Indiana’s Older Adults are Depressed, Lonely and Struggle with Boredom, CASOA Survey Finds

The depression looms. The loneliness sets in. Then comes the boredom. Older adults in the Indianapolis area are battling each and every day to fight mental health issues, stay active and feel connected. And, it is abundantly clear, Central Indiana communities and agencies should be doing more to support those seniors, according to the 2017 Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults (CASOA).

The study of people age 60 and older in Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan and Shelby counties found seniors want to be more involved in their communities, but need help finding the appropriate resources.

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Dealing with the Unexpected

Many of the people served by CICOA through our home and community-based services are children and their families. Services provided through the Medicaid Waiver or Indiana’s CHOICE program help provide the opportunity for children to receive care in the home, outside of an institutional setting. These programs help support parents and families in their efforts to raise their children with special needs. These clients and their families deal with the unexpected every day. They adapt and adjust. They find a way to make things work.

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Three Needs of Special Needs Caregivers

Just as every child, regardless of physical and intellectual ability, is exquisitely unique (and thus there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to services for a child’s enrichment), there also is no “one size fits all” for the caregiver of a child with special needs.  Even so, we can recognize some common threads (aka needs) among caregivers.

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How to Make Healthy Food Fun for Kids

Ah, the challenges of raising a picky-eater. You know the type. They won’t eat anything green. They don’t want to try new things. They only want chicken nuggets. Pizza can only have cheese, and it has to the right kind of cheese. It’s a challenge to figure out ways to get kids to try and then like healthier options. Too often, after a long day, it sometimes seems easier to just give in to their demands.

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Atypical Diagnosis, Atypical Strength

People don’t know how strong they are until they have to be.

“I’ve been lifting her every day since she was born, so I’ve been growing with her. She’s not heavy to me,” Sherry said.

Sherry is speaking about her 10-year-old daughter, Robyn, who is three feet tall and weighs 45 pounds. When Sherry first lifted her, Robyn weighed only two pounds, 10 ounces. Sherry had gone to the doctor for a routine ultrasound that day, when she learned that she was in labor.

“She was a surprise—two and a half months early. I was planning on going shopping after the doctor’s appointment,” Sherry recalls.

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CICOA Seeks Inspiring Caregiving Stories

CICOA is looking for inspiring caregiver stories for its 2018 Caregiver of the Year Contest. The contest, created in 2011, honors one personal caregiver in Central Indiana who models courage, sacrifice, strength and creativity while caring for another. This year, however, CICOA is making a change to the contest rules to better align the contest with its purpose.

Instead of asking the public to nominate a caregiver as in the past, this year we are asking caregivers to share stories from their own caregiving journey. Anyone in Central Indiana who was an unpaid caregiver for a family member or friend is eligible.

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