Thursday, November 20, 2014

Aging agency changes name, now serving those with disabilities

By ABBY ECKEL, Herald Staff Writer | 2/17/2014

The agency isn’t just about age, Elizabeth Maxwell said.

In response to expanded duties under the state’s new KanCare program, the East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging (ECKAAA) recently changed its name to the East Central Kansas Aging and Disability Resource Center, 117 S. Main St., Ottawa, Maxwell, director of the agency, said. The change reflects the agency’s new role in assisting Kansans with physical disabilities and are 60 and younger.

The agency isn’t just about age, Elizabeth Maxwell said.

In response to expanded duties under the state’s new KanCare program, the East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging (ECKAAA) recently changed its name to the East Central Kansas Aging and Disability Resource Center, 117 S. Main St., Ottawa, Maxwell, director of the agency, said. The change reflects the agency’s new role in assisting Kansans with physical disabilities and are 60 and younger.

The agency previously worked specifically with aging seniors 65 and older to provide assessments for Medicaid, Maxwell said, but following KanCare’s implementation, aging agencies across the state were mandated to change their names.

“We don’t provide the services for the disabled community. We merely provide information and options for [the disabled],” she said. “The services they get is through the Medicaid system. The only difference is where they go to get information and who will do their assessments.”

The KanCare-related change also resulted in two layoffs at the local office, Maxwell said.

The agency’s Ottawa office no longer offers case management, she said, which now is handled by in-home service providers. It will, however, now be offering assessments not only to the 65 and older population for Medicaid, but also to those with disabilities who are 18 and older.

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