Clearfield, PA — Congratulations to the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging for winning the 2021 Aging Achievement Award for their Oral Health Kits for Seniors Project!

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Clearfield, PA—The Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging announces that its Oral Health Kits for Seniors Project recently received a 2021 Aging Achievement Award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), the highest honor presented by n4a to member agencies.

The awards program is supported by iN2L, provider of the leading engagement and social connection platform for seniors, offering a foundation for activities that facilitate social interaction, cognitive and physical exercise, education, reminiscing, areas of interest and memory support engagement. The Oral Health Kits for Seniors Project provides dental hygiene supplies on a regular basis to older adults, was among 36 local aging programs to receive honors during the n4a Annual Conference and Tradeshow, July 19-22.

The 2021 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. Among the selection criteria was the ease with which other agencies could replicate the program in their communities.

“n4a is proud to recognize the innovative, successful and replicable programs and initiatives of our members through the Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards. We salute the winning AAAs who have enhanced the value of this awards program by sharing their initiatives with their peers in the Aging Network,” said Sandy Markwood, Chief Executive Officer of n4a. “Our members work tirelessly, 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, people with disabilities and caregivers,” said Markwood.

Oral health among seniors is a major public health concern that isn’t widely publicized. To meet this need in Clearfield County, the CCAAA has developed and packaged Oral Health Kits which include toothbrushes, toothpaste, denture tablets and oral health educational material. These packets have been prepared and continue to be distributed to area seniors on a quarterly basis through the Agency’s Meals on Wheels Program and Centers for Active Living.

CCAAA’s Executive Director, Ms. Kathleen Gillespie, shares “three thousand plus oral health kits have been packaged for distribution and approximately four hundred to six hundred kits have been distributed each quarter. Because of this program, older adults have indicated that the kits have provided motivation to seek dental care and our transportation program has seen an increase in older adults attending dental appointments.”

The 2021 n4a Aging Achievement Awards honored traditional and new strategies in a range of categories, including Advocacy, Agency Operations, Caregiving, Elder Abuse

Prevention, Healthy Aging, Home and Community-Based Services, Intergenerational Programs, Nutrition, Technology, and Transportation and Mobility.

All winners are showcased in the n4a 2021 AIA awards book.

Pictured from left: Ethen Tarner, COO, Rosemary Gillespie, Volunteer, Lindsey Mays, Project Specialist