The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area (AAACAP), a CAPCOG division, provided more than 250 older-adult families or individuals from across the region with financial assistance to help meet their basic needs during the COVID-19 pandemic’s first two years when health risks were at their highest for the senior community.
Working with nonprofits partners who were serving older adults, such as meal delivery providers and community resource centers as well as faith-based intuitions and organizations, AAACAP targeted the financial assistance through referrals of those most in need and whose situation prevented them from qualifying for other aid programs. AAACAP then distributed gifts cards restricted to purchasing food, clothing and other basic household items to those referred. This allowed the families flexible financial assistance so they could continue to pay health care and housing related bills.
Funding for the financial assistance was provided by St. David’s Foundation and Humana Foundation grants meant to support pandemic relief for older adults. “St. David’s support has been critical to our ability to serve more older adults during this time,” said Patty Bordie, CAPCOG aging services director. Other pandemic relief provided by AAACAP included adapting its more traditional programs such as shifting more funding to home delivered meals, offering virtual health and wellness programs, and providing opportunities to prevent social isolation. AAACAP is seeking to institute a similar emergency financial assistance program into its services as financial security was the number two area of concern among older adults according to the 2021-22 Area Agency on Aging Regional Plan.