Empowering Independence: How We Help Older Adults and People with Disabilities Thrive

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Every year, the 4th of July reminds us of the precious gift of freedom. But what does independence truly mean, especially as we age or face physical limitations? At CICOA, we believe that independence isn’t just about physical autonomy; it’s about living life on your own terms, with dignity and purpose. That’s why we offer a range of home and community-based services that empower older adults and people with disabilities to maintain their independence and remain active members of our community.

Inspiring Stories of Regaining Independence for Seniors in Indianapolis

Safe at Home Making Homes Safer for Indianapolis Seniors

Take the story of Bonnie, a lifelong Hoosier who lives independently in a small home in the Irvington area. A stroke a few years ago left her with limited mobility. Volunteers at our annual Safe at Home Event installed a wheelchair ramp with help from Servants at Work (SAWs), and now Bonnie can safely get in and out of her home.

Lana and Mike

Mike, a dedicated caregiver for his wife Lana who has Alzheimer’s, found himself overwhelmed by the daily demands of her care. He was watching the love of his life struggle, and his own health was suffering. After finding CICOA, Lana was paired with a dedicated care manager who worked with the couple to develop a personalized plan. They got a few accessibility modifications and equipment, as well as home-delivered meals. This support system empowered Mike to continue providing compassionate care for Lana at home.

Home and Community-Based Services for Aging Adults & People with Disabilities in Central Indiana

These are just two examples of how seemingly simple services can have a transformative impact on lives. At CICOA, we offer a range of programs designed to meet the diverse needs of our clients:

  • Person-centered care management: We work closely with individuals and their families to create customized care plans that reflect their specific needs and goals. Our care managers are dedicated to ensuring individuals receive the right support to live as independently as possible.
  • Caregiver support: We understand the challenges faced by family caregivers. We provide one-on-one coaching, emotional support, and help finding support groups and respite care. Our programs empower caregivers to provide effective care for their loved ones while also managing their own wellbeing.
  • Aging & Disability Resource Center: Navigating the complex world of healthcare and social services can be overwhelming. Our options counselors connect individuals with appropriate resources, assess needs and eligibility, and help families navigate services to maintain independence.
  • Home accessibility modifications: Minor home modifications can often eliminate major obstacles for older adults and people with disabilities. Grab bars, handrails, carpet repairs and brighter lighting can help ensure a safe and comfortable living environment.
  • Meal programs: Access to healthy food is crucial for maintaining well-being. CICOA’s Meals & More service promotes independence and healthy eating habits with options for home-delivered meals, congregate meals, boxes of fresh produce, and even pet food.
  • Social connection programs: Loneliness can be a major challenge for older adults. Our social connection programs provide opportunities to engage with others through volunteer opportunities and pen-pal postcard exchanges.

Advocating for Continued Funding for Senior Independence Programs

For 50 years, area agencies on aging (AAAs) have served as the local leaders on aging by planning, developing, funding and implementing local systems of coordinated home and community-based services that enable older adults to age well at home and in the community.

USAging Policy Priorities 2024

The vital programs provided by CICOA and 700 other area agencies around the country are the cornerstone of a support system that allows individuals to age with dignity and live fulfilling lives in their communities. However, continued funding for these services is crucial to ensure their long-term availability as we prepare for a rapidly growing older population.

This is where you come in!

Here are some ways you can play a vital role in advocating for continued funding for home and community-based services:

Together, we can ensure that everyone, regardless of age or ability, has the support they need to live a life of independence, dignity and purpose. Remember, by celebrating the independence of others, we strengthen the spirit of freedom for the entire community.

Let’s work together to build a future where independence is a reality, not just a dream.

CICOA President and CEO Tauhric Brown
Tauhric Brown

As President and CEO, Tauhric Brown uses his strategic vision and experience in the elderly and disability service industry to expand CICOA services and collaborative partnerships to better meet the needs of the vulnerable populations we serve. Before joining CICOA, Brown served as the chief operating officer for Senior Services, Inc. in Kalamazoo, Mich. His career started in the U.S. Army, and then he became a successful owner/operator for a multi-carrier wireless retail company. Inspired by his family and upbringing, he made the switch to the nonprofit world to fulfill his dream of improving the lives of others.

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