May is Older Americans Month

by Leslie Huckleberry

May is Older Americans Month

May is Older Americans Month, and as we move toward summer, the Division of Aging and FSSA are busy with various initiatives that will impact older Hoosiers:

  • The Division of Aging recently convened the Dementia Strategic Plan Advisory Board for an in-person session to discuss all the progress made and the progress still to come for dementia care in Indiana. There were some great discussions and brainstorming for continued efforts to implement the statewide Dementia Strategic Plan and support individuals with dementia and their caregivers.
  • We are formally starting the exciting work toward Indiana’s Multi-Sector Plan on Aging with a kick-off meeting of stakeholders and workgroup leads in May. This 10-year strategic plan will shape the way that Indiana builds a more vibrant and inclusive future for older adults, people with disabilities and all Hoosiers as they age.
  • FSSA continues to move toward the start of Indiana PathWays for Aging (PathWays), a new program in 2024 for Hoosiers aged 60 and over who receive Medicaid (or Medicaid and Medicare) benefits. You can learn more about the PathWays program by visiting the Indiana PathWays for Aging website or calling 87-PATHWAY-4 (877-284-9294) to enroll today.

You may have also heard about recent changes to the Aged and Disabled Waiver to address an unanticipated increase in Medicaid expenditures, which threatened the sustainability of the entire Medicaid program. Data showed that the A&D Waiver is where the Medicaid program is most acutely seeing an unanticipated growth in spending. I encourage individuals impacted by these issues to visit the Medicaid Strategies website to better understand what changes are occurring and what resources are available to you.

The summertime and warm weather also brings many great community events around the state, some of which you’ll see highlighted in our newsletter. We are excited to continue to see great community connections to support aging Hoosiers. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe summer!

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly

Residents of Indiana agree that they want to remain in their homes as they age. However, it is challenging to manage chronic health conditions, coordinate appointments, secure transportation and understand medications for some Hoosiers in traditional care models. Aging Hoosiers need support to stay at home successfully. The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly is available to Indiana seniors, with new service areas expanding statewide to meet this demand.

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the ElderlyPACE was implemented by the state to provide quality community-based care for individuals aged 55 or older who qualify for nursing facility level of care but choose to remain living in their homes. PACE services are provided in the home, at the PACE Center and are available to participants in all other necessary medical care facilities. The PACE Center provides primary care medicine, therapies, socialization and recreational opportunities such as exercise, cooking groups and art activities, allowing seniors to stay active and engaged in their communities. “Getting transportation, for a senior, can be very overwhelming. PACE takes the guesswork out of making sure they will get to an appointment and back home without worry.” says Adam Robinson, Director of Transportation at Ascension Living St. Vincent PACE.

All care coordination, appointment and transportation scheduling are handled by the PACE team. An interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals provides hands-on, continuous monitoring of the participants’ health. A member of the team is available to respond to participants’ needs 24 hours a day/365 days a year, enabling swift responses to any changing medical conditions.

Participants in PACE have a low risk of nursing home admissions. Nationally, only 5% of active participants reside in a long-term care facility. The term “participant” underscores their active involvement in care decisions.

PACE combines the intensity and personalized touch of a healthcare provider with the coordination and efficiency of a health plan. Notably, there are no co-pays, deductibles or coverage gaps, ensuring seamless access to necessary care, services and medications. PACE participants maintain the freedom to choose their providers from within the PACE program network.

Franciscan Senior Health and Wellness, a service of Franciscan Health, opened Indiana’s first PACE center in Indianapolis in 2015 and currently operates four PACE centers in the state. To date, Indiana has eight operational PACE centers, covering 33 counties, available to Hoosier residents. Ascension Living St. Vincent PACE is the newest PACE program, which opened its doors in June 2023. As many as three additional programs are exploring development in Indiana.

“The Interdisciplinary Team is a hallmark of PACE. Our interdisciplinary team is comprised of specially trained healthcare workers assembled to support the needs and preferences of seniors who wish to age in their homes. The PACE model of care is an ideal way to practice our Franciscan values of respect for life, compassionate concern and, especially, joyful service as our teams provide medical, spiritual, social, recreational and wellness services for those we are blessed to serve,” said FSHW Administrative Director Brooke Nack.

For those interested in finding a PACE program, more information is available online.

Updates from the Division of Aging


State Long Term Care Ombudsman

News from the Ombudsman Program

For the past eight months, we’ve had the pleasure of witnessing significant strides in our mission to enhance the lives of Hoosiers living in long-term care facilities. Our dedicated team at the state office has accomplished numerous tasks, all aimed at improving the quality of care and life for our residents.

One of our most recent additions to the team is Audrey Caley, a seasoned ombudsman who joined us in July. Audrey, who hails from Ohio, brings with her over 16 years of experience in ombudsman work. Since her arrival, she has embarked on an extensive state tour, visiting all 16 planning and service areas of Indiana, meeting with local ombudsmen and assisting in visits to assisted living facilities.

Audrey’s role is multifaceted, encompassing technical assistance, casework and field monitoring. One of her recent initiatives is the development of a training program for facility staff, focusing on the purpose and goal of resident council meetings.

This year has also seen us making substantial progress in other areas. We’ve successfully completed several of our “to do” tasks, including new hires and compliance reviews. We’ve been diligent in establishing performance measures for our local ombudsmen, with the hope of improving our reporting quality.

We believe we’re on the right path towards enhancing the lives of Hoosiers living in facilities. Our goal is to be an added voice for them, advocating for better care and quality of care. It’s an exciting time for the ombudsman program as we see several pieces of the puzzle falling into place.

To contact your local ombudsman representative, please see our new interactive map.

AAA Spotlight

Area IV Agency, serving Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Tippecanoe, Montgomery, Warren and White counties

Area IV works with various partners to improve the lives for those in its community.

Area IV Agency on Aging and Community Action logo

People and Paws: Happy and Healthy Together

On March 23, 2024, Saturday, the second People and Paws: Happy and Healthy Together event was held at the Area IV Agency offices in Lafayette.

People and PawsThis is a partnership between Animal Advocates of Greater Lafayette and Area IV Agency on Aging and Community Action Programs.

A third such event is being planned for September 2024.

Let’s Talk Program for Seniors

Area IV, in Partnership with Mental Health America-Wabash Valley Region, introduces the Let’s Talk Program for Seniors. Area IV Agency on Aging and Community Action Programs, Inc. received a grant in October 2023 from FSSA and the Department of Mental Health and Division on Aging to develop a Mental Health Conditions program for persons over the Age of 60 in our eight-county service area.

home care client, Shari

GIVING Relationship with Old Tippecanoe Quilt Guild, Area IV and Seniors!

The Old Tippecanoe Quilt Guild gifted Area IV with over 30 beautiful quilts made by the members of the guild. These quilts are being given to the elderly and persons with disabilities in need of “warming up” with both lap quilts and larger quilts available.

Area IV is absolutely thrilled to be able to share a heartwarming moment from one of our recent home visits with our amazing home care client, Shari. During the visit, Shari’s eyes lit up with pure happiness as she received a beautiful quilt, lovingly handmade by the talented members of Old Tippecanoe Quilt Guild. It was clear that receiving this beautiful creation, adorned in her favorite color—pink—brought immense joy to her day. Shari looked absolutely marvelous with her quilt! Sending endless gratitude to the Old Tippecanoe Quilt Guild for their kindness and craftsmanship. It is moments like these that remind us why we do what we do.

Snowy Owl Commons Seniors Affordable Housing coming soon!

This project will be located at 2900–2964 Burrowing Owl Lane and 198–300 Barn Owl Way, in Lafayette in Tippecanoe County. The project is a partnership between Area IV Development. Inc. and Keller Development, Inc.

For the rest of these stories and other Area IV projects in the community, please go to

Community outreach

Gov. Holcomb declares May 2024 Older Americans Month

2024 is Older Americans MonthWhen Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing. A meeting in April 1963 between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month,” the prelude to “Older Americans Month.”

Historically, Older Americans Month has been a time to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons to our country, particularly those who defended our country. Every President since Kennedy has issued a formal proclamation during or before the month of May asking that the entire nation pay tribute in some way to older persons in their communities.

This year’s theme is Powered by Connection, which recognizes the profound impact that meaningful relationships and social connections have on our health and well-being.

The Division of Aging along with Indy Parks will be hosting an Older Americans Month Celebration on May 10, 2024, at Washington Park. There will be Vendors providing valuable information and resources, a healthy food demonstration by the Division of Aging’s Dietitian Kristie Garner. We will play Bingo, there will be snacks and door prizes available as well.

The event is free. However, pre-registration is required.

Culture of Health logotype

Senior Transportation Night at the Health Fair

June 2024 will be the 38th year for the Indiana Department of Health’s Black and Minority Health Fair, in conjunction with the Indiana Black Expo, which has been taking place in Indiana for the past 52 years. Last year, more than 60 vendors participated in the IDOH health fair, providing free health screenings and valuable health information and education. The opening night of the health fair brought in over 1,500 attendees, with approximately 500 of those having been provided with free transportation sponsored by the Division of Aging.

If you would like more information regarding the health fair or possibly free transportation to and from opening night, June 27, please email

2024 Golden Hoosier Award

Nominations are now open for the 2024 Golden Hoosier Award

The Golden Hoosier Award was established to acknowledge and recognize outstanding seniors for their lifetime of service to their communities. Sponsored by Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, in collaboration and partnership with the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, the Golden Hoosier Award is the highest honor bestowed on a senior in Indiana.

The ideal recipient is considered an unsung hero who has not received previous recognition for the impact they have made in the lives of others and the community. Ten Hoosier seniors were honored in 2023 at the Indiana Statehouse. Visit the FSSA Indiana YouTube channel to watch the 2023 Golden Hoosier Award ceremony.

The 2024 Golden Hoosier Award Ceremony will be held on Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. ET in the south atrium of the Indiana Statehouse. The deadline to submit a nomination is July 14 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Visit the Lieutenant Governor’s site for the nomination form and to find more information.

Severe weather safety tips

It’s that time of year for severe weather. For severe weather safety tips, visit

Provider Spotlight

Caregiver Way

Joy’s House launches Caregiver Way with support from the Indiana Division of Aging

We are thrilled to announce the launch of Caregiver Way, a new online community and venture of Indianapolis-based not-for-profit Joy’s House, designed to support and empower family caregivers. Whether you’re just starting your caregiving journey or have been caring for your person for years, Caregiver Way is here to help.

In Caregiver Way, you’ll find:

Trusted Information

  • Caregiver Way features content (articles, videos, audio, fillable forms, etc.) in five important categories:
  • Self-care
  • Caring for your loved one
  • Financial and legal
  • End-of-life care
  • Life after caregiving

All content on Caregiver Way is vetted and approved by a qualified content advisory board.

Meaningful connection

Caring for a loved one often brings with it feelings of isolation. Caregiver Way provides a space for connection with others who walk a similar path, proving that no one is alone on their caregiving journey.


In Caregiver Way, private journals and prompted assessments help family caregivers self-identify and offer insights into their challenges and needs.

We believe that caregiving should be a shared experience—at Caregiver Way, you’re never alone! Learn more at Interested in a Caregiver Way partnership? Want to learn how to contribute content? Email

Community resources

Help is just a phone call away

Indiana 211 Help is just a phone call away at Indiana 211 (dial 2-1-1). The truth in this statement is illustrated by many experiences callers have involving the skilled team at Indiana 211.

Indiana 211 is a 24-hour, free information and referral service that connects Hoosiers with help and answers from thousands of health and human service agencies and resources right in their local communities, quickly, easily and confidentially. As a division of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Indiana 211 can provide referrals for any service offered by an FSSA division, as well as other local community resources.

Top referrals from Indiana 211 for the aging population are:

  • Utility assistance
  • Transportation to doctor appointments and medication pick-up.
  • Food assistance
  • Housing assistance due to fear of losing housing

Indiana 211 community navigators understand the importance of personal and mental well-being. Through 80+ hours of on-the-job training, Indiana 211’s experienced, responsive and compassionate team of community navigators are skilled at actively listening, identifying needs and providing the best resource referrals to meet those needs.

If you live in Indiana, we serve you. Indiana 211 is devoted to serving individuals and families within the communities of Indiana’s 92 counties. There are multiple ways to connect with Indiana 211: Call 2-1-1 or 1-866-211-9966; text your ZIP code to 898-211; or search online at