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HVAA on Aging offers

Older Iowans Choices on Staying Independent

February 12, 2009
Reinbeck Courier

The population of Iowa is aging. According to the Department of Elder Affairs there are currently 554,573 Iowans aged 60 and over, making up nearly one-fifth of the state's population. In Grundy County 24.8 percent of the population is aged 60 and over. And with the Boomers continuing to age, this number is expected to increase sharply over the next 20 years. Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging is ready to meet the needs of this aging population by giving them choices to remain independent, staying in their homes, and contributing to their communities.

Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging has been providing services to the elderly and their caregivers in Grundy County for over 30 years. Receiving adequate nutrition is an important factor in remaining healthy. Hawkeye Valley provides a noon meal Monday through Friday at the Grundy Center Senior Center. For those who are homebound and are not able to come to the Senior Center, Hawkeye Valley provides home delivered meals to areas throughout Grundy County.

"We have seen an increase in the number of meals we have been serving in Grundy County and throughout our ten county service area," stated Sally Myers, Associate Director of Program Services for Hawkeye Valley. "Over all we have seen a nine percent increase in congregate meals at our Senior Centers and an eight percent increase in our home delivered meals."

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If given a choice, almost everyone would say they prefer to stay in their home as they age. Case management services through Hawkeye Valley gives people that choice. Case managers meet with the older adults and their caregivers to evaluate and coordinate the needed services to allow them to stay in their home as long as possible.

"If it weren't for the services we provide, most of our clients would have no choice but to go to a nursing home facility," stated Patty Esch, Associated Director of Case Management for

Hawkeye Valley. "By providing this service, our clients are able to keep their independence and age in their home where they truly want to be and we are able to save Medicaid dollars through providing a lower cost alternative."

Fact Box

Currently there are 554,573 Iowans aged 60 and older.

In Grundy County 24.8% of population is 60 or older.

Along with providing many valuable services such as caregiver support including respite services, information and assistance through the Senior Help Line, public information and education, advocacy, and transportation services, Hawkeye Valley is also taking an innovative approach by helping communities as a whole plan for the aging population through promoting Livable Communities.

"The Livable Community concept is to create a community that will promote successful aging," stated Janet Buls, Livable Communities Coordinator for HVAAA. "The process is started by gathering a group of key decision makers and advocates within a community to start brainstorming about what will make their community more livable. Through this process the group will ultimately develop a plan the community can follow to accomplish their overall goals."

A Livable Community is a community which provides a range of affordable and accessible housing; offers diverse health and long term care options; encourages a variety of mobility options including walking, biking and transit services; and provides challenging volunteer or alternative work opportunities.

"I believe there may be opportunities for communities to take advantage of resources that may become available for community development," said Buls. "The key to obtaining some of these resources is to have a plan ready that can be initiated quickly."

If you have questions regarding the services provided by Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging, please call the Senior Help Line at 1-877-538-0508.

HVAAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation serving elders in Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Chickasaw, Grundy, Hardin, Marshall, Poweshiek and Tama counties. HVAAA coordinates services for people ages 60 and older and their caregivers to maintain the independence they desire. Some of the services provided by HVAAA include home delivered meals, caregiver support and respite services, case management services, congregate meals, public information and education, Senior Helpline, and advocacy.



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