$300,000 federal grant helps keep
Illinois seniors independent
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[NOV. 23, 2004]
SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Rod
Blagojevich announced Monday that the Illinois Department on Aging
was awarded a grant from the federal government to help people with
disabilities and long-term illnesses remain in their homes rather
than being placed in a nursing home.
"A key component of Illinois' long-term
care systems reform is to place more emphasis on the development of
home and community-based services," Gov. Blagojevich said. "Without
the additional services, too many Illinois seniors will be forced to
enter nursing facilities when they could continue living
independently in their homes near their families and friends."
The $300,000 will assist in
implementing two new laws that were signed by the governor earlier
Senate Bill 2880 outlined the parameters for the state to
rebalance its long-term care system by enhancing home-based services
so that Illinois' seniors will have access to the services needed to
prevent nursing facility placement.
House Bill 5057 requires the Department on Aging to assist
current nursing home residents who wish to relocate safely to
community settings. The grant will be used to inventory home- and
community-based services that are available to Illinois' seniors,
assess service and funding gaps, and establish quality standards.
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"I've never met an older person who
would rather live in an institution rather than in the comforts of
their own home," said Charles D. Johnson, director of the Illinois
Department on Aging. "Staying at home will allow them to remain
independent and contribute to the community."
The federal Health and Human
Services Department distributed 52 grants totaling $31 million as
part of President Bush's "New Freedom Initiative," which promotes
the goal of community living for individuals with disabilities and
[News release from the