Council on Aging receives prestigious Aging Innovations Award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Media Contact: Paula Smith, Communications Manager, (513) 509-9211 or psmith@help4seniors.org

SPRINGDALE, OH, September 22, 2020 Council on Aging is the recipient ofa 2020 Aging Innovations Award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), the highest honor presented by n4a to member agencies. COA received the award for its innovative work to raise awareness of the challenges faced by family caregivers and the impact of caregiving on the business community and local workforce. Council on Aging is the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for southwestern Ohio, and serves more than 26,000 individuals annually in Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton and Warren counties.

Council on Agingwas among the top 17 of 44 aging programs to receive honors during the n4a Virtual Conference & Tradeshow, September 22. The awards program is supported by Centene.

The 2020 n4a Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards recognizes n4a’s AAAs and Title VI Native American aging programs members that develop and implement cutting-edge approaches to support older adults, people with disabilities and their family caregivers. Among the selection criteria was the ease with which other agencies could replicate the program in their communities. 

“n4a is thrilled to present the Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards to a diverse and remarkable group of Area Agencies on Aging. We salute all those who have enhanced the prestige of this awards program by sharing their innovative initiatives with their peers in the Aging Network,” said Sandy Markwood, Chief Executive Officer of n4a. “Meeting the needs of older adults, people with disabilities and their caregivers has been at the heart of what the nation’s network of AAAs and Title VI Native American aging programs have done for nearly 50 years—and is more critical now, in light of the impact COVID-19 is having on the communities these agencies serve. These vital programs focus on social engagement, caregiving or healthy aging, and we commend them all. We know our members will continue creating great programs like the ones highlighted in this year’s 2020 Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards, as the aging of the population demands our best and most innovative solutions,” Markwood said.

Nationally and locally, the older adult population is growing while the workforce to care for them is shrinking. Family members are filling the gap. Many of these family caregivers have careers and young families. COA’s award-winning initiative, Care Census: Building the AAA’s Value in the Business Community, creates partnerships with local businesses to better understand the impact elder caregiving has on the local workforce. Through a Care Census, COA shows area businesses and employers how changing demographics and gaps in our country’s long-term care system impact their workforce. With this data, businesses can better understand the prevalence and impact of elder caregiving while also recognizing the important role their Area Agency on Aging (COA) plays in supporting local caregivers and seniors.

To date, nearly 1,000 area employees have completed the Care Census and COA has developed a series of emotional videos featuring area working caregivers. Information about the Care Census, including the videos, is available at www.help4seniors.org/carecensus.

“We wanted to make a transformational change in our community for seniors and their families. By engaging with area employers, we are able to quantify the impact of caregiving for each company and the region as a whole,” said Council on Aging CEO, Suzanne Burke. “With data in hand, business leaders can begin a partnership with COA to help their companies develop the needed programs to assist their employees and families.”

The 2020 n4a Aging Innovations Awards honored traditional and new strategies in a range of categories including Advocacy, Agency Operations, Caregiving, Health-LTSS Integration, Healthy Aging, Housing, Intergenerational Programs, Nutrition and Social Engagement.

All winners are showcased in the n4a 2020 AIA awards book.  

About Council on Aging: Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio (COA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing quality of life for older adults, people with disabilities, their families and caregivers.  COA promotes choice, independence, dignity and well-being through a range of services that help people remain independent for as long as possible. 

COA is a state-designated Area Agency on Aging serving Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton and Warren counties. One call to COA links people to the wide variety of agencies, information and programs that serve older adults and people with disabilities.

Regional Headquarters:

175 Tri County Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45246 | 513-721-1025 | 800-252-0155 | www.help4seniors.org

About n4a: The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a)represents the 622 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) across the country and is a champion in our nation’s capital for the more than 250 Title VI Native American aging programs. n4a’s primary mission is to build the capacity of our members so they can help older adults and people with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible. (www.n4a.org)