Illinois aging-in-place plan to get potentially disruptive overhaul

Two steps forward, one step back.

In a perplexing move, the governor has vetoed a bill to preserve a program designed to allow Illinois seniors to age in place in their homes.

The program currently subsidizes the cost of in-home caregivers who assist with household chores for thousands of elderly citizens aging-in-place. Although House Democrats attempted to override the governor’s veto of the program, they came up four votes short.

The governor’s solution is a program that would attempt to deliver the services more inexpensively through external service delivery methods. One example noted was laundry service. The intent is to save money as a growing number of citizens continue to join the ranks of the elderly every day.

What makes this revamp less than ideal is that according to State Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, sponsor of the failed bill, the changes are “a pilot program that has not been tested. It is something that could very well put … our homebound seniors at risk.”

Although the AARP, a supporter of the failed bill, has pledged to work with the Illinois Department of Aging to ensure a smooth transition for those currently receiving in-home services to the new program, it’s still bound to cause disruptions for our aging seniors looking to age-in-place.

My concern is for my elderly clients who have prepared to live at home with assistance and the possible disruption this will cause to their lives and plans. Depending on how the new changes work out, some may have to rework their estate plans to ensure they have the resources at hand to live the way they want to live.

To discuss your estate plan, will or powers of attorney, please get in touch.