tenants solve problems with their landlords.
- Provide information on a variety of other subsidized housing options available in Chicago and the suburbs, as well as affordable housing, independent and supportive living, and alternative housing for seniors with special needs.
- Chronic Disease Self-Management programs—offered by CJE’s Center for Healthy Living (CHL) at community locations across Chicagoland—were level-funded. CHL offers a wide range of educational programs, classes, and invaluable resources for older adults. Program participants of CHL’s Take Charge of Your Diabetes and A Matter of Balance falls-prevention series—in addition to many other wellness seminars, fitness programs and preventive health screenings—gain new knowledge of how to manage their physical and mental health, learn from each other, and develop action plans.
Beyond the specific dollars and cents, this budget is of symbolic importance. The Trump administration—along with Republicans in Congress—has expressed its desire to cut social spending. CJE SeniorLife knows how important these social services are to older adults and their families. The advocacy efforts of individuals and organizations were effective and elected officials heard the public loud and clear: We want and need these vital programs to continue.
For more information on CJE’s Consumer Assistance programs and services, call 773.508.1000 or visit www.cje.net/supportive-resources/consumer-assistance.