Area senior services provider to shutter its personal care program

CJE SeniorLife will close its Personal Care Program later this month due to inadequate state funding and the financial crisis in Springfield, officials recently announced."For eligible older adults, CJE provides personal care services at home through...

Area senior services provider to shutter its personal care program

CJE SeniorLife will close its Personal Care Program later this month due to inadequate state funding and the financial crisis in Springfield, officials recently announced."For eligible older adults, CJE provides personal care services at home through...

19 April 2017 Wednesday 05:22
20 Reads
Area senior services provider to shutter its personal care program

CJE SeniorLife will close its Personal Care Program later this month due to inadequate state funding and the financial crisis in Springfield, officials recently announced.

"For eligible older adults, CJE provides personal care services at home through a subsidized program for low income seniors administered by the Illinois Department on Aging," CJE SeniorLife says about the program on its website. "These services, for those who qualify, include assistance with bathing, grooming, dressing, errands, light housekeeping, meal preparation and respite."

The program is set to discontinue April 28.

The elimination of the program means discontinuation of these in-home services or care management to about 265 low-income and at-risk older adults, according to CJE SeniorLife.

"These vulnerable and frail older adults will need to be transferred to new providers in a service network that is shrinking daily as more providers cancel state contracts due to lack of payment," CJE SeniorLife officials stated in a news release announcing the closing.

Officials said closing the Personal Care Program will also result in elimination of about 86 jobs held by CJE's full-time and part-time in-home employees.

"This was an extremely heart-wrenching decision for our board and senior leadership team," CJE SeniorLife President and CEO Mark Weiner said in the news release.

Weiner said CJE — which stands for Council for Jewish Elderly — was founded 45 years ago to provide services and programs meant to aid in the independence of older adults in the community.

"Home and community-based services have been the cornerstone of our agency's work and we know for a fact that it is more cost-effective for people to age-in-place than move to a nursing home," he said about the nonprofit in the release. "But our state's fiscal crisis is causing us to cut a vital program, and while we are committed to protecting our mission, we also have to be financially prudent."

CJE officials said the decision was made after "extensive deliberation" by the executive committee of CJE's board of directors and its senior leadership team.

Seniors in Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles and Skokie are among those served by CJE, a company spokeswoman confirmed.

Meals on Wheels unsure of potential budget cuts, but not on its importance to seniors Mike Isaacs

Officials from Skokie and Niles, the two Niles Township communities that run Meals on Wheels programs, say that any potential cuts to the program nationally would have little to no impact regardless of how the federal and state budgets get resolved.

Other area agencies with robust Meals on Wheels...

Officials from Skokie and Niles, the two Niles Township communities that run Meals on Wheels programs, say that any potential cuts to the program nationally would have little to no impact regardless of how the federal and state budgets get resolved.

Other area agencies with robust Meals on Wheels...

(Mike Isaacs)

As a result of the closing, according to the news release, CJE will terminate the Managed Community Care Program contract and its chore housekeeping contract. CJE had already closed its Community Care Program providing in-home personal care services through the Illinois Department on Aging earlier in the year.

Agency officials said that since July 2016, CJE SeniorLife has been reimbursed less that 40 percent of what it was owed by the state.

Over the last nine months, they said in the release, CJE reached out to the Illinois Department on Aging, state legislators and the comptroller's office to try to get reimbursed for services, but were unsuccessful.

"CJE simply does not have the resources to provide these services indefinitely without jeopardizing the viability of the entire organization," according to the release.

CJE annually serves more than 23,000 seniors with a wide range of health and human services, according to the organization.

Department on Aging spokewoman Veroncia Vera told the Skokie Review that seniors enrolled in the CJE program would not lose services as a result of its closure.

"Any affected CJE clients will be transitioned to other providers under the Community Care Program and will continue to receive the care and assistance they need without interruption," said Vera.

Vera said the Department on Aging also looks forward to the state coming up with an appropriations plan.

"We urge legislators to work with the governor to pass a balanced budget with reforms to ensure the long-term stability of our human services programs and protect our aging network and the seniors they serve," she said.

CJE officials said other SeniorLife services and programs for low-to-moderate income seniors in the city and surrounding suburbs will continue to operate.

Those include adult day services with transportation, independent housing, short-term rehabilitation at Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation in Skokie, assisted living at Weinberg Community for Senior Living in Chicago, benefits counseling and home-delivered meals.

CJE SeniorLife's home delivered meals manager Magdalyn Guzzo recently said that state funding owed to that program, which serves nearly 300 seniors, has not come through for a couple years.

Government workers tardy in filing Illinois tax returns Ray Long

You may be sweating through the annual race to file your income tax returns on time, but the state of Illinois is still trying to get tax returns that were due two years ago from hundreds of the very state employees whose salaries you pay.

Two incumbent state lawmakers are among the 312 people who...

You may be sweating through the annual race to file your income tax returns on time, but the state of Illinois is still trying to get tax returns that were due two years ago from hundreds of the very state employees whose salaries you pay.

Two incumbent state lawmakers are among the 312 people who...

(Ray Long)

What has made continuing on possible, she said, is that the program receives nearly 40 percent of program funding through the Older Americans Act distributed through the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

CJE SeniorLife's Personal Care Program relies more heavily on state funding, according to the organization.

Many of CJE's surviving programs also benefit from support by Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, grants from foundations and corporations and donations.

CJE officials said over the next few weeks leaders will work the Illinois Department on Aging and AgeOptions to transition at-risk seniors from the personal care assistance to other programs.

misaacs@pioneerlocal.com

@SKReview_Mike

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

Comments

Warning!

You have to login for comment. If you are not a member? Register now.

Login Sign Up