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CICOA: Everything You Should Know

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Abby Care
Discover how CICOA supports families in Central Indiana. From care management to home modifications, find resources for children, aging loved ones, and caregivers.

CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions is a non-profit organization in Indianapolis that provides support and assistance to seniors and their families. Formerly known as the Central Indiana Council on Aging, CICOA’s services cover various needs ranging from housing to caregiver support.

While the organization focuses on supporting aging adults, its services extend to people of all ages, including children with medical or developmental disabilities who are unable to live independently. The goal is to enhance the quality of life for children and families caring for older adults and people with disabilities in Indiana.

CICOA’s services are important for children and families. To help make access to assistance much easier, CICOA provides a comprehensive solutions guide. This guide assists individuals in finding community resources in Indiana so they can stay independent and avoid the need for care homes.

Understanding CICOA

  • Mission and Vision: CICOA’s mission is to empower seniors and people of any age with disabilities by offering services, providing answers, and giving them the support they need to live as independently as possible with dignity. The organization envisions a community in Central Indiana where older adults and people with disabilities can do well, supported by services that fit their needs and keep them comfortably and safely at home without needing to go to care facilities.
  • History and Evolution of CICOA’s Services: CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions started back in 1974 as the Central Indiana Council on Aging. Since then, it has focused on making life better for Indianans, especially older adults and those of any age with disabilities. Initially, CICOA started with a few services, including a state-funded nutrition program and an employment program for low-income older adults. Over time, the organization added more services like support for caregivers, elder-friendly communities, delivering meals, giving rides, and making homes safer and easier to live in.
  • Geographic Coverage and Service Area: CICOA’s focus is on Central Indiana, covering eight counties, including Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan, and Shelby counties. In each of the counties it serves, CICOA works with a council on aging. These councils help seniors and advise CICOA on service quality.

Services Provided by CICOA

The non-profit organization offers several services to assist seniors, people with disabilities, and caregivers in these areas. These services make sure those who receive them live more independently, healthily, and happily. They include:

  • Meals and nutrition for seniors
  • Care management
  • Transportation
  • Caregiver support
  • Home accessibility modifications
  • Counseling for preventive self-care
  • Healthcare collaborations
  • Stress management and access to resources
  • Legal assistance

Child-Centric Services Offered

CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions provides a range of services to support children with special needs and their families. They offer the following important services.

  1. Early Childhood Intervention Programs: CICOA helps kids under 18 with disabilities or developmental delays through Early Childhood Intervention Programs. They work to spot needs early and offer support to promote children’s overall well-being and development, especially during their formative years. CICOA also teams up with different services to provide complete care.
  2. Pediatric Care Coordination: CICOA makes sure kids with complex medical needs get the best care through pediatric care coordination. They team up with doctors, specialists, and families to create personalized care plans, aiming for the best health outcomes. This includes steps like referrals, assessments, and ongoing support. They also manage waivers, such as the Community Integration and Habilitation Waiver (CIH) and the Family Supports Waiver (FSW), for kids with disabilities to help them live at home and in the community.
  3. Child Care Assistance Programs: Families in Indiana can access quality child care for kids with special needs through child care assistance programs, thanks to CICOA. These programs ease the financial burden so families can find safe care while they work or handle other responsibilities. The CHOICE program is one example. As part of Indiana’s Community and Home Options to Institutional Care for the Elderly and Disabled Program, it provides case management, transportation, home-delivered meals, and more to support people with disabilities to stay independent and maintain their quality of life, regardless of age or income.
  4. Specialized Education and Support Services: To support children with disabilities, CICOA provides personalized education and assistance. This includes advocacy, tutoring, therapy, and resources to help with school. The organization focuses on understanding each child’s unique needs and interests to guide effective therapy sessions, especially for children with autism. Additionally, through its Aging and Disability Resource Center, CICOA provides specialized education and support services for kids. This includes workshops, speakers, and resources to help children understand topics like dementia. CICOA’s care management services also support children with serious medical conditions that need specialized care.
  5. Youth Transition Programs: CICOA helps teens and young adults with disabilities move from school to adult life smoothly. They offer programs to teach job and life skills, help find jobs, and fit into the community. The goal is to help these young people live on their own and have fulfilling lives.

CICOA Medicaid Waiver Program

The CICOA Medicaid Waiver Program provides extra help for people with disabilities who qualify for Medicaid but need more than regular Medicaid offers. Its goal is to let people get care at home or in their community instead of at institutions.

For adults and kids with medical needs, the program includes services like the Aged and Disabled Waiver (A&D) and the Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver (TBI).

Families interested in the Medicaid Waiver can get in touch with CICOA’s Aging and Disability Resource Center to start. An options counselor will check if the person qualifies and how much help they need to qualify for the waiver services.

Qualifications for CICOA Services

If you have a child with special needs or an elderly family member who needs help living on their own, they might be able to get help from CICOA. Here are the important things to know about qualifying for their services.

  • Criteria for Children’s Eligibility: Children under 18 with disabilities can access CICOA services. A CICOA options counselor will check if the child qualifies for specific programs based on their circumstances.
  • Income and Financial Qualifications: Income and finances are considered for adults and children during eligibility assessments. However, parental income or resources aren’t counted for financial eligibility for children’s services. Instead, the assessment focuses on the individual’s financial situation and program requirements to determine the level of assistance they can receive.
  • Medical Necessity Requirements: You must have conditions that limit your daily activities to qualify for CICOA services. CICOA checks for severe, complex, and unstable conditions, and any significant changes in the last six months. If you’re limited to two daily activities, you can join the CHOICE Program.
  • Documentation Needed for Enrollment: You’ll need proof of medical need, financial information for income checks, and medical records showing why you need help. You might also need to share details about your home, health, and anything else to help understand your needs.


Indeed, CICOA is a major player in supporting children with disabilities and their families to get the help they need for a better life. By providing essential care and resources, CICOA makes a big difference in our community.

Let’s stand together in supporting CICOA’s mission to improve the well-being of children and families. Consider joining hands with Abby Care to contribute positively to our community. By working together and supporting each other, we can make child and family services better and make our community a better place for everyone.


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