Welcome to the newsletter blog for the Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging (i4a)! The association underwent a significant change during 2017 to strengthen its support for its members, Iowa’s Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). This initial blog describes what took place in 2017 and what the plans are for 2018.
During the year the AAAs had to make difficult fiscal decisions due to reductions during FY 17 of State of Iowa appropriations, anticipated FY 18 budget reductions at both the State and Federal level, and due to ongoing transition in Iowa’s Medicaid managed care system. Along with staff reductions at most AAAs, services had to be (and continue to be) evaluated for reduction and/or adding people to waiting lists for services.
In response to these changes, the i4a board of directors, which consists of the directors from each of the AAAs, had to determine the best path forward for the association. The difficult and most innovative change was to change i4a into a virtual company and reduce the associations staff to a part-time executive director. Since July 2017, i4a has added its part-time director and worked towards completely vacating its physical office space in Des Moines, Iowa. As of this writing, all that remains in of the physical space is a few office furniture items that will be moved out and a handful of computer monitors.
The board meets monthly with many of its meetings taking place via video conferencing and significant reductions to services and activities that i4a previously engaged in have been eliminated or adjusted to its new approach.
And what’s on the docket heading into 2018?! How will i4a strengthen its support for the AAAs, the general public, and partner organizations?!
Training and Education
I4A is working to develop a number of training/education opportunities that will provide continuing education for AAA staff as well as develop training modules that assist with their day-to-day efforts and in developing their skills for future aging network opportunities. Some of these educational opportunities will be available to the public so be sure to follow this blog for updates.
I4A is strengthening its social media presence to provided wider access to make the public better aware of the AAAs and their great works, to provide information to maximize optimal aging, and to provide information about public policy that impacts older adults, individuals with disabilities, and family caregivers. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Like our Facebook page. Stay tuned as we add additional social media to our list resources.
I4A will maintain a presence at the Iowa Capitol through a lobby firm as well as at the Congressional level in partnership with the AAA directors and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. The goal of i4a advocacy is to strengthen the aging network so that older adults, individuals with disabilities, and family caregivers have access to services and supports that maximizes their ability to remain independent in their communities of choice for as long as possible.