Senior nutrition site closing -- Attendance decline, voucher program cited

    Aging & In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana (AIHS) has announced the upcoming closure of the Adams County Nutrition Site located in Riveside Center in Decatur.
    Due to a decline in attendance, the last day of operation will be Monday, December 31, 2012, AIHS said.
    The announcement said current participants in the program will have the option of joining the restaurant voucher program that has been operating since 2010 at Spring Garden Restaurant, 1401 Winchester Road, Decatur.
      Older adults interested in transportation service may contact the Adams County Council on Aging, 724-5316, AIHS said.
    Older adults or people with disabilities interested in receiving home-delivered meals are encouraged to contact AIHS to complete an assessment required to determine their eligibility. For more information on the restaurant voucher program or the home delivered meals program, people may contact AIHS at 1-800-552-3662, or 1-260-745-1200, and request the nutrition department during office hours,  8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
    “We are grateful for the support the community has shown over the past 38 years to the program and the site,” says Linda Ashcraft, director of the AIHS nutrition department, “as many of our clients have ‘aged in place’ while attending the site. We are also appreciative of how participants have embraced the new option over the past two years of dining out at a restaurant instead of at the congregate site.
    "There has been a steady decline in attendance at the congregate site resulting in the closure, and a steady increase in requests for restaurant vouchers which allow participants the freedom to dine at a time of their choosing and select from a menu," Ashcroft said.
    The Riverside Center site was open two days a week, Mondays and Wednesdays.
    Nationally, congregate site nutrition programs have experienced a decline in attendance as aging participants have moved into the home-delivered program, and younger individuals have been attracted by other dining options, according to Ashcroft.
    Participant donations nationwide have also declined, reflecting the economy.
    Aging & In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana, Inc. (AIHS) promotes independence, dignity, and advocacy for all older adults and persons with disabilities, the announcement said. As the Area III Agency on Aging, AIHS is the primary resource for aging and disabled populations and the largest funder  f services including support for the Council on Aging in the following nine counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells and Whitley Counties.
    Last year, according to the announcement, AIHS touched the lives of more than 47,000 individuals.