EOS team plays important roles in aiding older adults with needs

Three women who serve as Eligibility and Options Specialists

Eligibility and Options Specialists (EOS) at Johnson County’s Area Agency on Aging/Aging and Disability Resource Center provide information, education and support to older adults and persons with disabilities who seek assistance in making self-determined, informed choices about their short and long-term care needs.

These specialists provide options counseling, which is unbiased information on programs and services. They also assist individuals by connecting them to needed benefits and resources.

The EOS team completes CARE (Client, Assessment, Referral and Evaluation) assessments for individuals seeking a permanent move to a Medicaid-funded Kansas nursing facility. They also complete the functional eligibility assessments for those seeking home and community-based services through the Frail Elderly, Physical Disability and Brain Injury Waivers.

The EOS's work with both clients and families to create a plan of care to address the physical, emotional, social and financial needs and wants of the client and support independent living through accessing the AAA’s in-home services program.

The Department of Aging and Human Services has 15 eligibility and options specialists.

Angela Pelger, Aging Program Services manager, has been with AHS for 30 years. Upon her retirement at the end of November, two supervisors will lead this team. Lindsey Wurtz and Leah Schroer were named the two new Aging Services Supervisors. Lindsey has been with the AAA for 15 years and will lead a team of eight staff. Leah has been with the AAA for 14 years and will lead the remaining team members.

To get connected to Aging Program Services, individuals should visit jocogov.org/agingservices or call 913-715-8861 or to complete an online referral form. There is no charge for assessments or options counseling.

Older adults must be functionally and financially eligible for most in-home services. There is no financial eligibility requirement for home delivered meals. In-home services are provided on a sliding scale fee based on income.

Grab-and-Go Meals

An elderly man holds a meal at a nutrition center site

Grab-and-go meals are a newer option of approved meals for older adults at neighborhood nutrition centers. The program began as a meal option AHS provided during the COVID-19 pandemic when the dine-in option was temporarily closed.

All seven neighborhood nutrition centers, located in Olathe, De Soto, Gardner, Spring Hill, Lenexa, Merriam and Overland Park, are now approved for offering both dinein meals served daily at 11:30 a.m. and grab-and-go meals to individuals 60-years-old or older (and their spouse). Meals are provided Monday through Friday (with the exception of holidays).

Individuals interested in receiving a meal from the neighborhood nutrition centers should call the center by 10 a.m., one business day in advance, to make meal reservations for grab-and-go or dine-in meals. Meals include an option of two entrée choices, a vegetable, a side dish, fruit, bread and milk.

The suggested contribution is $3 a meal. No one is denied service if they are unable to contribute.