How Over $5 Million in Services Is Not Enough

Posted on

Nov 15, 2019

Older Adults in El Paso, Park &Teller Counties receive over $5 Million in services; it is not enough.
There is a little-known Federal act, the Older Americans Act, that was established in 1965 in response to concerns about a lack of community based social services for older persons. The vital Older Americans Act (OAA) dollars are sent to states and communities every year to provide a wide range of services that prevent unnecessary nursing home placement, promote healthy aging and help people age with independence and dignity where they want to be, in their homes and communities. In the Pikes Peak Regions El Paso, Park and Teller Counties, these funds are administered through the Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging (AAA). The OAA helps millions of older adults each year by providing in-home supportive services that assist them to bathe, get dressed or maintain a clean and safe home. It provides transportation programs to keep older adults engaged in the community. OAA supports home-delivered meals or dining at community centers. It supports the nutritional and social needs of older adults, while evidence-based community programs help people manage their chronic conditions and prevent falls. The family caregiver support that is offered through OAA helps those who are helping older adults.
At the time of this article, the OAA is being reauthorized at the Federal level. AARP has tracked the funding gap and shows that since 2000 the aging population has increased 50% with funding increasing only 1.1% annually and sadly there was a 20% cut in funding in 2010. Many organizations and individuals have advocated to replenish funding to the 2010 level and then continue increasing funding to meet the growing need for food, caregiver support, transportation and more. By the year 2030, more than one in five people in the U.S. will be age 65 or older, yet it appears the Act will just barely pass and hold to the existing, inadequate funding levels.
Older Americans make up a significant population of our country. As we all age, we want to have resources that are beneficial for us to age in place. The OAA funds distributed by the Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging provides 19 services through 18 contracted partner agencies and six services through the AAA staff. In 2019, the AAA updated its State Four Year Plan. The full Plan can be accessed on the AAA website but highlights include a focus on affordable housing, mental health, social engagement, elder abuse prevention and transportation resources. As we look forward to the year ahead and how we can better meet the needs of older adults in our region, save the date for May 1, 2020 for the Older Americans Month Kickoff Event at the Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging where we will celebrate and reframe aging. And, stay tuned for OAA news.
To learn more about the Older American Act visit the National Council on Aging or the Administration for Community Living.
Editors Note: This article was submitted by Melissa Marts, Program Development Administrator, with Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging. She may be reached at 719-471-2096, or by email at: mmarts@ppacg.org

Other Articles You May Like

Fun, Easy activities for Seniors in Colorado

Colorado, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant communities, offers a plethora of activities tailored specifically for seniors. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences and wellness programs, the state provides numerous opportunities for older adults to stay active, engaged, and healthy. This guide explores some of the best activities for seniors in Colorado, ensuring a fulfilling and enriching lifestyle.1. Outdoor AdventuresHiking and Walking TrailsColorado boasts an extensive network of hiking and walking trails suitable for seniors of all fitness levels. The Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, with its stunning red rock formations and easy walking paths, is a popular choice. Similarly, the Boulder Creek Path in Boulder offers a scenic, flat route perfect for a leisurely stroll.For more information, visit the Colorado Trails Explorer website. Bird WatchingWith diverse habitats ranging from grasslands to alpine regions, Colorado is a bird watchers paradise. Seniors can join local bird watching groups or visit hotspots like the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, which is home to over 330 species of birds.Learn more at the Colorado Birding Trail website.2. Cultural ExperiencesMuseums and Art GalleriesColorados rich cultural scene is accessible to seniors who enjoy museums and art galleries. The Denver Art Museum, with its senior-friendly programs and exhibitions, is a must-visit. Additionally, the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum offers insights into the states history with senior discounts available.For upcoming exhibits, check out the Denver Art Museum and Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum websites. Theater and Performing ArtsThe states vibrant performing arts scene includes senior-friendly venues like the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, which hosts Broadway shows, concerts, and more. The Colorado Shakespeare Festival in Boulder is another excellent option for seniors who enjoy live theater.Find more details at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and Colorado Shakespeare Festival websites.3. Wellness and Fitness ProgramsSenior Fitness ClassesMany community centers and gyms in Colorado offer fitness classes designed specifically for seniors. SilverSneakers, a popular fitness program for older adults, is available in numerous locations across the state. These classes focus on strength, flexibility, and balance, catering to various fitness levels.To find a class near you, visit SilverSneakers.com.Yoga and Tai ChiYoga and Tai Chi are excellent for seniors seeking gentle exercise that enhances flexibility, balance, and mental well-being. Studios like Yoga Pod in Boulder and Tai Chi Colorado Springs provide classes specifically tailored for older adults.Explore more at Yoga Pod Boulder and Tai Chi Colorado Springs websites.4. Social and Recreational ActivitiesSenior CentersSenior centers across Colorado offer a wide range of activities, including games, social events, and educational classes. The Fort Collins Senior Center, for instance, provides everything from art workshops to dance classes, ensuring a lively and engaging environment for seniors.Discover more at the Fort Collins Senior Center website.Volunteering OpportunitiesMany seniors find fulfillment in volunteering, and Colorado has numerous opportunities for those who wish to give back to the community. Organizations like Volunteers of America Colorado and the Denver Botanic Gardens welcome senior volunteers in various capacities.Find volunteering opportunities at Volunteers of America Colorado and Denver Botanic Gardens websites.5. Travel and ExplorationScenic Train RidesFor seniors who prefer a more relaxed way to enjoy Colorados scenery, scenic train rides offer a fantastic option. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and the Georgetown Loop Railroad provide unforgettable journeys through the states picturesque landscapes.Book your ride at Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Georgetown Loop Railroad websites. Hot SpringsColorados hot springs are perfect for seniors seeking relaxation and therapeutic benefits. Locations like Glenwood Hot Springs and Mount Princeton Hot Springs offer serene environments where seniors can unwind and rejuvenate.Plan your visit to Glenwood Hot Springs and Mount Princeton Hot Springs websites.6. Educational ProgramsLifelong LearningSeniors in Colorado have access to numerous lifelong learning opportunities. Universities like Colorado State University and the University of Colorado offer programs and courses specifically designed for older adults, covering a wide range of subjects from history to technology.Explore lifelong learning at Colorado State University and University of Colorado Boulder.LibrariesLibraries in Colorado provide more than just books; they offer various programs and workshops for seniors. The Denver Public Library, for example, hosts book clubs, technology classes, and cultural events tailored to older adults.Visit the Denver Public Library for more information.ConclusionColorados diverse array of activities ensures that seniors can find something to suit their interests and abilities. Whether its exploring the great outdoors, engaging in cultural pursuits, participating in fitness programs, or continuing education, the state offers countless opportunities for seniors to lead an active, fulfilling life. By taking advantage of these resources, older adults in Colorado can enjoy a rich and vibrant lifestyle.

What are ADLs and IADLs?

When deciding on the best senior living residence for your loved one, you may have questions regarding which type of facility is most appropriate to address their current health and desired autonomy. Your physician can hep in this determination, and most assisted living and memory care centers will perform their own assessment both to determine if their facility is equipped to help the individual and to determine a probable path for ongoing care. As time goes on, your loved one will be regularly assessed to ensure that their care plan is beneficial for their evolving needs. ADLs and IADLs are the most common measurement guidelines for the required care level.The six activities of daily living (ADLs) and the eight instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) are the standard guidelines used to assess whether senior adults can or should continue living independently, or if assistance is needed. In some cases, insurance companies may also require ADL or IADL assessment to clinically identify needs before agreeing to pay for additional care.What Are the 6 ADLs?Bathing. The individual is fully capable of bathing themselves, or may just need help with one part of the body because of injury.Dressing. The individual chooses their own clothes from a dresser or closet, get dressed, and adds appropriate outer clothing such as a sweater on cool days.Toileting. The individual goes to the bathroom without assistance, including getting on and off the toilet, taking off and putting on clothes, and cleaning themselves.Transferring. The individual can gets themselves in and out of a chair or bed on their own.Continence. The individual has complete control over urination and defecation.Feeding. The individual can feed themselves without assistance. (Food may be prepared by someone else.)Effectively Assessing ADLsIf senior adults can perform all six of these activities without any assistance or prompting, they are deemed to have full function, and can care for themselves. A score of four out of six indicates  moderate impairment and that they may need additional care, while one or two out of six indicates severe functional impairment and therefore, they need others to care for them. Many seniors lose these abilities gradually and progressively. Certain tasks may become more challenging as they ag, while others may remain their entire life.What are the 8 IADLs?Using the telephone. The individual can answer the phone, and knows how to call family and friends on their own.Shopping. The individual can purchase everything they need without assistance.Food preparation. The individuals has the capacity to plan, prepare and serve their own food.Housekeeping. The individual can perform home maintenance duties such as washing dishes or making the bed.Laundry. The individual can do their own laundry, at least in part.Mode of transportation. The individual can either drive, or understands how to arrange for their own transportation.Responsibility for own medications. The individual correctly self-administers their medication without prompting.Managing finances. The individual manages their personal finances with little (or limited) help, including paying bills and keeping track of balances.Considerations When Assessing ADLs and IADLsWhile ADLs and IADLs can be helpful in assessing autonomy, they arent a perfect tool. An individuals unique physical and cognitive abilities can change from day to day, or decline gradually over time. Because of this, ADLs and IADLs should be evaluated routinely to identify if any changes in living and care arrangements are needed.At My Care Finders, we help families to navigate the complexities of understanding all of their care options. Our knowledgeable senior care experts can help you to collect the necessary information to make an informed and appropriate decision for your loved one. Call today to learn more about our FREE services.

We are a Veteran-Owned Business Proud to Serve our Community

Veteran-owned HomeWell puts veterans first, offering exceptional in-home care that honors their service and values.As veterans, we understand the importance of protecting the well-being of others. Our service-driven approach is rooted in the values of perseverance, respect, dignity and honor as we aid families in need, support fellow veterans and help our community thrive through exceptional in-home care services. Committed to providing you with the peaceful retirement youve earned.The retirement years of those who have served should be marked by dignity, comfort and belonging. However, for veterans whose years of service are etched with valor and sacrifice, life as a citizen can prove challenging. Depending on their experiences, the transition to normalcy and everyday life can be a long-term endeavorone that continues well into their senior years.At HomeWell, weve found that the comfort of home can make all the difference for our esteemed soldiers who seek to age gracefully. For these individuals, maintaining autonomy is not just a preference; its a testament to the resilience that defines them. By bringing care directly to their doorstep, senior veterans can enjoy the familiarity of their own space while receiving the individualized care they need. Our role in veterans care:Our service-driven approach is rooted in the values of perseverance, respect, dignity and honor as we support veterans and their families, ultimately helping our community thrive through exceptional in-home care services. We thoughtfully consider the individual needs of each veteran entrusted to our care to develop a highly personalized plan that takes into account their physical, mental and emotional well-being at home.We also extend a helping hand to veterans and their families as they navigate their finances. We understand that paying out of pocket often hinders them from pursuing non-medical home care. However, if your loved one is enrolled in health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or has a monthly VA pension, they may be eligible to receive coverage for assistance with activities of daily living (ADL) at HomeWell.  If you or an aging loved one are considering Veterans Care in Plano, TX, contact the caring staff at HomeWell Care Services Plano TX  today. Call (469) 596-6500HomeWell Care Services Plano TX is a Trusted Home Care Agency serving Plano, Allen, McKinney, Frisco, Richardson, Garland, Little Elm, Prosper, and the surrounding areas.