IMPACT CIL collaborates to serve seniors aging in place

Graphic of a map of the state of Illinois with each Center for Independent Living's service area highlighted by county.

Thanks to IMPACT CIL Executive Director Cathy Contarino and IMPACT CIL for helping INCIL launch the new column “Around The State” which will feature new CIL hires, consumer stories, projects, funding sources, and more. Watch for updates! 

DC: Good afternoon! Cathy, are there any activities or projects you’d like to highlight for the INCIL website today?

Illustration of a yellow measuring tape over a logo of a house.

Contarino: We have just received $20,000 from AgeSmart for residential repairs and renovations. These funds are designed for larger projects of up to $5,000 and benefit persons 60 years of age and older.

DC: This designed for “aging in place?”

Contarino: Yes, and it’s more flexible than other funds we receive. For example, some County funds only build ramps, but this money can be used for a variety of other accessibility projects, such as restroom renovations and more.

This is really exciting because it’s borne out of a collaborative aging network with other organizations who serve persons 60 years and older. –We serve persons of all ages, but this is for 60 years and older. It began as Federal dollars through the Older Americans Act.

Our goal is to provide funds for 5 large projects.

DC: Is this program still available? And where is it being offered?

Contarino: It’s only being offered for a year so far. It opened October 1, 2022, and will close September 30, 2023. It is being offered regionally. I personally know of two other CILs who could apply to receive funds. Our funds are being provided “first come, first served” to applicants who hear of the program or may see a flier posted. Unfortunately, we will have more people who need it than we have funds for. It’s a very helpful project.

DC: This sounds very promising! I hope it’s renewed for the following year. In the meantime, is there anything else you want to share today?

Contarino: One of our programs that gets a lot of use is Older Blind Services for persons 55 years of age and older. But there is an increasing need for support of younger people and we are now offering Low Vision Blind Services, Ages 18 to 54. This program provides assistive technology such as magnifiers, talking watches and clocks, and more through State funds. We applied for this program fund because there was such a need and we have been able to offer this support now for the past 5 years.

DC: This is great, Cathy! I just want to thank you so much for helping us get the ball rolling on our new column. I’m eager to hear what’s next at IMPACT CIL, and I want to extend an invitation to our other CILs to share news as well. We hope this will be an informative, enjoyable column for everyone. More soon! ~ DiAnne