Illinois Aging Together Launches Campaign for Aging Plan to Support Older Persons

Illinois Aging Together is publicly launching its statewide movement for aging equity. The group is campaigning for a strategic action plan for aging, which it hopes to accomplish through state legislation.

As Illinois’s population becomes older, there is a significant and growing need––and opportunity––to create a long-term vision for aging in Illinois. Illinois’s population has been shrinking due to several factors, including people moving away, limited numbers of new immigrants, and birthrates at all-time lows. While some Illinoisans have the potential to live well into their nineties and beyond, across the state many people’s lives are cut short due to lifetimes of unjust living conditions. Also, across the state, many have trouble affording the services and supports they need as they age, especially with the common pattern of poverty increasing as age increases.

The plan proposed by Illinois Aging Together, which is organized by Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, will seek to address these and other issues related to aging by advancing legislation that requires the development of a strategic action plan by an appointed diverse and inclusive public planning commission. The planning will include all state agencies developing their agenda for supporting, engaging, and serving older persons, their families, and caregivers.

Margie Schaps, Executive Director of Health & Medicine said, “Health & Medicine’s commitment to aging with dignity spans decades. We believe now is the right moment in Illinois to develop a forward-looking comprehensive plan, focused on equity across services and systems, that will support all to age in ways that allow them to thrive.”

Illinois needs new solutions. The state needs ample services and supports for older persons, their families, and caregivers in all communities across the state. Illinois also needs to invest in equitable social determinants of health across the life course, since experiences throughout life shape how people age and their quality of life in older adulthood.

The campaign’s website,, also launches today: interested individuals and organizations can learn more, sign on their support, and become involved with the campaign.

Health & Medicine Board member, Michael Gelder, sums it up, “As we all age, and as evidence spotlights the rapidly increasing numbers and percentage of older adults in our communities, we know that it is urgent to prepare for the social, economic, and cultural ramifications of this unique demographic upheaval. Health & Medicine wants to motivate and support interdisciplinary planning and ensure the changes ahead are rooted in a commitment to equity.”