VENTURA, Calif. – The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging recently received recognition from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) with an Aging Innovations Award, the highest honor presented by n4a to member agencies. The award was given for the Agency’s Senior Nutrition Placemats. The VCAAA was one of 16 programs nationally to receive honors during the n4a Annual Conference and Tradeshow, held in San Diego during July.
The VCAAA created the Senior Nutrition Placemats as an educational tool to boost awareness of healthy and affordable food options for low-income older adults. The placemats feature a recipe approved by the VCAAA’s registered dietitian using ingredients purchased at the “99 Cents Only” stores. Additionally, the placemats feature “YOUR PLATE,” which displays the percentage of fruits, grains, vegetables, and protein that an older adult should consume per meal. There are also tips related to exercise, healthy living, and community resources available on each placemat. The placemats are available in English and Spanish and change monthly. Graphic design for the placemats was done by the General Services Agency.
The 2016 n4a Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards recognizes Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Title VI Native American aging programs that develop and implement cutting-edge approaches to support older adults, people with disabilities and their family caregivers. A part of the criteria for the selection of the honorees was the ease with which other agencies could replicate the program in their communities.
“With the health care landscape continuing to change rapidly, our members are discovering new ways to position themselves in the long-term and health care marketplaces, as well as to strengthen long-standing services, to meet the needs of America’s rapidly growing older adult population,” said n4a’s Chief Executive Officer Sandy Markwood. “Our members work tirelessly, and with little fanfare in their communities, and this program enables us to shine a well-deserved spotlight on their critical work to support older adults’ health, safety, independence and dignity.”
The 2016 n4a Aging Innovations Awards honored traditional and new strategies in a range of categories including Caregiving, Community Planning & Livable Communities, Elder Abuse Prevention, Healthy Aging, Home & Community-Based Services, Nutrition, Transportation & Mobility and “You Name It!”
The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging, an agency of the County of Ventura, is the principal agency in Ventura County charged with the responsibility to promote the development and implementation of a comprehensive coordinated system of care that enables older individuals and their caregivers to live in a community-based setting and to advocate for the needs of those 60 years of age and older in the county, providing leadership and promoting citizen involvement in the planning process as well as in the delivery of services.