SWODA Press Releases

June 18, 2018

Cherrie Nutley completes ombudsman supervisor certification

Elderly residents now have a certified long-term care ombudsman supervisor overseeing the 23 long-term care facilities in Custer, Kiowa, Greer, Beckham, Harmon, Roger Mills and Washita counties. Cherrie Nutley completed 90 hours of training and passed her certification test. William Whited, state long-term care ombudsman for Oklahoma, presented her certificate in May.

Cherrie will be visiting each facility a minimum of every three month. She will oversee ombudsman volunteers and receive, investigate and work to resolve complaints within a facility. Cherrie and the ombudsman volunteers have the authority to explore problems and recommend corrective action.

Ombudsmen are committed to improving and enriching the quality of life of older people. The Aging Services of the Department of Human Services under the Authority of the Older American Act and the Oklahoma Long-Term Care Ombudsman Act administers this program.

Cherrie came on board in February as the ombudsman supervisor at the South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA). She is married to Joey Nutley, and they make their home in Elk City. She has two children, Malcolm Byer and Chloe. Nutley has a love for the eldercare field and was an ombudsman volunteer before being hired to her current position.

The ombudsman program is always looking for dedicated volunteers. If interested in volunteering, contact Cherrie at 580-562-4882, ext. 132.

June 4, 2018

Public can review and comment on Limited English Proficiency Plan

The SORTPO Limited English Proficiency Plan presents the sources of authority, requirements and instructions for determining the threshold to show the need for languages assistance is present. The plan will provide guidelines for RTPO members to meet these needs and define the role of the Title VI program in that process. Specifically, this plan will outline how to collect LEP information and how to analyze that information.

Prior to adoption of the plan, there is a 10-day public review and comment period which begins June 4, 2018 – June 13, 2018. During this comment period individuals, agencies and organizations are encouraged to review the document and submit comments. The SORTPO Policy Board will take action on the plan at the next scheduled meeting on June 28, 2018.

Please submit written comments to Becky Cockrell, SORTPO, PO Box 569, Burns Flat, Oklahoma, 73624. Email Cockrell at becky@swoda.org or call at (580) 562-4885. To review the plan, come by the SORTPO office, 98 Frontier Way, Burns Flat, Oklahoma (located in the Burns Flat Community Center right west of the city park), or online at www.sortpo.com.

May 29, 2018

Share your concerns about elderly services at the SWODA Aging Service Advisory Council Meeting June 7

The Advisory Council for the South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) Area Agency on Aging will convene for a regular meeting at 1 p.m., Thursday, June 7, 2018. This meeting will be held at the Town of Burns Flat Community Center, 98 Frontier, Burns Flat, Oklahoma.

The Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council provides leadership and advocacy on behalf of citizens 60 years of age or older residing in Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita Counties and help to determine services needed in the area.

The meeting is open to the public and accessible to the disabled. Individuals with a profound hearing loss should contact the Area Agency on Aging at least one week prior to the meeting if they wish for a signing interpreter to be provided. For more information, contact Ada Vanderford at 580-562-4882 or email ada@swoda.org.

SWODA is one of 11 Councils of Government in the state. SWODA was created to strengthen the economic and social development of the region through various specialized services such as the following: 911 Administration, Aging Services, Community and Economic Development, Geographic Information Systems, Rural Fire Defense and Workforce Development.

These services are funded in part by state and Older Americans Act Funds from SWODA AAA and DHS Aging Services.

It is policy of SWODA AAA to serve all individuals who are eligible for its programs without regard to race, national origin, ancestry, color, religion, gender, age or disability.

May 15, 2018

Funding still available to assist elderly with a variety of services

Funding is still available to purchase a wide range of services for residents 55 years or older. Do you need minor home repairs, wheelchair ramps, air condition window units or space heaters, and/or air condition of heater repairs? These are just some of the services covered.

Funding for each type of service is limited. Those with desperate or unique needs should file an application as those situations are looked at on a case-per-case basis. Assistance is available once per person every three years.

These funds are used on a first-come, first-serve basis until they are all utilized. There is an application process for individuals 55 and over in need of some type of assistance not otherwise provided by other agencies.

Funding for these services is provided by the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma through a partnership with South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) NWPSA11 Area Agency on Aging (AAA), along with other Area Agencies on Aging across the state.

Counties covered by the SWODA NWPSA11 AAA are Beaver, Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Texas, Woods and Woodward. The SWODA NWPSA11 Aging Services Information Assistant receives calls daily from older people and/or their caregivers with needs, and many are told nothing is available to help. This Masonic funding enables AAA staff to assist many callers with resources that were not available previously.

This funding “will not only help Oklahoma’s older population, but will also relieve some of the stress placed on caregivers whose older relatives are continually turned down because of the lack of resources for needed help,” said Anita Martinez, SWODA NWPSA11 director of Aging Services.

To learn more about this and other available services, call the SWODA NWPSA11 Masonic Program Coordinator Ada Vanderford at (800) 627-4882, or call the statewide toll-free Senior Info Line at (800) 211-2116.

May 7, 2018

Caregiver shortage threatens for baby boomers

By the year 2030, this nation’s 72 million baby boomers will have reached age 65. This many baby boomers reaching retirement age at the same time will create a critical shortage of caregivers. In the next decade, an additional one million of these direct care professional workers will be needed, and by 2030, an additional three million will be necessary.

In the past, older people have been able to rely on family and friends to help with chores such as housekeeping and grocery shopping. However, baby boomers had fewer children, and often they are spread around the country. There are simply fewer people on which to rely.

In partnership with the Department of Human Services, Aging Services Division, SWODA AAA provides for respite services for eligible caregivers, for those caring for people age 60 and over.

Paid caregivers mostly fill jobs taking care of older people, usually working as nursing assistants, home health aides and personal care assistants. Those employed as caregivers are primarily women in their mid-20s to mid-50s, and the caregiver industry is already suffering from low wages and high turnover rates. This situation is not expected to improve anytime soon.

Unpaid family caregivers, 61 percent of whom are women, play a significant role as well. They must balance work and family life. They must fill the void left by a paid care professional, if they are able to afford to hire a care professional at all. Each year, the U.S. economy loses about $33 billion in productivity because of employees who are also family caregivers and who must deal with issues related to taking care of family members.

For information about this program and other services offered through the SWODA AAA, call SWODA AAA Information and Assistant Specialist Ada Vanderford, at 800-627-4882 or locally at 580-562-4882.

These services are funded in part by state and Older Americans Act Funds from SWODA AAA and DHS Aging Services.

It is policy of SWODA AAA to serve all individuals who are eligible for its programs without regard to race, national origin, ancestry, color, religion, gender, age or disability.

SWODA is one of 11 Councils of Government in the state. SWODA’s region of service includes municipalities, counties and conservation districts in Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita counties.

April 30, 2018

Public to comment on regional transportation plan

The Southwest Oklahoma Regional Transportation Planning Organization (SORTPO) is seeking public comment on the Public Participation Plan for the development of the Regional Long-Range Transportation Plan. The Public Participation Plan serves to encourage citizens and organizations to actively participate in their community-related transportation issues which builds a relationship for better communication and cooperation.

Prior to adoption of the plan, there is a 45-day public comment period which will end on June 13, 2018. During this comment period individuals, agencies and organizations are encouraged to review the document and submit comments.

Please submit written comments to Becky Cockrell, SORTPO, PO Box 569, Burns Flat, Oklahoma, 73624. Email Cockrell at becky@swoda.org or call at (580) 562-4885. To review the Plan, come by the SORTPO office, 98 Frontier Way, Burns Flat, Oklahoma (located in the Burns Flat Community Center right west of the city park), or online at www.sortpo.com (see “Publications” page).

April 17, 2018

Tangela Henry ready to answer your questions about services for elderly

Are you 60 or older and need information about programs or services or just have problems and don’t know where to turn for help? You now have a real person you can call or see in person. Tangela Henry welcomes calls from elderly and their caregivers. She is the I&A assistant for the North West Planning Service Agency Eleven (NWPSA 11) Area Agency on Aging (AAA).

Some of the services for which information and/or assistance can be provided include the following: respite services for caregivers, hearing aids, transportation, housing, legal services, long-term care, Medicare, nutrition, health care, housekeeping, weatherization and other concerns of the elderly.

You can meet with Tangela or a representative of NWPSA 11 Area Agency on Aging in the OEDA Office at 330 Douglas, Beaver, Oklahoma 73932 the third Tuesday of every month.

You can meet with Tangela or a representative of NWPSA 11 Area Agency on Aging in the OEDA Office at 1116 19th St, Woodward, Oklahoma 73801, the fourth Tuesday of every month.

You can call Tangela anytime (leave a message) at the following numbers: 800-627-4882, ext. 126; 580-256-8553 (office in Woodward); or 800-658-2844 (office in Beaver).

SWODA is the Interim Administrative Organization for the NWPSA 11. NWPSA 11’s region of service includes Beaver, Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Woods, Woodward and Texas counties. These services are funded in part by state and Older Americans Act Funds from NWPSA 11 AAA and DHS Aging Services.

It is policy of NWPSA 11 AAA to serve all individuals who are eligible for its programs without regard to race, national origin, ancestry, color, religion, gender, age or disability.

Please check with the representative before traveling to the office in times of inclement weather.

###

April 17, 2018

Financial resources available to give caregivers a break

There is financial help for caregivers to give them a break from their daily duties. The Caregiver Respite Voucher Program gives caregivers the option of using respite services to go a doctor’s appointment, get their hair done, visit friends at a coffee shop or even go to a movie. And, there are no income or resource limitations.

There is an application process and if a caregiver qualifies, a home visit is required. After the O3A assessment is completed on caregiver and care receiver, then vouchers are provided. The caregiver can then contract with any person of their choice (other than someone living in the same home of caregiver or care receiver or under 18 years old) to provide respite services.

The definition of caregivers are people of any age caring for someone 60 years of age or older with at least two of these Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) impairments (dressing, bathing, eating, transferring, toileting, or walking) and/or requiring substantial assistance because of a cognitive or other mental impairment.

Studies have shown that caregivers will give better care, maintain their own health, and have reduced levels of stress if they can get away from the responsibilities of providing care even if for only a few hours. Respite does just that. It provides a way for a caregiver to get out of the everyday routine of caring for their loved one.

The SWODA Area Agency on Aging provides for respite services for eligible caregivers in partnership with the Department of Human Service Aging Services Division.

If you or someone you know is interested in the Caregiver Respite Voucher Program, please contact Ada Vanderford, caregiver coordinator with SWODA Area Agency on Aging, at 800-627-4882, ext. 127, or e-mail Ada Vanderford at ada@swoda.org.

###

April 10, 2018

Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma provides funding to assist NW OK

The Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma has again partnered with the South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) NWPSA11 Area Agency on Aging (AAA), along with other Area Agencies on Aging across the state, to assist with funding direct services for people 55 years of age and older. There will be an application process for individuals 55 and over who are in need of some type assistance that is not otherwise provided by other agencies.

These funds will be used on a first come first serve basis until they are all utilized. Some of the types of services that can be purchased by the SWODA NWPSA11 AAA include minor home repairs, wheelchair ramps, air conditioner window units or space heaters, and/or air condition or heater repairs. Funding for each type of service will be limited. Those who have desperate or unique needs should file an application because those situations will be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Assistance will be available once per person every three year.

Counties covered by the SWODA NWPSA11 AAA are Beaver, Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Texas, Woods and Woodward. The SWODA NWPSA11 Aging Services Information Assistant receives calls daily from older people and/or their caregivers with needs, and many are told nothing is available to help. This Masonic funding will enable AAA staff to assist many callers with resources that were not available previously.

This funding “will not only help Oklahoma’s older population, but will also relieve some of the stress placed on caregivers whose older relatives are continually turned down because of the lack of resources for needed help,” said Anita Martinez, SWODA NWPSA11 director of Aging Services.

To learn more about this and other available services, call the SWODA NWPSA11 Masonic Program Coordinator, Ada Vanderford, at 800-627-4882, or call the statewide toll-free Senior Info Line at 800-211-2116.

-30-

April 3, 2018

Information and assistance available through SWODA Aging Services

The South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) Area Agency on Aging (AAA) provides information about AAA services and other community programs concerning the elderly through the Information and Assistance (I & A) service. The I & A service is designed to help those 60 and older who need information about a program or service, or who simply have problems and do not know where to turn for help. Calls from the elderly and their caregivers are welcomed.

Some of the services that information and/or assistance can be provided for include the following: respite services for caregivers, hearing aids, limited transportation, housing, legal services, long-term care, Medicare, nutrition, health care, housekeeping, weatherization and other concerns of the elderly.

SWODA is one of 11 Councils of Government in the state. SWODA’s region of service includes municipalities, counties and conservation districts in Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita counties. SWODA was created to strengthen the economic and social development of the region through various specialized services such as the following: 911 Administration, Aging Services, Community and Economic Development, Geographic Information Systems, Rural Fire Defense and Workforce Development.

These services are funded in part by state and Older Americans Act Funds from SWODA AAA and DHS Aging Services.

It is policy of SWODA AAA to serve all individuals who are eligible for its programs without regard to race, national origin, ancestry, color, religion, gender, age or disability.

March 13, 2018

SWODA Area Agency on Aging to conduct a public hearing

The South Western Oklahoma Development Authority Area Agency on Aging will be conducting a public hearing at 9 a.m., Wednesday, March 28, 2018, in its Burns Flat Community Building, 98 Frontier Way, Burns Flat, Oklahoma. The public is invited and encouraged to attend and comment on the 2019-2022 Area Plan. The area plan may be viewed prior to the public hearing online at www.swoda.org. This four-year area plan update reflects services provided under the Older Americans Act, as well as goals and objectives that are set for fulfilling the priority needs of the elderly.

Individuals interested or concerned about services available to senior citizens are urged to attend and give oral comments or, if unable to attend, written comments will be accepted. Please send all written comments to Samantha Walker, PO Box 569, Burns Flat, OK 73624. Include your name and contact information.

The facility where the public hearing is to be held is accessible to the disabled and interpreter services can be made available upon one week’s notice.

###

February 27, 2018

Financial resources available to give caregivers a break

The SWODA Area Agency on Aging provides for respite services for eligible caregivers in partnership with the Department of Human Service Aging Services Division. The definition of caregivers are "people of any age caring for someone 60 years of age or older with at least two of these Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) impairments (dressing, bathing, eating, transferring, toileting, or walking) and/or requiring substantial assistance because of a cognitive or other mental impairment."

There is an application process and if a caregiver qualifies, a home visit is required. After the O3A assessment is completed on caregiver and care receiver, then vouchers are provided. The caregiver can then contract with any person of their choice (other than someone living in the same home of caregiver or care receiver or under 18 years old) to provide respite services. There are no income or resource limitations.

Studies have shown that caregivers will give better care, maintain their own health, and have reduced levels of stress if they can get away from the responsibilities of providing care even if for only a few hours. Respite does just that. It provides a way for a caregiver to get out of the everyday routine of caring for their loved one. For example, a caregiver has the option of using respite services to go to a doctor’s appointment, get their hair done, visit friends at a coffee shop or even go to a movie.

If you or someone you know is interested in the Caregiver Respite Voucher Program, please contact Ada Vanderford, caregiver coordinator with SWODA Area Agency on Aging, at 800-627-4882, ext. 127, or e-mail Ada Vanderford at ada@swoda.org.

###

February 12, 2018:

Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma provides funding again to assist with services for elderly

The Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma has again partnered with the South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) NWPSA11 Area Agency on Aging (AAA), along with other Area Agencies on Aging across the state, to assist with funding direct services for people 55 years of age and older. These funds will be used on a first come first serve basis until they are all utilized. There will be an application process for individuals 55 and over who are in need of some type assistance that are not otherwise provided by other agencies.

Some of the types of services that can be purchased by the SWODA NWPSA11 AAA include minor home repairs, wheelchair ramps, air conditioner window units or space heaters, and/or air condition or heater repairs. Funding for each type of service will be limited. Those who have desperate or unique needs should file an application because those situations will be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Assistance will be available once per person every three year.

Counties covered by the SWODA NWPSA11 AAA are Beaver, Cimarron, Dewey, Ellis, Harper, Texas, Woods and Woodward. The SWODA NWPSA11 Aging Services Information Assistant receives calls daily from older people and/or their caregivers with needs, and many are told nothing is available to help. This Masonic funding will enable AAA staff to assist many callers with resources that were not available previously.

This funding “will not only help Oklahoma’s older population, but will also relieve some of the stress placed on caregivers whose older relatives are continually turned down because of the lack of resources for needed help,” said Anita Martinez, SWODA NWPSA11 director of Aging Services.

To learn more about this and other available services, call the SWODA NWPSA11 Masonic Program Coordinator Ada Vanderford at (800) 627-4882, or call the statewide toll-free Senior Info Line at (800) 211-2116.

-30-

Jan. 12, 2018

Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma provides funding again to assist with services for elderly

The Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma has again partnered with the South Western Oklahoma Development Authority (SWODA) Area Agency on Aging (AAA), along with other Area Agencies on Aging across the state, to assist with funding direct services for people 55 years of age and older. These funds will be used on a first come first serve basis until they are all utilized.

There will be an application process for individuals 55 and over who are in need of some type assistance that is not otherwise provided by other agencies. These funds will be used on a first come first serve basis until they are all utilized. Some of the types of services that can be purchased by the SWODA AAA include minor home repairs, wheelchair ramps, air conditioner window units or space heaters, and/or air condition or heater repairs. Funding for each type of service will be limited. Those who have desperate or unique needs should file an application because those situations will be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Assistance will be available once per person every three year.

Counties covered by the SWODA AAA are Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita. The SWODA Aging Services Information Assistant receives calls daily from older people and/or their caregivers with needs, and many are told nothing is available to help. This Masonic funding will enable AAA staff to assist many callers with resources that were not available previously.

This funding “will not only help Oklahoma’s older population, but will also relieve some of the stress placed on caregivers whose older relatives are continually turned down because of the lack of resources for needed help,” said Anita Martinez, SWODA director of Aging Services.

To learn more about this and other available services, call the SWODA Aging Services Information Assistant Ada Vanderford at (800) 627-4882, or call the statewide toll-free Senior Info Line at (800) 211-2116.

SWODA is one of 11 Councils of Government in the state. SWODA’s region of service includes municipalities, counties and conservation districts in Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita counties.

SWODA was created to strengthen the economic and social development of the region through various specialized services such as the following: 911 Administration, Aging Services, Community and Economic Development, Geographic Information Systems, Rural Fire Defense and Workforce Development.

For more news articles specific for southwest Oklahoma, visit www.swoda.org.

-30-