This Year's Project: Assuring Services for Older Iowans during the Pandemic
About Our Organization
Connections is one of six Area Agencies on Aging in Iowa working to keep older Iowans independent, healthy, and thriving in the environment of their choice. Connections Area Agency on Aging is your one stop shop for aging in place in Iowa. We enhance the quality of life for elders through education, planning, and coordination of services. Connections Area Agency on Aging provides services and supports to older Iowans and their caregivers in the following Iowa counties: Adair, Adams, Cass, Cherokee, Clarke, Decatur, Fremont, Harrison, Ida, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, Page, Plymouth, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Shelby, Taylor, Union, and Woodbury. Services we provide include: information and assistance, service navigation, meal programs, caregiver support, respite services, consumer protection, evidence-based health programs, advocacy, senior transporation, Older Worker Program, and recreation and educational programs.
Current Project: Assuring Services for Older Iowans during the Pandemic
Since the beginning of the pandemic in Iowa Connections Area Agency on Aging has worked to assure that our consumers have the support and services that they need to be successful, healthy and well during this time of social distancing. We have taken 3011 calls providing information and assistance to Older Iowans and their caregivers.
With the closure of the meal sites, we began providing frozen and shelf stable meals for all our meal site attendees and home delivered meals consumers. In the beginning of April we worked with our meal provider, Trio Foods, and were able to offer care packs to everyone receiving our meals. Since early April, we have provided over 100,000 frozen and shelf stable meals and 1,364 care packs to seniors who are homebound and/or may be social isolating. Not only are we providing meals and essential items, we are conducting monthly check in calls for everyone receiving a meal.
We are truly thankful for the generosity of our supporters and communities we serve. We are still in need of additional assistance, to assure that we can continue offering expanded services to Older Iowans throughout Siouxland and our entire service area. Your generous donation of any amount helps your family members, friends and neighbors remain in their homes and age on their own terms.
Family Caregiving Project
The proceeds from the Siouxland Big Give 2019 will benefit our Family Caregiver Programs. The Family Caregiver Program works to provide family caregivers with the resources they need to enhance and extend their ability to care for a loved one.
In Siouxland and within the 20 counties we serve, our caregiver specialist and service navigators work with caregivers one-on-one and within support groups. We are pleased to announce that a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren support group is offered in Sioux City, meeting twice a month. The group has speakers on specific topics and time for discussion. Child Care and an evening meal is provided. On-line support groups for Caregivers are also available on our facebook page.
Seventy-seven percent of caregivers report that services definitely enabled them to provide care longer than otherwise would have been possible; 89% of caregivers report that services help them to be a better caregiver; and nearly half of the caregivers of nursing home-eligible care recipients indicate that the care recipient would be unable to remain at home without the support services. Across the United States, almost 7.8 million children are living in homes where grandparents or other relatives are householders, with more than 5.8 million children living in grandparents' homes and nearly 2 million children living in other relatives' homes. In 2016 in the state of Iowa, 16,681 children under 18 were being cared for by a grandparent. Connections AAA assists Family Caregivers through • respite services which provide temporary relief for families caring for adults aged 60 and older. Respite care can range from a few hours of care provided on a one-time basis to overnight or extended care sessions. Respite care can be utilized on a regular or irregular basis and must be provided by skilled care providers or professionals; • individual counseling; • support groups; and • assistance (including financial assistance) in the areas of health, nutrition, financial literacy, and in making decisions and solving problems related to their role as a primary caregiver.
Family Caregiver Programming