CARES funds support aging adults

The Best Times Digital Edition

Paid for by Older Americans Act funding

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of March 2020 made funds for health and safety available to Johnson County’s Aging and Human Services Department. The CARES funds provided resources for several important safety net programs and services for aging adults in 2020. Here’s a look at some of those programs and the people they have helped.

Food Care Packages for Older Adults

Residents in seven subsidized senior living facilities throughout Johnson County received boxes filled with $100 worth of Hy-Vee groceries on Nov. 23. The groceries were targeted to assist local aging adults in need to make their life a little easier and help them remain safe and healthy. Staff were able to reach a special purchase agreement with Hy-Vee to provide up to 670 older adults with these food care packages.

Hy-Vee then delivered all food care packages throughout the county free of charge. Area Agency on Aging staff compiled a list of shelf stable nutritious foods in order to build the items purchased for each package appropriate for the diet of a typical older adult.

Explore Your Options Mailing Project

The newly revamped 2021 Explore Your Options (EYO) publication will be mailed to all older adults over the age of 60 who are on The Best Times mailing list. The mailing should arrive in late 2020 or the first week of January 2021. Johnson County older adults age 60+ who are not on The Best Times mailing list may call 913-715-8861 to request a directory, or find it online at The directory was recently updated after input from social service staff, aging providers and Best Times readers.

EYO provides information regarding services, programs and facilities that are geared toward aging adults looking for assistance. It could potentially add to their prevention of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. Along with the publication, readers will receive an insert from K-State Research and Extension on how to stay healthy during the pandemic and community
options for participation in webinars, etc.

Long-Term Care Safe Visitation Space

Funds for 35 different projects were approved for long-term care facilities to provide modifications to existing buildings or rentals of trailers to accommodate residents and their family visitors. Facilities which complete their approved projects can be reimbursed. So far, approved projects have made progress in providing space where their residents can safely see their family members.

Transportation Project for Access to Critical Services

A transportation project, coordinated by Johnson County Transit and KC Area Transportation Authority in December, provided free rides to older adults for medical appointments, grocery shopping, food pantries and other social service trips. Future transportation programs focusing on reduced rides may be offered in 2021.