About North Central-Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging
Long Term Care Services
The Long Term Care Services Department helps seniors, caregivers, and people with disabilities successfully remain in their home or transition from hospitals to home and remain beyond the doorways of nursing homes by assessing their needs, identifying resource options and helping them access and link to an array of helpful services in their community.
The Agency’s Long Term Care Services (LTCS) program focuses efforts to address the needs of people and caregivers who are at-risk of hospitalization or entering a nursing facility and remaining there. The LTCS staff are responsible for
Developing and maintaining a network of providers of in-home services.
Area Agency administrative and LTCS staff negotiate and monitor contracts with in-home services providers and review and monitor quality of services provided to customers.
Client Assessment Referral and Evaluation (CARE) Program
LTCS staff accept referrals for people who need assessments before entering nursing facilities. Referrals for these assessments come from hospitals, family members, nursing facilities, and other sources. The Agency is responsible for ensuring that this assessment gets completed by a qualified assessor within five days of the referral.
Functional Assessment for Medicaid Eligibility
Medicaid Home and Community Based Frail Elderly Waiver (HCBS-FE), Physically Disabled Waiver (PD), Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver (TBI), and Money Follows the Person (MFP). Aging and Disability Resource case managers assess the functional eligibility of individuals 16 years of age and older for one of the three listed waiver programs. Those who meet the functional and financial requirements may have their care met by in-home service providers based on care plans authorized by the state-contracted Managed Care Organizations (MCO). Determining the financial eligibility for Medicaid HCBS services is currently the responsibility of Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). Under KanCare, it is the MCO’s responsibility to contract with and pay HCBS/Medicaid in-home service providers.
Assessment and Case Management for Non-Medicaid Customers
Depending on funding, likely customers eligibility and customer willingness to pay for assessment, professional case managers with LTCS conduct assessments for customers’ based on their situations and needs to identify issues and functional needs. Once issues and needs are identified, the case manager works with the customer and family members—or other caregivers or volunteers—to build a plan of care. The case manager may authorize services as indicated based on income eligibility and other criteria. The case manager will coordinate and monitor the plan of care and assess customer satisfaction with the plan and the providers contracted to deliver services.
Information & Referral/Assistance
Agency LTCS staff and Senior Opportunities and Community Services (SOCS) staff provide information, referral and/or assistance to individuals who call or come to the Agency/ADRC who request help or information about specific community resources. Agency staff will provide the caller with information specific to the resources the individual is requesting in their area.
LTCS staff and SOCS staff provide single point of entry for adults, caregivers, and seniors to receive comprehensive counsel on community based supports, options, and services. Staff screen and conduct intake of customers for programs and funding. They may refer customers to other resources for support and services as situations warrant.
Community Transitions Opportunities (CTO)
LTCS staff accept referrals from nursing facilities in our 18 county area for individuals currently residing in the nursing facility who request information on community based options. LTCS staff provide a timely, face-to-face visit with the resident and family. Staff help customers and caregivers understand home based options and provide follow-up assistance when transition to home happens.
Be Well! Stay Well! Right At Home Solutions
This is the private pay component of the Be Well! Stay Well! Initiative. Currently the most robust part of this initiative in partnership with the Salina Regional Health Center. The goal includes reducing fall risk among older adults in Saline County. The Salina initiative began in May of 2014.
Be Well! Stay Well! Private Pay Service Coordination
The LTCS staff provide care coordination services for people who are above income guidelines for subsidized programs and who choose to pay privately for services. The Area Agency LTCS staff provide a comprehensive in home assessment and coordination of in home services to adults and caregivers on a private pay basis
These programs currently provide subsidized in-home services to frail elders and family caregivers:
Older Americans Act Title III-B
This grant provides care assessment, service coordination, and in-home services to individuals that meet the criteria for eligibility. Recipients of this grant must be 60 years old or older and meet the minimum frailty guidelines. Service provision is limited based on available fund dollars.
Older Americans Act Title III-E
This funding is targeted for primary caregivers. It can pay for case management assessment and service coordination for caregivers and care recipients that meet eligibility criteria. It can also provide supplemental in-home services including help with bathing, personal care, homemaker, and respite care. In October 2010, rules for this funding changed to include adults age 19 and over with a disability and an identified primary caregiver. The focus of this grant is to provide education, outreach, case management, and in home service support and helping services to the identified caregiver.
Senior Care Act (SCA):
The SCA provides case management, service coordination and ongoing monitoring of services; along with needed in-home services such as personal care and homemaker. Individuals that meet the eligibility criteria will be at least 60 years old and meet the frailty and income guidelines. Customers may pay a co-pay based on their income and resources towards their in home services. This co-pay can range from donation, whatever one can comfortably afford to pay, up to 90% of the cost of the in home service. Services provided through the SCA fund are limited by available budget dollars.
Flint Hills Housing Assistance
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program is funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Funding for the program includes: Housing Assistance Payments (HAP), Administrative Fee, and Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) funds.
Types of Services:
Section 8 Choice Voucher Program
The Section 8 Choice Voucher program provides housing subsidies to qualified low-income persons who lease private, unsubsized dwelling units. Subsidy is provided in the form of Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) which are paid directly to the landlord on a monthly basis as long as the family remains a program participant. Before becoming a program participant, the family must apply for the waiting list and submit required documents to verify eligibility. Eligibility is based on income limits published by HUD annually. The housing staff uses the very-low income guidelines to determine eligibility. Periodically, the waiting list Is closed when there is a sufficient pool of applicants. Participants must attend a required briefing and agree to abide by HUD rules. The goal is to provide assistance until the individuals and families can ultimately provide for themselves and their families, independent of government agencies.
Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA)
Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) is a program funded by the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation that helps low-income families with one time housing-related expenses. The Agency provides assistance with one time housing-related expenses including security deposits for utilities and rent. The Agency provides this assistance in the 17 participating counties which have signed cooperative agreements.
Friendship Meals Program
The mission of the NC-FH AAA’s Friendship Meals Program is “to provide top-quality nutrition and wellness services to older Kansans and their spouses in an acceptable and accessible manner.” To achieve this mission and secure funding through the Older Americans Act, the Friendship Meals Program provides at least one hot or other appropriate meal at least five days a week in home delivered and congregate settings. All prepared meals provide at least one-third of the Required Daily Amount (RDA) of nutrients for older adults.
The program also provides nutrition education, nutrition counseling, and other nutrition services, as appropriate, based on the needs of meal participants. Services are targeted especially to those in greatest social and economic need, particularly low-income minorities. Home delivered meals are also targeted to those most in need of meals and at greatest nutritional risk.
How to Participate:
After completing the required Kansas Uniform Assessment, all services are available to people age 60 or older and their spouses, regardless of the spouse’s age, and their disabled dependents. Homebound customers must be certified as age-eligible, homebound (functionally or socially) and unable to prepare meals. Participants are asked to make a voluntary, confidential contribution based on what they can “comfortably afford”. The current suggested contribution for a Friendship Meal is $3.50. Congregate and home-delivered meals are available to younger individuals, including family members and people who are disabled, injured or ill, as long as the full cost of $5.25 per meal is paid.
Volunteers age 14 and older who work unpaid for the meals program for at least 30 minutes are eligible to receive a meal the day of their service, and they are also afforded the opportunity to pay the current suggested contribution amount or whatever they can comfortably afford.
Services available at Friendship Meal Centers:
1. Frozen Meals: Frozen meals are delivered with hot meals served at noon and provide our customers with nutritious evening and weekend options, a service that can be critical for some older adults to maintain good health. Frozen meals are also a service delivery option for those customers who are located outside of the volunteer meal route area.
2. Shelf Stable Meals: These are ideal options in times of bad weather or other emergencies and may be ordered in quantity. They sit on the shelf until they are needed.
3. The “Be Well, Stay Well” program provides nutrition education for all customers and evidence-based wellness programs that help seniors and caregivers dealing with chronic health conditions such as diabetes and arthritis. Evidence-based wellness programs are funded through Title III-D of the Older Americans Act for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Services.
Older Kansans Employment Program
The Older Kansans Employment Program (OKEP) serves Kansans age 55 and over and employers in the four trade areas of Manhattan, Junction City, Salina, and Emporia. The mission of OKEP is to provide quality services that enable Kansans over 55 to be employed. Services provided include job search assistance, job readiness and job retention counseling, job development and placement assistance, referral to appropriate classroom training, mentoring and life skills counseling, outreach to enhance employer and public awareness, and advocacy for older job seekers and older workers. All services are available on a contribution basis. This program also:
• Promotes the advantages of hiring and retaining older workers to employers.
• Helps older job seekers identify and market their skills to potential employers.
• Helps older job seekers identify training needs and possible training options to help them be “job ready”.
• Solicits job listings from employers.
• Refers qualified workers to potential employers for full- or part-time positions in a wide range of occupations.
• Provides job seekers with assistance with resumes and completion of applications.
• Recruits and creates partnerships and coordinates workshops for respite and companion care workers.
• Coordinates with services available from Workforce Centers in the NC-FH AAA region.
• Helps the lowest-income job seekers connect with SER “on-the-job” subsidized training opportunities and with Forster Grandparent Program Opportunities.
Foster Grandparent Program
The NC-FH AAA sponsors the Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) in Dickinson, Geary, Riley, and Saline counties. This program, funded by Senior Corps, a component of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), provides opportunities for Americans 55 years and older to engage in meaningful volunteer opportunities and contribute to enhancing the lives of special needs or at-risk children and youth. Foster Grandparents offer supportive person-to-person services at volunteer stations. Volunteer stations include child development centers, day care centers, schools and hospitals.
Information, Education & Outreach
Professional staff provides one-on-one assistance to seniors and caregivers and provides training and support to a regional network of volunteers. Staff also coordinates outreach efforts in the region through workshops and publications to provide useful, trusted, and top-quality information for seniors, caregivers and people with disabilities and to recruit and train volunteers.
Access and Services
The NC-FH AAA serves individuals age 60 or older, caregivers, and people receiving public assistance due to disabilities. Through extensive multi-agency networking and partnerships, clients receive information and referral for federal, state, county, and local public benefits, legal questions, health and nutrition information, consumer and financial information, elder abuse prevention and reporting, and other needs. Professional information and assistance and options counseling are available from staff at the central office in person or by phone, e-mail or fax from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Central office staff makes presentations to groups and exhibits at health fairs, conferences, and other events. Through these events, Agency staff network with senior citizens groups, caregiver groups, extension professionals, women’s groups, churches and formal and informal service providers. Most client referrals come from people who attend these presentations, from volunteers, from others who have had personal experience with the Agency, or from the two toll-free state hotlines. The Kansas Area Agencies on Aging Association and Disabilities (K4AD) hotline is 866-457-2364 and the Kansas SHICK hotline is 800-860-5260. One of the major outreach events for the Agency is the annual Sunflower Fair.
Family Caregiver Support Program
The Family Caregiver Support Program provides support and information services that help ease the burden of family caregivers caring for those needing care at home. NC-FH AAA case managers with Long Term Care Services conduct an initial intake for the caregiver and the care recipient and determine a care plan based on identified needs. Case managers make referrals to contract providers. Case management time and authorized services are reimbursed by the Family Caregiver Program. The NC-FH AAA has a direct service waiver to provide the following services with Family Caregiver funding:
• Information to groups of caregivers about available services and resources.
• Assistance to individual caregivers in gaining access to services and in making decisions and solving problems relating to their caregiving roles.
• Respite care gives caregivers temporary relief from their caregiving responsibilities. Respite is given in-home, adult day care, or in overnight institutional care.
Supplemental services, on a limited basis, to complement the care provided by caregivers. Of eight possible supplemental services, the agency has to offer:     o Personal/Attendant Care
o Homemaker Services
The NC-FH AAA organizes an annual Older Kansans Day to encourage seniors and supporters to connect with state legislators as they discuss and vote on the state budget that affects funding for Friendship Meals and in-home services. The NC-FH AAA also helps recruit Silver Haired Legislators who help define issues and legislative needs of seniors in their area. Silver Haired Legislators are among our most important advocates within the region. The NC-FH AAA also periodically sends out advocacy alerts about other legislation such as reauthorization of the Older Americans Act and other federal and state legislation that affects seniors in our region.
What is an Area Agency on Aging, Anyways?
For more than 40 years, Area Agencies on Aging have responded to the changing needs of older persons who are age 60 or older. The Older Americans Act, as amended in 1973, established Area Agencies on Aging to develop and coordinate community-based services for older people. It is this focus on community services development which provides an Area Agency on Aging its basic strength and legitimacy.
An Area Agency on Aging is designated by a State Unit on Aging (SUA). In Kansas, the state unit is the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS). The North Central Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging received its official designation in 1975. The designation means that a specific geographic area is assigned as the responsibility of the Area Agency on Aging for service delivery.
Once an organization is designated as an Area Agency on Aging, the population of older people within that geographic region receives services funded under the federal Older Americans Act. These funds are specifically for providing a range of services to develop a “comprehensive and coordinated service array” to meet the needs of older people and their family caregivers. Monies are allocated to each Area Agency on Aging based on a formula established by the state and approved at the federal level.
The North Central Kansas Planning and Service Area covers about 13,500 square miles and serves approximately 57,000 older Kansans living in the region.
Three Major Functions
Although throughout the United States there is much diversity in the way Area Agencies are structured and organized, all Area Agencies are charged with three major functions:
1. Area Agencies plan, monitor, and manage services in order to offer a wide array –a “comprehensive and coordinated system”—of help to meet the needs of older persons.
2. Provide active and sustained involvement in the community as a facilitator/developer of services to achieve a comprehensive and coordinated network of community-based services.
3. Advocate on behalf of older persons as individuals and on behalf of older people collectively. Advocacy is a key responsibility of Area Agencies on Aging under the Older Americans Act.
Intent of the Older Americans Act
The Older American Act (OAA), the first program to focus on community-based services for older persons, was passed in 1965. The Act articulates a series of far-reaching objectives which federal, state, tribal, and local governments are jointly responsible for assisting older persons to achieve: adequate retirement income; best possible physical and mental health; suitable and affordable housing; institutional and home and community-based long-term care; employment opportunity without age discrimination; retirement in health, honor and dignity after years of contribution to the economy; pursuit of meaningful activity; efficient community services; benefit from proven research knowledge, and individual freedom and independence in planning and managing their own lives.
The OAA has a number of component parts. These include:
• state and community services, such as nutrition programs, supportive services, in-home services for the frail elderly, preventive health, and respite care;
• research, education, training of professionals in the aging field, demonstrations and discretionary projects; community service employment activities; direct funding for Indian tribes and tribal organizations; vulnerable elder rights protections