Aging & In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana, Inc. (AIHS) is the Area III Agency on Aging as designated by the U.S. Administration on Community Living and the State of Indiana. AIHS is the primary resource for older adults, persons with disabilities, and their caregivers, and a funder of services including support for the Councils on Aging in their nine county service area: Allen, Adams, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells, and Whitley.
In 1974, AIHS was established as Northeast Area III Council on Aging as part of the national movement to provide community social services for older persons. The landmark legislation, known as the Older Americans Act, created the aging network which to this day continues to be the major vehicle for organizing and funding of services to older adults. In 1994, the organization’s name was changed to Aging & In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana, Inc. to better reflect the scope of responsibility and services. In 2003, AIHS moved from a rental space into their own building at the current location, 2927 Lake Avenue, Fort Wayne. President & CEO Connie Benton Wolfe was hired in May 2010. On July 01, 2012, Allen County Council on Aging merged into AIHS. President & CEO, Connie Benton Wolfe states “Our mission has remained the same throughout our history, and our vision is clear – we are the major resource, and we will be a catalyst for innovation for older adults, persons with disabilities, and their caregivers, to achieve optimal quality of live – safe and independent in their own home.”
Early on, Benton Wolfe established a set of Board-approved Strategic Organizational Priorities to identify gaps in need, as well as trends in the marketplace, and set targets for positioning the agency to move forward in the healthcare marketplace. Achievements from those priorities include integration of evidence-based programming into all service areas, academic research partnerships including funds from the national Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, care transitions pilot project with one hospital now scaled up to 10 hospitals as well as skilled nursing facilities in 30 counties and funded by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and success in contracting with third party payers. Foremost in each annual set of priorities is an emphasis on strengthening core services to demonstrate a commitment to wellness and healthy aging in their region.
In 2014, AIHS touched the lives of over 57,000 individuals through three avenues of support: planning for services, providing services, and funding services. AIHS is a community resource providing services at no cost or low cost with special emphasis on those vulnerable populations with the greatest economic or social need. However, AIHS is responsive to the needs of older adults, persons with disabilities, and their caregivers regardless of their income. Services are provides on a fee-for-service basis to those who exceed the income guidelines of the funding sources. Care Coordination services are also available on a fee-for-service basis to employers wishing to provide on-site support to employed caregivers.
On April 22nd, 2019 AIHS opened the doors to their new location at 8101 W. Jefferson Blvd., the building previously occupied by Physicians Health Plan of Northern Indiana. The larger space allows for expansion for both their lines of traditional services and their integrated care program. The current properties at 2927 and 3003 Lake Avenue are undergoing renovation for AIHS new integrated care program: PACE.
PACE, Program for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly, is a comprehensive, fully integrated, provider-based health plan for the frailest and costliest members of our society - those who require nursing home level of care. The PACE philosphy is centered on the belief that it is better for frail individuals and their families to be served in the community whenever possible. Although all PACE participants are eligible for nursing home care, 95 percent continue to live at home.