CICOA is a private, not-for-profit agency that helps seniors and people of any age with a disability remain comfortably and safely at home and out of institutional care. We do this by providing information, advocacy and support services for older adults, people with disabilities, and their caregivers. As one of 700 Area Agencies on Aging nationwide, CICOA is not a government agency, but oversees state and federal funds and private donations to provide:
CICOA serves Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan and Shelby Counties in Central Indiana.
In 2008, Stacie was pregnant with twin girls when she went into premature labor at 20 weeks. One of the twins was born and didn’t survive. Four weeks later, the second twin, Sydni, was born without a pulse but was resuscitated. Sydni spent her first nine months in the hospital, fighting literally for life and breath. Read more.
"Can I call you Mom?” Keith, 51, asked his cousin Tracy, 47. Normally, Keith calls her by her name. But when he is feeling low, he asks for the reassurance that comes with the name “Mom.” Read more.
At 103, Dorothy still gets around, which is not always a good thing. A year ago she was residing in an assisted living facility when she wandered outside and got lost. Read more.
“I wish you could have known my mom. She was so vibrant at one time,” said Sondra. “She loved to dress in suits and hats. I never saw her in pants until she had her stroke.”
Sondra is the daughter of Corrine, 80, who was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1997, around the same time that she suffered a stroke. Read more.
Four-year-old Haydin suffered from spinal meningitis at birth, causing permanent brain damage. He also has a seizure disorder and a mitochondrial disorder. He is the center of attention at the home he shares with his great grandparents and grandmother. Read more.
Mary was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1978 and has suffered with high blood pressure, problems with her gall bladder and cataracts. A home health aide provided through CICOA helps her with light housekeeping and personal care, but Mary prides herself on doing everything else. Read more.
Five-year-old Faith has an unknown genetic syndrome. She is autistic, has a neurogenic bowel and bladder, hypotonia (low muscle tone), mild scoliosis, a gastro motility dysfunction and a cleft lip and palate. Doctors believe she may also have a mitochondrial disorder. Read more.
In 1943, Marian was working in the original L.S. Ayres Tea Room when she met an Army recruiter having lunch. As a result, Marian decided to enlist in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). She served in military intelligence, first at the Pentagon and then in New Jersey, intercepting German radio transmissions. If Marian hadn’t heard one set of signals from a German U-boat in New York Harbor, the course of World War II may have included an East Coast raid. Read more.
Robert remembers carrying the Olympic torch in 1996 on a 19-mile stretch in Louisville, Ky. He remembers visiting the White House to receive an award in a national veteran’s art competition. What he can’t remember is that he has to take his medicine every day. Read more.
Beverly and James have been married for 36 years and have a home filled with love and laughter. Beverly was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1989, but faith, a positive attitude and love for one another has sustained the couple. Read more.
Lee, age 90, met his future wife Pearl at the Indiana State Fair. “I was a freshman and she was a senior,” he recalls. “I thought she was just being nice, but a few days later she sent me a note asking why I wasn’t talking to her anymore.” Read more.
Jesse is a talker, and at age 83 he has plenty of stories to share. He is a decorated veteran. He fought at Iwo Jima and earned five combat medals and two bronze stars during his military service. He recounted his military experiences in a book called China Marine and often is invited to Veterans Day events. Read more.
For more information about CICOA's ongoing support for family caregivers or CareAware workshops, call our Aging & Disability Resource Center at (317) 254-3660 or (800) 432-2422 or visit our CareAware section of this web site.
Are you someone who is:
You are not alone! Nearly one-third of the adults in this country are currently providing care, assistance and support for a loved one.
Caregiving is a familiar part of life for so many and can be richly rewarding. However, it usually also presents great challenges for the caregiver and can be extremely stressful, sometimes overwhelming, even in the best of circumstances. Easy access to information, organization, and support is essential in any caregiving role, and CICOA is here to help meet that need. CICOA's caregiver support service, CareAware, can help you get organized by providing critical information on a wealth of topics that you need to know about—or we can direct you to the right place for what you need.
Advocate, broker, negotiator, manager, educator, analyst, problem-solver: In a typical day, CICOA Care Manager Susan Wirthwein, MSW, LSW, fills each of these roles.
“I came to my career as a social worker later in life after having a personal experience with the healthcare system,” Susan says. “I saw that people need information and advocacy. Now I do what it takes to help others navigate through that complex system. ”
“What it takes” begins with a compassionate heart and excellent organizational skills. On this particular day, Susan applies both to her morning paperwork and calls before setting out for an afternoon of client visits. Read more.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a donor to CICOA. My wife, Patricia, and I also are donors. Some 43 years ago, I landed at JFK Airport after crossing the Atlantic to my new home and country—the United States. From there, I flew to Indianapolis, and Indiana has been my home ever since. I praise God for all the opportunities and blessing he has bestowed on me including a beautiful wife, three daughters, a M.S. degree from Butler, a Ph.D. from Purdue, and a wonderful career at Lilly for more than 35 years.
All my life I wanted to honor my parents and my wife's parents in their old age. Pat and I were blessed to honor my parents who passed away in 1978 and 1984. Currently--and with help from CICOA--we are honoring Pat’s parents who are victims of Alzheimer’s disease.
Please allow me to share with you that we are called to help each other. We are called to tithe and to give alms. It is my humble opinion and judgment that generously donating to CICOA is a blessing. Read more.
CICOA is always looking for opportunities to celebrate the lives of our older clients. Starting this year, we will be recognizing our clients who turn 100 years old by giving them a handmade lap quilt lovingly created by the Charity Chatters, a local quilting group.
Judy Oakley, CICOA volunteer coordinator, said, “CICOA was looking for a way to honor our clients who have reached this special milestone. The quilters were ready and willing to help.”
Dallas Reed, nationally known fiber artist, teacher and quilter, leads the group of about 12 quilters. Reed said the group was named the Charity Chatters because they enjoy “gabbing” as they quilt at their Tuesday evening meetings at the Indianapolis Senior Center. The volunteers range in age from 60 to 80 years old and produce the quilts in an assembly-line fashion, with individuals taking on various parts of the project. Two team members lay out the batting; another sews the quilt, while others provide the finishing stitches. Read more.
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