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Elder Economic Security Initiative (EESI) Update

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group (HMPRG)
November 19, 2009

Health & Medicine’s Center for Long-Term Care Reform was designated by the Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), a national organization, to be an official state partner in the Elder Economic Security Initiative (EESI) several years ago.  


EESI provides information about the actual cost of living, the Elder Index, for older Americans.  There is a clear gap between what a typical older American makes through Social Security, pensions and other government programs, and the actual cost of living (click here for more information in Illinois).  The Elder Index accounts for people living on their own or as couples, and as renters, owners with mortgages or owners without mortgages.  In addition to housing, the Elder Index takes into account the cost of living, including: healthcare, transportation and food.  The Index is based on geographic locations throughout individual states.

•    Currently, EESI  is active in 12 states: Massachusetts, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Connecticut, New Jersey, Michigan, New York, West Virginia, and New Mexico

•    The Elder Index has been completed in 9 states, including Illinois

•    The Elder Index and concepts of the Initiative are incorporated into policy course curriculum for graduate social work students at the University of Chicago


Check out WOW's EESI website and blog for more information on EESI at a national level.


The Elder Economic Security Initiative in Illinois will be forming a coalition of stakeholders and working to have the Illinois Elder Index used as a benchmark for service provision for older adults. Keep checking back for updates!