Empowering people to thrive as they age.

Advocacy

The focus of our advocacy is to educate older persons, their families, caregivers and elected officials about the needs of older adults, many of whom may no longer be able to speak for themselves.

We advocate for comprehensive systems of home and community-based supports to enable older persons to live with dignity. We also work to educate public officials and others about the issues and concerns of older persons, as well as the economic benefits of community responses to the challenges and opportunities of an aging society.

Area Agencies on Aging are mandated by the Older Americans Act to advocate for the older people in their planning and service areas. According to the Act, AgeOptions and all area agencies must:

  • Represent the interests of older persons to local level and executive branch officials, public and private agencies and organizations.
  • Monitor, evaluate and, where appropriate, comment on all policies, programs, hearings, levies and community actions which affect older persons.
  • Undertake a leadership role in assisting communities throughout the planning and service area to target resources from all appropriate sources to meet the needs of older persons with greatest economic or social need, with particular attention to low income minority individuals.

Our advocacy for older adults includes these grassroots efforts:

  • Letters to the editor and media campaigns
  • Minority outreach and coalition building among stakeholders
  • Public testimony
  • Presentations at community forums and events

What can you do?

You can be an advocate for older adults and the programs and services that improve their quality of life and maintain their dignity.

AgeOptions can help you learn about issues affecting older adults, including tools to assist you in communicating with elected officials.

Here are some things you can do, whether you are new to advocacy or have a lot of experience:

  • Learn more about advocacy
    This page on the website of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) provides advocacy alerts, updates on issues and other information.
  • Learn how to advocate to your legislators
    Click on the Legislative Information on the left side of this page for advocacy guidelines and tools and tips for contacting your legislators.
  • Join the AgeOptions Advocacy Task Force
    The goal of the Task Force is to strategize to improve benefits, services and programs for older persons. It meets regularly, usually via conference call, to educate its participants and members of the AgeOptions Advisory Council, Board of Directors and Senior Service Network about issues at all levels of government affecting older adults.

For information about the Task Force and meetings, call (708)383-0258, or check the Events Calendar: January 2021.

How to Contact Your Elected Officials

Federal
Click here for Senate contact information.

Click here to contact your representatives.

President

Click here to contact the White House.

Illinois
Click here to contact Illinois state senators.
Click here to contact Illinois state representatives.

Cook County
Click here to go to the Cook County page with links to the web pages of members of the Board of Commissioners.

Tips on Communicating with Legislators

This document contains practical information and tips on advocating to your legislators.
Effective Advocacy

This document from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) provides detailed information on advocacy, how to be an effective advocate and contacting your elected officials.
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging advocacy tips.