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For Immediate Release Contact: AoA Press Office
Tuesday, June 17, 2008 (202) 357-3507
AoA Provides Disaster Assistance to Iowa Department of Elder Affairs
Will Assist Seniors Impacted by Destructive Floods
HHS Assistant Secretary for Aging Josefina G. Carbonell today announced the award of $50,000 to the Iowa Department of Elder Affairs to assist older individuals and families impacted by record flooding, which began in May 2008.
President Bush has declared 24 counties in Iowa as disaster areas. Thousands of older individuals and families in Iowa have been impacted by the severe flooding which has caused massive devastation throughout much of the state. More than 38,000 individuals are unable to return to their homes at this time, with more than two thirds of them in Cedar Rapids and surrounding towns and cities.
Assistant Secretary Carbonell expressed her continued concern for all victims of the floods and pledged to continue to work with the Iowa Department of Elder Affairs and local area agencies on aging to ensure that seniors who are impacted continue to have as much support and assistance as possible. “Our hearts go out to older Iowans and their families. We want to ensure that those who were the most severely affected by this historic destruction are able to recover and return to their communities as soon as possible,” Carbonell said.
Approximately 9,000 homebound seniors rely on services provided by Iowa 's dedicated network of aging and community-based organizations. Coordinated efforts by area agencies on aging, service providers, emergency response teams, volunteers and caregivers are assisting and, if necessary, evacuating seniors to safety.
The Administration on Aging's (AoA) disaster relief funds will be used to support a variety of short term and long term critical needs including extensive case management to determine priority needs, hands-on assistance for accessing appropriate resources, completing forms and filing insurance claims. In addition, support will be provided to medically fragile homebound seniors who need prescriptions filled, home health services, and transportation. Since many homes are not habitable, assistance will be provided to those who are struggling to find places to live. In addition, shelf stable meals and other food items and personal care items needed to be replaced, and mental health counseling is needed for many who have lost all their possessions.
For additional information on AoA's national disaster preparedness and response activities, please contact Irma Tetzloff at (202) 357-3525 or Irma.Tetzloff@aoa.hhs.gov
Information and resources on a variety of aging-related topics to assist elders, families, and caregivers can be found on the Administration on Aging Website at: http://www.aoa.gov