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VOTING IN ILLINOIS Absentee Ballot Process

Absentee voting is available and no excuse is required. The last day to request an absentee ballot by mail is 5 days before the election. Voted ballots must be received by election day in order to be counted.

You do not need an excuse to vote absentee in Illinois.

You can request an absentee ballot:

  • In person – no more than 90 days but before 1 day before the election
  • By mail inside the US – no more than 90 days or less than 5 days before the election
  • By mail outside the US – no less than 30 days before the election (to receive the full ballot), or less than 30 days but no more than 10 days before the election to receive the Federal Ballot only

You can start voting the absentee ballot 40 days before the election.

Steps to request an absentee ballot:

STEP 1: Obtain the proper application for an absentee ballot, either by mail or in person, from your election authority.

STEP 2: Upon receipt, complete the application. Make certain to include your name, home address, address where you want the ballot to be mailed, and please remember to sign the application.

STEP 3: After completing the application, either mail it or hand-deliver it to your election authority. If you return the application in person or complete the application in the election authority’s office, you may immediately vote with your absentee ballot in the election authority’s office. If you mail the application and it is properly completed, the election authority will mail your absentee ballot to you.

STEP 4: After receiving your ballot, VOTE THE BALLOT IN SECRET. Insert the ballot into the envelope provided, seal it, complete and sign the certification on the back and PERSONALLY return it or mail it. The absentee voter may authorize, in writing, that a spouse, parent, child, brother, sister, or licensed motor carrier, should deliver the completed absentee ballot to the election authority in sufficient time to be delivered to the polling place on Election Day.

More information available at www.vote411.org/Illinois.

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Illinois Aging Network Alert

 August 3, 2020 

 ISSUE: Importance of Flu Vaccine – Reduce Hospitalizations 

 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu season is from October to April. As flu season approaches flu vaccine manufacturers are boosting production. The CDC has ordered 14 times the doses it typically purchases. Getting a flu shot doesn’t protect against coronavirus but even a moderately effective flu vaccine can mitigate the severe symptoms and potentially reduce hospitalizations. Fewer than half of Americans get a flu shot even though a vaccine is recommended for everyone over 6 months old. 

Older Adults can face severe complications from the flu. The human immune defense weakens as we age. Flu is much more serious for older adults and it is very important that they get a flu shot. According to the CDC, an estimated 70%-85% of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older, and between 50%-70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people in this age group. People with chronic illnesses can also face serious complications from the flu. As coronavirus cases continue to rise there is a deep concern that older adults will not venture out to get their flu shots. Not only is this a concern for the older adult, but fewer flu cases can reduce the need for hospital space that is needed to combat COVID19. 

Getting a flu shot is the responsible thing to do and can help reduce the transmission to other not just an older relative but others a person may encounter in the community. This year the flu vaccine is even more critical and can help our state get through the fall and combat the need for more hospital space. 

As a leader we ask that the state help raise awareness and assist our already struggling health departments get the message out to get a flu shot! 

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AgeSmart Develops Innovative Programming for Seniors

New pilot programs help seniors stay connected, access healthy foods, and improve health and wellness.

O’Fallon, IL – July 2020 – AgeSmart Community Resources has developed new pilot programs allowing older adults to stay connected, interact with others, learn new things and improve their health and wellness. These programs, rolling out this summer, are being piloted in St. Clair and Madison Counties.

“AgeSmart is proud to bring these pioneering programs to older adults we serve in our communities. These programs will help our seniors live more independently, keep their minds sharp, help them connect with their peers in new ways and provide healthier food choices in addition to home delivered meals. AgeSmart’s mission is to help our seniors age well their way,” said Joy Paeth, CEO of AgeSmart.

New pilot programs include:

  • Uber rides for seniors. Seniors living in the Mascoutah area can contact their Senior Center to coordinate uber rides to and from medical appointments. Call 618-566-8758 to schedule.
  • East Community Health provides community health services in the home for older adults living in the Washington Park area. This partnership between AgeSmart, Visiting Nurses of SW Illinois, SIHF, community churches, and Healthier Together provides vital healthcare services to those who are homebound.
  • The AgeSmart Learning Channel offers older adults the ability to access online classes featuring how-to tech classes. Retired teachers will provide instruction for the interactive lessons.
  • Adaptive Equipment Tutorials – AgeSmart is partnering with Adaptive Equipment Corner to provide step by step video instruction on how to use medical equipment to benefit seniors and their caregivers.
  • Geriatric counseling is now available through AgeSmart’s partnership with Chestnut Health System. 24 hour professional clinical assistance is available for seniors and their caregivers.
  • T-Care for caregivers. This assessment tool for caregivers provides a care plan on managing stress and anxiety levels.
  • Care packages of fresh produce will be distributed to 800 individuals who already are receiving home delivered meals.

To learn more about these programs, contact AgeSmart at 618-222-2561 or log onto AgeSmart.org.

AgeSmart Community Resources is the only Area Agency on Aging serving a 7 county region in Southwest Illinois that promotes healthy aging by providing resources and information needed to age well your way. Our caring, experienced, well-trained staff positively impacts the lives of our clients, caregivers and family members by sharing vital information to ease the stress and anxiety of navigating the process of aging.

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AGESMART PILOT COUNSELING PROGRAM

For the past 6 months, our state has been coping with an unprecedented virus and a circumstance where the best advice from health professionals is that our society, institutions, schools, churches and virtually every corner of our community engage in social distancing and a partial or complete stoppage of normal activity.

These issues have disproportionally impacted Older Adults and who are particularly at risk from the virus itself.  Social isolation is growing and its impact is better understood now as causing increased anxiety, depression, disorientation, loneliness and secondarily increasing risks for Older Adults who have other health issues.

AgeSmart Community Resources and Chestnut Health Systems have partnered to provide Older Adults and Caregivers of Older Adults free access to telephonic and video Counseling services.

HOW TO ACCESS SERVICES:

Access to these free services is available until October 30, 2020, WHEN YOU USE THE CODE AGESMART CARES.   Call 618-877-4420 and ask for AgeSmart Cares

Prescription services will only be offered if someone is enrolled at Chestnut Health Systems at the regular ongoing fee schedule.

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Change Your Mind, Change Your World

Suggestions on how to cope during COVID-19 from AARP.com

Planning for the future makes us more optimistic.

—Robert L. Trestman, M.D.

Rate your personal reactions to COVID-19 — and use them to inspire change

  • IF you feel panicked, plan something for the future, which increases optimism, says psychiatrist Robert L. Trestman of Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.
  • IF you get sucked into a daily spiral of bad news, then seek out and share the good that happened in your day, Elizabeth Lombardo says. Positivity is contagious.
  • IF you frantically hoard food and disinfectant wipes, then flip your thinking to an altruistic mindset, focusing on doing something for someone else, Trestman says.
  • IF you have started snapping at loved ones, then stop yourself when you reach a level 6 out of 10 on your own personal stress scale, disengage and take a breather.
  • IF you feel uncomfortable slowing down, then consider that you might come out of this with a new appreciation for the simpler pleasures of life, Froma Walsh says.
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Keep Calm and Avoid Coronavirus Scams

Scam artists are using the pandemic to target older Americans’ money. Be smart.

žThe government will never ask for your credit card number or ask for you to pay in gift cards.

žCheck out trusted charity websites before donating.

žCheck out cdc.gov for updates.

For more information visit aarp.org/scams to learn about the latest coronavirus scams.

Adapted from AARP Bulletin, May 2020

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