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2023 Governor's Engaging Aging Award

Community Nutrition Network & Senior Services Association

Nominated by AgeGuide – Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging

Serving older adults in Cook, Grundy, Kendall, and Will counties, Community Nutrition Network & Senior Services Association (CNNSSA) is one of the largest senior meal providers in the nation. According to its website, CNNSSA operates nine traditional congregate dining sites and nine distribution hubs for home-delivered meals. The organization has also established two Senior Dine restaurant programs in partnership with locally owned eateries in the far southwest suburbs of Chicago.

Participants in the Senior Dine program receive a payment card that functions similarly to a debit card, which they can use to purchase qualifying menu items during designated hours at participating restaurants. All Senior Dine menu items are approved by a licensed registered dietician to meet one-third of an older adult’s daily nutrition requirements.

Dementia Friendly Decatur Task Force

Nominated by the East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging

The Dementia Friendly Decatur Task Force (DFDTF) was created in August 2021 to complete the steps necessary for the city of Decatur to earn formal recognition as the first dementia-friendly community in east central Illinois. One year later, in August 2022, the DFDTF achieved its goal.

Since then, the Decatur-based senior home care agency CHELP has secured ongoing funding to hire a project coordinator focused on long-term sustainability, allowing the task force to continue to offer instructional resources to community members, including dementia-friendly business practices and tips to effectively communicate with people with cognitive impairment. Dementia Friendly Decatur also collaborates with Scovill Zoo to host monthly dementia-friendly days with free admission and special programs for persons living with dementia and their caregivers.

Franklin County Senior Services

Nominated by the Egyptian Area Agency on Aging

Franklin County Senior Services (FCSS) offers recreational and educational activities, transportation services, home-delivered meals, and other services to older adults in Franklin County, Ill. During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, FCSS eliminated their wait list for home-delivered meals, increasing distribution quantity to meet unprecedent demand.

After bringing on a new director, FCSS also recently renovated their senior center with new furniture and appliances, creating a modern and aesthetic environment for older adults to participate in social and educational programming.

Glen Carbon Senior and Community Center

Nominated by AgeSmart Community Resources

The Glen Carbon Senior Group has delivered resources and programming to Glen Carbon and its surrounding communities since 1998. The Senior Group played an integral part in the construction of the Glen Carbon Senior and Community Center, established in 2000 and located at 157 N. Main Street.

Program offerings for older adults include chair yoga, art classes, bingo, bridge, and weekly meetings of the Senior Group, whose membership includes around 50 active members. The Glen Carbon Senior and Community Center also offers free transportation services to residents with disabilities and those aged 65 or older to help them get to doctor’s appointment, go grocery shopping, or run errands in the tri-town area of Glen Carbon, Edwardsville, and Maryville.