AREA AGENCY ON AGING
Area Agency on Aging Highlights FY 20
The Area Agency on Aging served 16,515 unduplicated older adults and caregivers in FY20
Nutrition Program: SARPC funded 27 senior nutrition centers in FY 20, but two centers closed during the pandemic, Providence Senior Center and Little River. Of the 25 centers operating, 19 offer hot meals through pick up or home delivery, the other 6 provide frozen meals (City of Mobile’s 4 centers, Dumas Wesley and Summerdale). While continuing to provide meals, senior centers remain closed to the public with the exception of outdoor activities, such as drive up events, due to the Governor’s Safer At Home order.
In FY 20, the Area Agency on Aging was able to significantly expand our home delivered meal program for seniors due to Cares Act funding, especially our frozen food home delivered meal program. We increased those served daily with hot meals from senior centers by 129 persons and increased those receiving home delivered frozen meals from 455 to over 900. In FY 20 a total of 597,655 meals were provided to 3,966 persons, of which about 40% attended senior centers and 60% were home delivered, at a cost of $2,375,000. Additionally, in June SARPC partnered with our food vendor, GA Foods, and Prodisee Pantry and the Pantry at Central to provide 5,620 persons with 118,020 pounds of meat, cheese, milk, fresh vegetables and fruit.
Aging and Disability Resource Center: The ADRC served 5,168 unduplicated clients in the region, an increase of 17.2% from the prior year. The ADRC assisted 8,741 callers, an increase of 24.6% from the prior year.
Hurricane Sally Disaster Assistance: The Area Agency on Aging received awards from AmeriCares and AARP to provide PPE to staff and volunteer, and liquid soap and hygiene kits to all of our nutrition center participants and Medicaid Waiver clients. Funds were also awarded to provide disaster assistance and we have assisted 50 persons to date in Baldwin and Mobile counties. Area Agency on Aging staff also participates in the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) teams operating locally to assist with long term recovery.
Alabama Cares Program: SARPC provided 199 caregivers with respite services in FY 20 and 11 with supplemental services costing $179,189. Caregiver education and counseling was provided to 668 caregivers of the elderly/disabled and 130 grandparents raising grandchildren. The Caregiver Program offered on-line and teletown hall events beginning in April due to the pandemic, and now provides the Trualta caregiver support and education program on-line to all cargivers in our regions. Both Caregiver Colleges and Grandparents Raising Grandchildren workshops were held in the region October 2019 to March 2020
SenioRx prescription assistance program: In FY 20 1,433 older adults and adults with disabilities were assisted with 14,548 prescriptions, or an average of 10.15 prescriptions per person, to receive free medications that had a retail value of $7,600,719.
State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) Performance FY 2020:
- SHIP provided one-on-one individualized Medicare counseling to 7,692 beneficiaries/caregivers.
- SHIP enrolled 975 persons in Medicare Extra Help saving over people $3,245,544 million in prescription drug costs and Medicare premiums and copayments.
Medicaid Waiver Program: In FY 19 SARPC served 824 waiver clients through E&D and ACT waivers, with an average of 675 active clients per month. We began FY 20 with 788 active clients, and as of January 1, 2021 had 830 active clients—a net increase of 155 active clients per month since FY 19. SARPC has the 2nd highest growth of its program, and has added 4 new case managers due to this growth. SARPC also has a large personal choices program, allowing 410 of our Medicaid Waiver clients to hire their own worker. Program revenue for FY 20 was $7,859,647.85. Additionally $5,151,567.33 was paid directly by the fiscal intermediary for salaries and supplies for workers hired directly by the Medicaid Waiver clients, for a total of $13,011,215.18 in services provided in FY 20.
South Alabama RSVP: In FY 20 SARPC’s program had 272 volunteers who provided service to 56 Volunteer Stations, an increase in volunteers of 6.25% from FY 19. Our Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program volunteers completed tax returns for 657 taxpayers in Baldwin and Escambia County at sites in Atmore, Brewton, Daphne, Flomaton, Poarch Creek, Bay Minette and Spanish Fort, an increase from 405 the prior year despite the pandemic. The refunds generated by TCE volunteer tax preparers totaled $646,700, up from 401,910 in FY 19. The last part of tax season was done through tax drop off sites with limited face to face contact, with tax counseling done by phone and taxes completed remotely. This model will be followed in 2021 as long as senior centers remained closed to the public. SARPC’s TCE program is taking over all the AARP tax sites this year, adding sites in Fairhope, Robertsdale and Orange Beach.
RSVP has been very active during the pandemic in helping serve meals and distribute hygiene kits, liquid soap and meals after the hurricanes, sewing face masks, sending out friendship cards to nursing home residents and helping get out food at local pantries and home delivered meal programs.
Volunteer Guardian Program (VGP): We served 104 incapacitated adults with 70 volunteer guardians in FY 20. The Area Agency on Aging has operated the program for five years, working to achieve financial stability for this program, which is the only such program in Alabama and is only offered in Mobile County. The AAA has been successful in generating approximately $60,000 in stable funding for this program, allowing us to provide the opportunity for a local non-profit to operate the program. In FY 21, the program responsibilities were transferred to Senior Citizens Services in Mobile, which operates the VIA! Center.
Benefit Enrollment Center and SNAP grants: For FY20, SARPC screened and found 2072 persons eligible for public benefits and provided assistance with applications for $15,324,650 in benefits, including $326, 500 in food assistance through SNAP TO 275 older adults in our region. SARPC also contracts with each AAA in Alabama to provide this service in their region, funded by national and state grants we have been awarded. Statewide 9,706 seniors have been assisted to obtain $52,848,104 in benefits.
Long Term Ombudsman Program: The Ombudsman staff made regular visits to approximately 70 nursing homes and assisted living facilities to advocate for residents rights, provide education, investigate and help resolve complaints, and assist with transitions to the community. This year we have provided robotic pets to address social isolation, activity sheets, greeting cards and friendly notes, and our Ombudsman is making outside visits and very limited facility visitation in urgent matters.
COVID-19 Programmatic Adjustments: The Area Agency on Aging is now offering the GetSetUp program in our region for older adults to participate in small zoom classes, with about 170 options, to learn, have fun, and connect socially since our senior centers are closed and people are spending so much time at home and are more socially isolated. Likewise we are offering the Trualta on-line caregiver program that provides many options for on-line learning and support for caregivers of the elderly and disabled and grandparents caring for grandchildren. We are providing the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program through home study toolkits and small group phone calls. We are addressing social isolation through friendly phone calls, sending cards to seniors in facilities, making robotic pets available to persons with dementia, and having fun drive-through events at senior centers. We have been successfully providing services to older adults through phone calls, FaceTime, email, zoom and teletown halls, etc.