United Way’s Area Agency on Aging funds $7.3 million to support older adults

United Way of Tarrant County’s Area Agency on Aging funded an estimated $7.3 million to support community organizations providing vital services to an estimated 36,000 older adults in Tarrant County, with the majority of funding dedicated to ensuring older adults receive nutritional meals.

Organizations receiving funding include Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County, Alzheimer’s Association North Central Chapter, Ardent Spirit, Dementia Friendly Fort Worth, Dental Health Arlington, Guardianship Services, Sixty and Better, the Women’s Center of Tarrant County and others. Services include caregiver information, evidence-based intervention, health maintenance, legal assistance, respite care, nutrition services and other in-home services to assist and support older adults.

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increased need for services for older adults,” said Don Smith, director of the Area Agency on Aging and vice president of community investment for United Way of Tarrant County. “Many caregivers are no longer able to help for fear of spreading the virus, and the closing of adult activity centers has limited services available to them, especially access to nutritious meals.”

Smith said a majority of the funding is earmarked for nutritional services with an estimated 1.6 million meals expected to be delivered to 22,040 older adults in Tarrant County. He said food insecurity, especially among those living alone and with dementia, is one of the most urgent issues among the older population.

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