LIMA — For years, the Area Agency on Aging 3 has assisted senior citizens in the Greater Lima Region with various programs, education, health advice, government assistance and transportation.
The agency has various programs offered to individuals, such as the Retired Senior Volunteer Program that has volunteer opportunities with the West Ohio Food Bank, Red Cross, Pillow case program, Lima Ombudsman.
Teleservice is another program, where the agency calls senior citizens who live alone or do not have contact with the outside world for the purpose of relationship-building and preventing senior citizen isolation, said Miranda Ridenour, RSVP program director.
There are also health education classes, such as chronic diseases self management, in which the agency is looking to train new leaders to educate individuals in the community.
“These programs tie a lot of senior citizens together,” Ridenour said. “As the baby boomers are getting older, there are a lot of them who want to give back and don’t want to just sit at home and not do anything. So having these community opportunities helps them do things that they love.”
As far as health education goes, the agency offers six- to eight-week programs to the retiree community focusing on falling prevention, chronic diseases, chronic pain and diabetes.
The chronic diseases, chronic pain, and diabetes programs were developed at Stanford University, and the fall and balance courses were developed at Boston University.
“This is one of the proactive ways that they can take control of their situation,” Ridenour said. “Many of them have been diagnosed with chronic diseases or have suffered a fall, and they want to make sure that they have the tools available to keep them living independently and with integrity.”
What makes the agency unique is it has a multi-generational approach, Ridenour said. The agency emphasizes the importance of the family having a role in making sure that their loved one is healthy too.
AAA3 is also looking at caregiver programs which all evidence based programs. This means that the programs are effective around the country.
The mobility management program helps senior citizens navigate and manage their transportation options.
Through the Find-A-Ride program, disabled individuals under or over 60 are eligible to receive free transportation services through contracted transportation providers in a seven-county region.
Individuals can use these services if they need to go out of town for medical appointment.
“It could be so overwhelming trying to navigate the different transportation options in the community, especially as people began to age and may choose not to drive,” said Beca Sheidler, mobility manager. “We don’t want individuals to become isolated because it can impact their physical and mental health. Its important that people continue to get to medical appointments, but also enjoy meaningful activities in their community.”
Through Medicaid, the agency offers the Passport program, which allows individuals 60 years old to live in their homes as opposed to a nursing home.
This program offers home making, nursing care, personal care, emergency response button and medical equipment, and it provides individuals with a case manager to help them with those services and their safety.
Through Medicaid, the agency also offers assisted living waivers for ages 21 and up, and they can get the same services but at a assisted living facility. The waivers help supplement a person’s income to be able to stay at a facility that they otherwise could not afford.
Those who do not have Medicaid can call the agency and can talk to a specialist, who will do an evaluation and help individuals of all ages and disabilities with various programs and services.
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews