In this episode, Dr. Mike Chua introduces Ms. Keita Cole from the Commission on Aging and Disability. Dr. Mike Chua expresses interest in learning more about the work of the commission and its relevance to their physical therapy clinic, which specializes in geriatric care.
In this episode:
0:00:00 Introduction to the Alzheimer's Conference
0:00:30 Commission on Aging and Disability: Overview and Services
0:02:02 Area Agencies on Aging in Tennessee
0:03:03 Funding and Distribution of Meals for Seniors
0:04:38 Volunteer Involvement in Meal Delivery
0:05:09 Qualifications for Congregate and Home-Delivered Meals
0:06:04 Importance of Healthy Eating for Brain Health
0:07:09 The Benefits of Senior Center Food Services
0:08:09 The Sandwich Generation: Taking Care of Kids and Aging Parents
0:09:12 Resources, Meal Sites, and Language Assistance
Ms. Keita explains that the commission is the main source of aging resources and funding for the state of Tennessee. They provide support for senior centers and home-delivered meals. They work with area agencies on aging and disability to distribute services and funding throughout the state.
Dr. Mike Chua inquires about the process of coordinating services for their patients. Ms. Keita explains that they would need to work with the local agency on aging to assess and initiate assistance. She emphasizes that all services are free of charge and funded by the federal government.
Dr. Mike Chua shares his positive experiences with the services provided by the commission. Ms. Keita mentions that the frequency of meals and services may vary depending on the community and the availability of volunteers. She also explains the qualification process for congregate meal sites, ensuring that proper funding, safety, and health regulations are followed.
To qualify for congregate sites, participants just need to be over 60 in Tennessee and don't require a background check. For home-delivered meals, individuals also need to be over 60, live within the state, and have limitations in activities of daily living. The meals provided vary but aim to meet one-third of the daily nutritional guidelines.
While the meals may not be heavily seasoned, individuals can add seasoning at home. Dr. Mike Chua shares a personal experience of enjoying a meal from a congregate site and emphasizes the importance of the service for those who struggle with cooking or have Alzheimer's and dementia.
He encourages those in the sandwich generation to consider the service for their loved ones. Ms. Keita provides contact information through the tn.gov website and a toll-free number. The number is area-code sensitive, directing calls to local offices based on the caller's area code. She also mentions that they have a map on their website where people can find their county's congregate meal site.
It's free and participants just have to show up at the designated time. The commission also provides resources on Alzheimer's and dementia, including caregiver tip sheets in different languages. They aim to ensure that everyone gets access to their services.
Dr. Mike Chua concludes the episode by encouraging listeners to hang out with people who bring out the best in them and to take action and reach out for help. He encourages sharing the commission's resources with others and emphasizes that teaching helps in better understanding.
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