PBS North Carolina sat down with staff from Centralina Area Agency on Aging to learn more about PEARLS for its NCimpact episode on mental health and older adults. PEARLS (Program to Encourage Active Rewarding Lives) is a community- and evidence-based pilot program designed to reduce depression in physically impaired and socially isolated people. Listen to Aging Program Coordinators, Amanda Dawson and Kamiya Williams, as they discuss the elements of the program, how they measure progress and how this initiative has impacted participants.
Older and disabled adults are especially vulnerable during extreme weather events and to emergencies that often come without warning, such heatwaves, major flooding, electric outages and pandemics like COVID-19. While emergencies are out of our control, there are a number of things to do ahead of time to get and stay ready. In honor of Emergency Prepardness Month, Centralina Area Agency on Aging have prepared a checklist of things you can do to stay safe before, during and after an emergency or natural disaster.
According to a new AARP Report, Caregivers provide $600 billion unpaid hours of care across the United States. Many of these individuals are loved ones who put their lives on hold and sacrifice their own free time to provide essential care to someone who can’t care for themselves. Many aren’t able to afford the cost of round-the-clock care options, and while no monetary value can trump the love of a caregiver, this role can be very physically, emotionally and mentally taxing. When one local caregiver seemed to be at his wits end, Centralina Area Agency on Aging’s Family Caregiver Support Program (FCSP) stepped in to help ease the burden.
Centralina Regional Council is a regional organization focused on addressing the needs of member communities in our nine-county area and working collaboratively on issues that impact our region. We examine national, state and local trends impacting our member governments and identify their potential impacts to determine best practices for meeting needs and addressing challenges. This brief dives into current regional trends and how they are currently being addressed by Centralina, as well as how they will continue to be addressed in upcoming years.
As our world evolves and innovates, seniors struggle to keep up and effectively utilize the newest tools and gadgets on the market. In addition, older adults are more prone to physical limitations of getting around and staying involved in community activities, as well as an increased likelihood to develop feelings of depression and social isolation. In 2019, entrepreneurs Neil Dsouza and Lawrence Kosick put their heads together to determine how they could elevate these tools to help elevate what older adults have to offer and empower them to keep learning and thriving. Using their backgrounds in ed-tech, software and product development, they banded together to create GetSetUp, an online community that offers live classes, social hours and special events tailored to benefit and entertain older adults.
As our region grows, our population is also aging, which adds increased demands on public, private and volunteer transportation options. In honor of May being National Older Americans Month, National Mobility Month and National Transportation Week, we’re highlighting timely resources that showcase our ongoing commitment to promote transportation considerations affecting older and disabled adults.
Senior Centers provide older adults a space to make friends, remain active and improve their wellbeing through a variety of programs and services. While many senior center programs focus on fun, senior centers also offer a critically important service to older adults who may struggle to stay socially engaged and remain connected to their community. Rufty-Holmes Senior Center in Salisbury recently invited staff from Centralina Area Agency on Aging to celebrate 35 years of excellent service and showcase their recent national reaccreditation.
Despite an overwhelming desire to live independently, some older adults may need assistance maintaining their homes as they “age in place.” To address these unmet needs, Centralina Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is now offering Housing Home Improvement and Chore Enhanced programs, which are designed to help older adults keep up with essential repairs and maintenance inside and outside their homes. Through federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, Centralina AAA developed these new programs that will allow older adults to remain safe and secure while living in their homes longer.
On February 28th, several of Centralina’s regional Ombudsmen attended the Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care (FOR) 2023 Legislative Day in Raleigh. The purpose of the event was to meet with legislative representatives to advocate for and support issues currently affecting aging communities across our state. Members of the North Carolina Ombudsman Association went into the full-day event with several talking points to share and openly discuss with legislators. We took an expanded look at some of the issues our Ombudsmen championed that day.
In addition to the “on the ground” work they do in the region, the Centralina Area Agency on Aging team utilizes volunteers to help support individuals and their families and champion important aging issues. In honor of National Volunteer Month, we want to inform members of the community how they can get involved in bolstering and advocating for the rights of those we serve every day.