As a REALTOR®️, it’s important to be familiar with the local resources for aging well, whether or not you’re a Senior Real Estate Specialist. Aging is a frequent consideration in homebuying and homeselling decisions. For some clients, the focus is on their ability to age in a specific property, while others are looking to move closer to aging relatives to allow for family caregiving, or concerned about the options for socializing and accessing local services as they get older.
Moreover, our local population is getting older, so these issues are only going to become more relevant in the future. According to AgeOptions, the local Area Agency on Aging of suburban Cook County, despite the much-discussed population declines in Cook County, our over-60 population is growing. Since 2000, the 60+ population of the Cook County suburbs has grown almost 30%. The older population has also gotten more diverse over the past few decades.
To help our members learn more about the aging resources available in Illinois, Mainstreet recently hosted a virtual event with representatives from AgeOptions and AgeGuide Northeastern Illinois, the Area Agency on Aging for DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties. The full presentation is now available on our Vimeo.
Area Agencies on Aging and the Older Americans Act
When Congress passed The Older Americans Act in 1965, it established a set of mandatory and optional programs to support adults over 60 years old, with a special focus on vulnerable populations. The Act, which was most recently reauthorized in 2020, led to the creation of Area Agencies on Aging across the country, including 13 in the state of Illinois. Every part of the country is served by one of these agencies, which provide the link between state units on aging and local service providers.
Each Area Agency on Aging is independent, with its own Board of Directors and Advisory Council. In Illinois, all Area Agencies on Aging are nonprofit or non-governmental groups except for the Chicago Department on Aging. These groups focus on advocacy, policy, planning and partnership around issues of aging, and work to support both older adults and their caregivers.
Know Local Aging Services to Help Your Clients
Many of these services specifically address the challenges that can come with aging, but Kate Spelman, Aging with Pride Specialist at AgeOptions, prefers to frame our aging population in a positive light.
“We like to look at these demographic realities as an opportunity to create livable communities that are accessible to people of all ages, all abilities, all economic levels, including young families and including younger people with disabilities,” she said.
As Mainstreet REALTORS®️, that call to keep making our communities better and better for everyone who lives here or wants to move here should resonate with you. To learn more about aging resources so you can better serve your clients, take a look at AgeOptions and AgeGuide’s websites, or go watch the entire presentation.
Learn More at the Virtual Senior Expo
This August, we will again hold our annual Senior Expo virtually. Join us to hear from experts on aging in place, property taxes and how they specifically impact older adults, mental wellness for seniors and caregivers, and more.