AP NEWS

Connections Area Agency on Aging helps seniors stay home

August 24, 2018

Home is where the heart is…and for most of us, home is our own residence in the community where we are linked to family and friends.

As we age and/or become disabled, staying “home” remains a goal for many and can be done with the needed supports for ourselves and our caregivers. Since the 1970s, Connections Area Agency on Aging has been foremost in knowing the needs and providing solutions for seniors in Siouxland.

As one of six Area Agencies on Aging in Iowa, Connections Area Agency on Aging strives to enhance the quality of life for elders in our 20-county service area through education, planning and coordination of services. This mission is provided through a variety of services offered by a knowledgeable staff in three offices in Sioux City, Council Bluffs and Creston. Fulfilling volunteer opportunities are also available.

Key Services provided include:

Information and referral – Using Iowa’s statewide LifeLong Links database, our staff can answer questions relating to aging and disabilities, with an emphasis on home and community based services to keep you in your home.

Options Counseling/Service Navigation – Often, you may not know who to ask for help to find those needed services, how to define the costs, or how to coordinate services among multiple agencies. Our Options Counselors/Service navigators can help answer those questions, assist with completing forms, and empower you to make the decisions needed to care for yourself or others. Case Managers can step in to coordinate multiple services into the home, making sure they continue to fit the evolving needs of your loved one.

Good Nutrition – Isolation is a common issue that increases fear, health declines, depression and risk for exploitation. Our Congregate Senior Meals throughout Siouxland provide healthy, delicious meals at a reasonable cost along with good friendly conversation and fun activities. Meals-on-Wheels delivered by smiling volunteers provide not only a good meal, but also a friendly daily visit to home-bound seniors.

Housing – Three senior-only apartments provide income-based one bedroom units in Sioux City with an additional complex in Onawa. These meticulously kept facilities provide monthly activities, service coordination, and much more…and certainly are a place to call home.

Medicare Assistance – whether you are considering retiring, are currently on Medicare, or are a caregiver, Connections Area Agency on Aging is a proud sponsor of SHIIP (iowa’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program). Trained volunteers are available to guide you through the complexities of Medicare, helping you to better understand your benefits, find the right fit of Medicare products, and oftentimes find savings. Welcome to Medicare seminars are presented on a regular basis.

Caregiver Assistance – Caregiving is a difficult task that should never be done alone. Linking caregivers to the resources they need or even just providing a listening ear makes the job much easier. Caregivers who have support are happier and more productive in their homes and workplaces.

Elder Abuse Awareness and Intervention – Elder Abuse takes place in every zip code of the United States, and unfortunately, here in Siouxland as well. Abuse can be financial expoitation, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, and self-neglect. Our Elder Rights Specialists take reports of alleged abuse and work together with other community agencies to protect the victims.

For more information about services, volunteer opportunities or speakers on a variety of topics, contact Connections Area Agency on Aging at 800.432.9202 or www.connectionsaaa.org.

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