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Illinois Care Connections (ICC)

The Illinois Care Connections program is aimed at enabling social connectedness; maintaining health, safety, and wellbeing; and promoting independence of older adults age 60+ living in the community by providing technology and assistive devices. IDoA partners with the Illinois Assistive Technology Program (IATP) to administer this program. There is $2.5M in available funding for the Illinois Care Connections program in FY24.

Who is eligible?
Older adults aged 60+ living in the community. To be eligible for this program, older adults need not be enrolled in the Community Care Program or receive Older Americans Act Services.

What types of technology and assistive devices are available under the program?
Technology and assistive devices aimed at enabling social connectedness; maintaining health, safety, and wellbeing; and promoting independence. Examples include but are not limited to tablet bundles (iPad or Android, case, keyboard, charger, headphones), screen protectors, mice, stylus pens, tablet stands, laptops, desktop computers, internet/Wi-Fi/hotspot access devices; hearing devices including speakers, soundboxes and sound amplifiers; vision devices such as magnifiers; mobility devices such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, shower chairs and adaptive utensils; smart home technology including smart plugs, smart light bulbs, voice-activated home assistants, camera-enabled doorbells, memory loss calendars/clocks and talking clocks; animated companion stuffed animals; and 3D printed devices.

How can an older adult access this program?
IDoA partners such as Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), AAA-funded entities, Care Coordination Units (CCUs), and Adult Day Service (ADS) providers can refer older adults aged 60+ living in the community to the program using an online referral form. Referral sources must complete the entire referral form. IATP staff will then follow-up with the referral source and/or the older adult with any questions before fulfilling the order. Devices will be shipped to the older adult or delivered to the older adult by IATP staff. Most orders are fulfilled within 1-2 weeks of referral.

How will an older adult know how to use the technology or assistive device?
IATP provides simple written instructions in the language preferred by the older adult and if necessary, will provide tech support via phone, Zoom or in-person.

Is any follow-up required?
IATP staff will contact the older adult within three (3) months of order fulfillment to understand how the older adult is utilizing the device; to see if the older adult needs any additional training or resources in order to use the device effectively; and to collect information from the older adult on whether the device has helped to enable social connectedness, maintain health, safety, and wellbeing and promote independence.

For more information on the Illinois Care Connections Program and how to refer an older adult:

Illinois Care Connections Annual Reports

"Providing new technologies have helped establish the social connection that our seniors need to maintain their health. At the end of the day, it's our passion for aging that solidifies why we do what we do." said Paula Basta, Director of IDoA.