City of Chicago Receives One Million Dollar Grant to Support Seniors

September 13, 2019

Chicago Department of Family and Support Services will develop a training program to support those with Alzheimer’s

At the City of Chicago’s annual Senior Fest today, the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) announced a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration on Aging for the Alzheimer's Disease Program Initiative. With this grant, DFSS will develop an Alzheimer’s training program for high-rise building managers, staff and caregivers to learn how best to support seniors aging in their homes.

“Many seniors want to remain in their homes, and the City is dedicated to creating programming to best support them,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “We are grateful for the work our seniors did to help build Chicago into such a great city, and we will continue to take care of them as they age.”


In partnership with Age-Friendly Chicago, Northwestern University, Dementia Friendly Illinois through the Illinois Cognitive Resources Network (ICRN), the University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Family Medicine (UIC DFM), and Lieberman Management, a member of the Apartment Building Owners Management Association (ABOMA) of Chicago, DFSS will create a program that equips property managers and staff with the proper skills to identify Alzheimer’s and dementia and help them better serve those residents who may be suffering. 


"The Apartment Building Owners and Managers Association (ABOMA) is committed to working with the City of Chicago, through the HHS Grant, to train our building managers and staff to be able to assist residents and direct them to additional support,” said Sheila Byrne, president of ABOMA. “We know our building managers and staff want to help, this will give them the resources to know how to help.”


With this grant, DFSS will also establish a Chicago-area Savvy Caregiver Training program for family caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias and those who are Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled. This national program provides train-the-trainer opportunities for staff at senior centers, senior housing facilities, and community and faith-based organizations to learn the best ways to educate new caregivers. More information on caregiver services can be found at


“I know how difficult it can be to be a caregiver for someone you love,” said DFSS Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler. “Having evidence-based trainers available to caregivers will be yet another resource DFSS can offer to caregivers.”


At today’s Senior Fest, the City of Chicago celebrated seniors and offered the nearly 8,000 seniors who were in attendance an opportunity to socialize and take advantage of resources available to them. Today’s Senior Fest at Millennium Park included a health fair with free flu shots, dancing, bingo, an art exhibit and a big band stage show, with performances by Chicago’s talented seniors.


Chicago is in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities. As a part of the WHO network, Chicago joins a growing number of cities and communities worldwide who are striving to better meet the needs of residents of all ages by creating inclusive and accessible urban environments. 


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