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Spotlight on Innovations and Achievements: Los Angeles County Area Agency on Aging

We're highlighting the cutting-edge programs and successful strategies used by the 2018 recipients of n4a's Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards in this weekly spotlight feature. This week we're focusing on the Los Angeles County Area Agency on Aging's Sandbags for Homebound Seniors program, winner in the Home and Community-Based Services category.

The Sandbags for Homebound Seniors program was started by the Los Angeles County Area Agency on Aging to prepare at-risk adults for the El Nino storms in the winter of 2015. The program entailed identifying seniors who needed the service, performing preemptive onsite property flooding assessments, and delivering sandbags to the seniors at no cost to them.

Before the 2015 storm season, the Los Angeles County Sandbags for Homebound Seniors Task Force was created to safeguard seniors from the torrential rainstorms that were predicted for the season. The task force identified seniors who did not have the resources to prepare their homes for the impending El Nino storms. This group of seniors was identified by looking at home-delivered meals residents who lived in the historical FEMA flood zones. The initiative began in the fall of 2015 with the creation of the task force, which had representatives from a variety of Los Angeles County Workforce Development departments. The program was proven to save money and benefit the entire community.

After the program, the Los Angeles County Sandbags for Homebound Seniors Task Force plans to make follow up calls, create a video and follow up with seniors in person at local senior centers.

The program received a County of Los Angeles 31st Annual Productivity and Quality Customer Service Award in October 2017 and a FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness (ICP) Awards Honorable Mention Award in October 2017. In the next iterations of the program, the team hopes to partner with the City of Los Angeles Fire Department to further improve the program.

To learn more about the Sandbags for Homebound Seniors program, contact Anna Avdalyan, Program Manager at the Los Angeles County Area Agency on Aging at aavdalyan@wdacs.lacounty.gov.

To learn more about last year's winners, read our press release and check out our book of winners to learn how your agency can implement this or similar programs in your community!

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