Senior Task Force
The Senior Task Force, which was established at the direction of the 2014 Naperville City Council, is helping address the unique needs of Naperville’s growing senior population. As of the most recent census figures in 2018, more than 17,000 Naperville residents were over the age of 65, which accounts for almost 12 percent of the City’s population.
This group promotes coordination among existing senior service providers in the Naperville area; improves awareness among seniors of available resources to assist them; and develops recommendations to address service gaps related to transportation challenges, housing concerns and healthcare resources.
To ensure seniors’ needs are being met, the task force will also work with service providers to promote efficiencies and new partnerships that address local needs. The group will also proactively reach out to seniors for their thoughts and ideas via interviews, workshops, focus groups and surveys. Regular reports will be issued to the Mayor and City Council on the task force’s findings.
The Senior Task Force, in a continued effort to celebrate diversity, is now accepting applications for new members to fill four open seats. View the Senior Task Force application.
The Senior Task Force meets at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month in the Naperville Employee University (NEU) room on the lower level of the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St.
Position on Affordable Housing
The Naperville Senior Task Force (STF), established in 2014, is committed to increasing the supply of affordable senior housing in our community. Based on 2020 Census estimates, senior residents will account for approximately 17% of Naperville’s population. We recently updated our Position on Affordable Housing.
The STF wants to work with the City and builders to achieve affordable senior housing. We created a “Seal of Approval” criteria list to encourage discussion with all parties building or renovating properties. Our goal is that builders consider seniors wishing to age in place, therefore including design elements that achieve “lifetime homes” and meet the needs of individuals in all stages of life.
We define lifetime homes as those with a universal design: Aesthetically pleasing and usable to the greatest extent by all, regardless of their age, ability or status in life. A housing design, therefore, meant for a lifetime, rather than a first or a family home. We recommend:
- 10% of a building project’s units be set aside for seniors (age 60 and older) with incomes of less than $46,000 per year, and/or establish the criteria for spending 30% of income on rent, as defined by such entities as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the DuPage Housing Authority and the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
- Include smaller units that would appeal to people of all ages, not only seniors.
We recognize that social service agencies and others long have advocated for affordable housing for families. In both DuPage and Will counties, affordable housing collaborations exist, and the STF is committed to working with these groups by offering a senior perspective.
News and Updates
Senior Housing Options Expo
The annual Senior Housing Options Expo features more than 50 service agencies with a wealth of information to help seniors get the most out of their living experience. Resource topics include elder law, senior property tax programs, home care services, home modifications for safety and convenience and adult day services, among others. Visit this free resource fair, presented by Naperville and Lisle Townships TRIAD, from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 27 and 9 a.m. to noon Friday, April 28 at Grace Pointe Church, 1320 Chicago Ave., Naperville. For details, visit naperville-lisle-triad.org.
Upcoming Memory Cafes
Sponsored by Dementia Friendly Naperville and the Naperville Senior Task Force, Memory Cafes are a social gathering of individuals living with dementia and their care partners. These free events are a place where both caregiver and care recipient can socialize together and connect with others in similar situations.
Memory Cafes take place on the second Tuesday of each month 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the 95th St. Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Drive. Register online at www.naperville-lib.org. Walk-ins are welcome. For more information, call Lisa Kirchner at (630) 710-7502 or view the flyer below.
STF on NCTV17 Spotlight
Senior Task Force Co-chairs Rob Williams and Kathleen McGowan recently appeared on NCTV-17's "Spotlight" series, explaining the purpose and makeup of the task force, as well as successful initiatives including Dementia Friendly Naperville, Ride Assist Naperville and the Vaccination Buddy program.
Friendly Phone Call
The DuPage Senior Citizens Council has launched a new program to provide a weekly Friendly Phone Call to older adults who are dealing with social isolation and are in need of human contact. The service connects older adults with volunteers for conversation and a brief break from long and lonely days.
If you know someone who would benefit from a Friendly Phone Call, or if you would like to help a senior by volunteering with the program, please email info@DuPageSeniorCouncil.org or visit www.DuPageSeniorCouncil.org.
Dementia Friendly Naperville
Through the efforts of the Senior Task Force and a committee comprised of individuals from numerous organizations in the community, Naperville is proud to have been named a Dementia Friendly City in late 2020. This designation from Dementia Friendly America showcases Naperville as a community that "fosters the ability of people living with dementia to remain in the community and engage and thrive in day-to-day living."
Per the Dementia Friendly America website, a dementia friendly community "is a village, town, city or county that is informed, safe and respectful of individuals with the disease, their families and caregivers and provides supportive options that foster quality of life."
Learn more about the efforts of the Dementia-Friendly Naperville Action Group, which was started by members of the Senior Task Force, in this NCTV17 news story. View federal, state, and local resources meant to enhance the lives of those with dementia and their caregivers by clicking on the link below.
Dementia Friendly Resource Guide
View or download the Dementia Friendly Caregivers Resource Guide, a collection of resources to give a helping hand to caregivers and those affected by dementia.
Did You Know? Caring Hands Program
The new City of Naperville Caring Hands Program allows residents to voluntarily provide Naperville’s first responders with critical information about themselves or loved ones with developmental, cognitive, mental, medical and/or physical disabilities who may require special assistance during an emergency or non-emergency situation.