Older Adult Services

By Becky Salazar
Executive Director

group meetingThe services and programs needed for older adults is important as the people in our local communities are growing older each day. The needs of older adults are also changing as “new” people assume the older adult role. This new group comes from different experiences than its earlier counterparts and requires new programs and services to meet needs. Add the complexities of a pandemic and fast-changing technology and the needs of older adults in a more rural community increase. Traditional services and programs may not be enough to provide what a community needs for its older population.

Egyptian Area Agency on Aging is grateful for having the task of finding what the needs are of older adults and funding the appropriate services and programs to meet these needs. Our agency is in the process of developing a 3-year Area Plan that will commit funding to several areas to address local needs. Our agency held focus groups, conducted surveys online and in traditional paper form, and had live social media events to discern information on what the community believes is needed for older adults. We have three Public Hearings scheduled in May to provide information on what is planned for our area. We will be wanting feedback and reactions from the community on what is being proposed.

Our traditional programs that are essential and plan to be continued are home-delivered meals, congregate meals, information, assistance, outreach, senior center health promotion groups, with the addition of Matter of Balance, a fall prevention program, home modifications, and transportation. Our caregiver services appear to be needed and include respite, case-management, information, assistance, outreach, Savvy Caregiver groups, and gap services. These services can be found at your local senior centers. There is a senior center in each county knowledgeable of the services and resources for older adults. Our website has a resource guide with this information.

In the future, we plan to put more emphasis in addressing social isolation. Many older adults have identified themselves or others as lonely and needing more contact. We plan to continue utilizing friendly calls, letter and card writing, as well as friendly visits when it is safe to do so. We also plan to coordinate with community colleges to provide classes for older adults at senior centers on how to use technology, as this was a consistent need that was mentioned in surveys and focus groups. Lastly, we will continue our Dementia Friendly Community efforts to go beyond Carterville and into other areas of Southern Illinois, so that persons with dementia and their caregivers feel supported by their community.

Egyptian Area Agency on Aging welcomes your feedback and/or presence at one of our scheduled Public Hearings. You may also call our office and get a copy of our Area Plan Summary.

The locations are as follows:

If you are unable to make one of these Public Hearings, feel free to email me at becky.salazar@egyptianaaa.org or call our office at 1-888-895-3306, ext. 101.

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