Back row from left to right: Rob Aitson (AOA Van Driver/Building Maintenance, Teri Toppah (NICOA Participant), Brady LaCour (Head Cook) & Darin Zotigh (AOA Director)
First row from left to right: Lorena Toppah(Cook Assistant), John Horse(AARP Participant) & Janelle Horse(Supportive Services Coordinator)
"Promoting Cohesive Nutritional Services with Hospitality and Improving the Quality of Life through Kiowa AOA Supportive Services."
The Kiowa Administration on Aging (AOA) offers congregate meals, supportive services, respite caregivers, Fastrans passes, handicap equipment, loan closet, residential lawn care, light home and auto repairs, educational health presentations, referral services and home-delivered meals.
The breakdown of the infrastructure of the Kiowa Tribe AOA Elder Program is as set forth. Hereby, each aspect of the Kiowa Tribe AOA Elder Program and its operation as explained, herein, is transparent and concise, as possible. The Kiowa AOA Program is funded by the Administration for Community Living. Like all grants, the l<iowa AOA Elder Program has guidelines we adhere to and service areas that are established and recognized by the ACL Grantor. The Kiowa AOA Title VI Funding consists of 2 parts which are Part C of the Caregiver Supportive Services and Part A Nutrition. The Nutrition aspect of the Kiowa AOA Program is the larger budget of the two within the Kiowa AOA Program. The Kiowa AOA Title VI Program is not a Social Service Program, Housing Program, or a Grass Cutting Program. The Kiowa AOA is primarily funded to provide Nutritional Services and offers a limited amount of supportive services to help improve the quality of life for our Kiowa Elders. The Kiowa AOA Program and its services are restricted to our immediate service area and will always endeavor to assist our elders within maximum reason according to availability of funding and as long as the qualified elder resides within the established Kiowa Tribe AOA service area. The Kiowa Tribe AOA Program is one of the few Federal Funded Programs among the Kiowa Tribe that has remained open back in March of 2020 when the Corona Virus was first declared a Global Pandemic. Due to the devastating Covid-19 Pandemic, the Kiowa AOA Program closed its doors to the public but continued to provide services on the front lines on a lower scale with daily operations. Due to Food Service manufacturers shutting down during the Covid-19 Pandemic food products and supplies have become scarce at times. During the time Covid-19 was declared a Global Pandemic and up to the present food costs and supplies have more than doubled in price, and currently, are not subsiding. To minimize exposure to the Covid-19 Virus, during the early part of the Covid-19 Pandemic the Kiowa AOA Program resorted to providing weekly care packages for our elders and eventually had local restaurants to provide meals, as well, to our Kiowa AOA elder participants. During the beginning of my employment, the Kiowa Tribe AOA Elder Program was serving an average of 18 to 24 AOA Participants daily. Prior to the Covid-19 Pandemic Kiowa AOA Elder participation continued to increase and at the time Covid-19 was declared a Global Pandemic the Kiowa AOA Elder Program was serving up to 120 meals daily. Today, due to the dramatic growth in elder participation in the Kiowa AOA Elder Program, elder participation has now plateaued at an average of almost 200 meals daily.
According to the Administration for Community Living Guidelines all Kiowa AOA Title VI Services are available only to Federally Recognized Tribal Members from any tribe who reside within the Kiowa AOA service area. All Kiowa AOA Services are available only according to funding availability. The Parameter for the Kiowa AOA Service Area extends from 5 miles east of Carnegie, Oklahoma, with the Botone Church as our eastern boundary, stretching southward to Meers, Oklahoma. The western edge of the Kiowa AOA Service area is the Kiowa County line and North to the northern edge of the Caddo county line.
A Kiowa AOA Qualified Elder Participant must be 60 years of age and a Federally Recognized member of any tribe. Spouses who are non-Indian and married to a Qualified Elder Participant may also participate in Kiowa AOA services. Spouses who are 59 years of age and younger may also participate in Kiowa AOA services providing their spouse is a Qualified Elder Participant. Handicapped Individuals who are 59 years of age or younger and residing with a Qualified Elder Participant may also participate in Kiowa AOA Services. Caregivers who reside with or assist Handicapped Elders may also qualify for Kiowa AOA Services. Handicapped Elders must provide documentation verifying their disability.
Kiowa Tribe AOA Title VI Supportive Services are primarily to help improve the quality of life for AOA qualified elders and lengthen their stay at home as long as possible preventing nursing home residency. However, the Kiowa AOA Program does not pay for the elder’s personal bills or debts. Elder Participant must have inquired or applied with other entities or agencies for their services and provide a copy of that application verifying it before requesting Kiowa AOA Assistance. The Kiowa AOA Program reserves the right to follow-up with that application to confirm whether or not that application will be considered for assistance before the Kiowa AOA will provide assistance pending on funding availability.
Meals are delivered to those who have no transportation or means of travel. The visually impaired, mentally impaired, or physically impaired may also qualify for homebound meal delivery. If a qualified Kiowa AOA Participant uses a handicap assistant device to aid in their mobility or to help maintain their independence they too, may also, qualify for a home-delivered meal. The Kiowa AOA Elder Participant must fill out a Kiowa AOA Intake application and submit it to the Kiowa AOA Program. Handicapped Elders must provide documentation verifying their disability.
The Kiowa AOA Program will provide relief for the primary Caregiver who may be experiencing “burnout” from taking care of their elder. AOA will cover the costs of bringing in an outside 3rdparty to provide relief in household domestic duties, errands, and other light duties as needed. AOA can send the primary caregiver to a hotel for two days for rest & relief, get nails done, or to a movie. In some cases, there may not be a primary caregiver. The Kiowa AOA Program will still be glad to assist with Respite Care.
In the fall season, AOA can help with a few school supplies and a few clothes alleviating the burden off of the grandparent who may have legal guardianship of their grandchildren and raising them. AOA can give one-time annual assistance to elders with groceries who may experience hardship raising grandchildren and must provide public school documents verifying grandchildren’s residence or Legal Guardianship documentation verification for eligibility
AOA has a few handicapped assistant devices on hand for Loan only. Elder may check out handicap devices every 6 weeks. Handicap devices are for temporary use only and are not meant to be kept. Some of the items AOA has are electric scooters, walkers, crutches, wheelchairs, grab bars, shower chairs, portable handicap ramp, and handicap transporter for scooter or wheelchair. An elder must update the Loan Application every six weeks should they need to check out the AOA handicap equipment for further use.
When the Kiowa AOA Program doesn’t have a particular service available or funding for services requested by the Qualified Elder Participant or Caregiver, the AOA Program will offer to call other agencies who may be of service to meet the need of the Qualified Elder Participant.
The Kiowa AOA Program has recently installed a new Hair Salon and has our own licensed and experienced hairdresser. For ethical and professional standards, the Kiowa AOA Program does observe and practice state law policies and procedures for all hair salons. All Kiowa AOA Hair Services are FREE to AOA Qualified Participants and their caregivers. All hair services include cuts for both men & women, perms, colors, and trims. Call to set up your appointment today.
The Kiowa AOA Program can give one-time annual assistance to elders residing within the Kiowa AOA Service area for utility Cut-Off Notices only. Utilities include water, gas, low-propane, or electricity. Must submit a cut-off notice along with the utility bill and account number. Must provide other documentation verifying and confirming residence. Must provide Tribal Identification Card or document verifying proof of being enrolled in a federally recognized tribe. Must reside within the Kiowa AOA Program Service Area. The check will be made payable to the utility company. The Kiowa AOA Elder Program reserves the right to verify the last date of assistance as it is a one-time annual service and not a one-time utility annual service.
The Grass cutting package consists of weed eating and grass cutting only. The Kiowa AOA Program is not a tree removal service but can trim back and trim off small branches. The Kiowa AOA Program provides Grass Cutting and weed eating beyond our service area to all Kiowa Elders for all 7 districts within maximum reason. We do keep a list of grass-cutting requests in order as they come. If an elder receives a city citation for their tall grass, has a snake infestation, or has a loss of a loved one, the AOA will make an exception and endeavor to cut their grass as soon as possible. Please pick up any large debris that may break AOA mowers. For taller weeds, the Kiowa AOA Program will brush hog where necessary. Kiowa AOA does not loan out or leave equipment with anyone to use. Grass Cutting is not a mandate by the Kiowa AOA Title VI Grantor. It is a service developed by the Kiowa AOA Program and extended as a privilege. Uncontrollable circumstances sometimes occur and unexpectedly sets us back on our grass-cutting list. Therefore, your understanding and patience is appreciated. Call your requests in as needed.
The Kiowa AOA Program does provide Kiowa Fast Trans Passes within our immediate service area and beyond the Kiowa AOA service area to all of our elders 60 years of age and older. Each recipient is limited to two passes per month so that others can have a chance to share in the privilege.
The majority of Kiowa AOA Funding awarded annually is primarily for Nutritional Services Part A. With rising food costs and the growth in elder participation, most of the funding in Part A goes towards food/supply costs and salaries. With the benefit of earning my degree in Culinary Arts & Food Service Management, the Kiowa Tribe AOA Elder Program is able to provide restaurant-quality meals and a range of diverse cuisines that are generally not found within local food service establishments. We try not to get too fancy, of course, but do endeavor to offer various types of meals ranging from cafeteria-style foods, country-style-home cooking, comfort foods, and occasionally, a gourmet meal. With rising food costs and dramatic growth in elder participation, most of the funding in Part A goes towards food/supply costs and salaries. While the rest of Part A of Funding is applied to other necessary, remaining operational needs such as Utilities, Office Supplies, communications, just to name a few. Although the ACL does not mandate each Tribal AOA Program across the nation in Indian country to provide meals according to doctors' orders the Kiowa AOA Program does, however, endeavor to purchase multi-grain products, low-sodium products, sugar-free & fat-free products when available. If you're ever in the heart of Kiowa Country please come out and taste our Kiowa AOA Hospitably, as well as, a complimentary meal on us. Meal Times are as follows: Monday through Thursday — 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Friday Brunch Only - 10:00 am to 11:00 am.
Congregate Meals are open dine-in meal settings where elders come into the AOA building, sit down, and enjoy a meal together. Sign-in sheets are set out for all elders to sign before getting their meal. One Caregiver per handicapped Qualified Elder is entitled to a free meal providing the Qualified Elder is physically handicapped and dependent on a handicap device for mobility. Intake form Applications are required for all Congregate Meal Participants.
Pertains to AOA Staff bringing out a meal to your vehicle when you pull up behind the AOA building at mealtime to pick up your meal. When pulling up to pick up a meal(s) please provide all tribal IDs for those who are not present in the vehicle if you are requesting more than one meal other than yourself. The Kiowa AOA reserves the right not to accommodate extra meal requests if Tribal IDs are not provided. One Caregiver per handicapped Qualified Elder is entitled to a free meal providing the Qualified Elder is physically handicapped and dependent on a handicap device for mobility. Underaged, non-elder, non-Indian individuals already receiving meals due to their spouse being qualified don’t necessarily qualify them to another caregiver meal if they are not physically dependent on a handicap device. Intake Form Applications are required for all Curbside Meal Participants.
For your convenience, all Kiowa Tribe AOA Supportive Services that are normally conducted within the AOA facility are also available at Curbside. AOA Staff will come out to your vehicle to take your applications, answer questions, or any other concern we can address to accommodate elders. Call ahead and make your appointment.
The Kiowa AOA Program is a non-profit program that can perform on occasion In-House Caterings. Tribal Program requesting the catering will pay for the vendor food cost and supplies using their own program funding to cover those expenses. The Kiowa AOA Program puts all revenue back into the program. Therefore, make out all catering fees to the Kiowa AOA Program. The Kiowa AOA Program is also available, at our convenience, on a smaller scale to provide catering to the public. Let Kiowa AOA help plan your next function to meet your catering needs. Call anytime for your inquiry.
The Kiowa AOA Program provides various Health, Holiday, Social Activities, and presentations throughout the year. In the fall and throughout the year we have several upcoming planned activities.
This year the Annual “Kiowa AOA Elder Fun Day” is slated for September 24, 2021. During this activity, AOA provides an open smorgasbord at noon to all our elders present. During this activity, the Kiowa AOA has an open pool table tournament, open horseshoe tournament, open domino tournament, prettiest shawl contest, best dessert dish, oldest elder contest, youngest elder contest, women’s straight dance contest, and men’s Lulu contest with Family Style Bingo. The day is full of laughter, fun, and good ol’ fellowship. All contests consist of good prize money. Vendors welcome. Everyone welcome.
This year’s Kiowa AOA Annual Halloween Activity is slated for Thursday, October 21, 2021, along with a buffet-style lunch. The Kiowa AOA Program will sponsor a Halloween Costume Contest, Karaoke Contest, Scariest Story Telling Contest, and lots of goodies to eat. Everyone Welcome.
Slated for Thursday, November 18, 2021, @ 11:00 am. Will consist of a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner, Guest Speaker, and Family Style Bingo. Everyone welcome.
Slated for Thursday, December 16, 2021, @ 11:00am. It Will consists of a Prime Rib Steak Dinner, Guest Speaker, Christmas Treat Bags, and Family Style Bingo. Everyone Welcome.
Slated for Friday, February 11, 2022, @ 11:00am. Valentines Party will consist of goodies Buffet-Style with finger foods. Nostalgic Genres of music will be played consisting of “’50s,” “’60s,” and “’70s.” The Kiowa AOA Will sponsor a Costume Contest reflecting the 50’s, 60’s, or 70’s clothing attire, a Dance Contest, and a King & Queen Valentine Contest. Everyone welcome.
Slated for April 14, 2022, @ 11am. Will consist of Easter Dinner with a special guest speaker. Contests include Most eggs found for non-handicap elder and most eggs found for handicapped elder, Easter Basket contest and Egg Toss contest –Prizes for each category. Everyone Welcome.
Each year the Kiowa Tribe AOA Program collaborates with the Kiowa Head Start or Kiowa Tribe Community Health Representative Program and together we sponsor a Health Fair for all our Participants. Vendors are welcome, educational literature is handed out, booths to check vital signs are set up, door prizes are given away and treats are available. Box Lunches are available for everyone in attendance. Everyone Welcome.
Once a month usually on Thursdays after lunch, the Kiowa AOA Program sponsors a Family Style Bingo with good prizes, consolation prizes, and a Blackout prize. Everyone Welcome.
Once a month the Kiowa AOA Program is allowed to serve a “Traditional Meal.” Usually, on the third Thursday of each month, we recognize all participating elders who have birthdays for that month. We put their name on the wall next to a picture of a birthday cake and put balloons on a special table set just for them with goodies they can each take home. During this time, we serve a Traditional Meal with frybread. Right before everyone is almost through eating we serve cake and ice cream and everyone sings the Kiowa birthday song to them. Afterward, at 1:00 pm everyone plays Family Style Bingo. Everyone welcome.
Every Thursday of each week the Kiowa AOA Elder Program has a Flea Market open to the public from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Vendors are welcome to set up free of charge. Anything from baked goods to handmade craft items is available during this time. Everyone welcome!!!
Every other Monday the Kiowa AOA Elder Program puts out a sign-up sheet and it fills up fast on a first-come-first-serve basis. Elders gather at the Kiowa AOA Elder Center and park their cars. At 2:00 pm Kiowa Elders are transported to Devol, Oklahoma, to the Kiowa Casino where they are given $20. free play for 55 years of age and older and one free meal. Before the GSA van leaves from Carnegie at 2:00 pm, the elders will have a special prayer for safety and traveling mercies before pulling out. At 6:20 pm there will be given 3 calls in 5-minute intervals for reloading the elder van. Everyone welcome.
The Kiowa AOA Program provides various Health, Holiday, Social Activities, and presentations throughout the year. In the fall and throughout the year we have several upcoming planned activities. After the Corona Virus was declared a worldwide Pandemic the ACL gathered all the AOA Programs across the nation together and created a network of weekly meetings.
Every week all AOA Programs come together and meet through Zoom or teleconference where we discuss new updates from the CDC and share what other AOA Programs are doing to combat isolation and coping with the effects of the Covid-19 virus. After proposing using a red ribbon on elder doorknobs in case they had an emergency need or green ribbons to indicate they were okay the ACL liked that input along with other ideas I had that they invited me to be one of their nation-wide guest speakers on one of the weekly forums.
In my presentation I showed pictures and how that the Kiowa AOA Program was building gardens to help get elders outdoors. I showed pictures of a door contest and a drive-by parade to bring about safety and awareness in combatting social isolation and Covid prevention. The Older Indians Magazine contacted me and asked to feature the Kiowa AOA in their National Older Indians Fall Newsletter. I accepted and, in short, the Kiowa Tribe AOA Elder Program is now on the map nationally. Another thing the Kiowa AOA Program did was conduct a Scavenger Hunt with riddles, prizes, and contest money for the winners.
My father was the late Spencer Zotigh, whose grandfather was Harry Hall Zotigh, a direct descendant from the bloodline of Sate-ine-gyuh, Sitting Bear. Sitting Bear was the leader of the Koitsenko —the Ten Bravest of the Kiowa Elite Warrior Society. My big brother, Harry Hall, doctored with the "Coal." He would belch it up from his stomach and he would catch it in his hand and it would be glowing red with fire but smolder like ice. Harry Hall also, had "Buffalo Medicine" where he would doctor with the Buffalo Horn. Harry Halls Medicine was offered to my Grandpa, Stephen Hall Zotigh. Sitting Bears son was the one who received the "Lizard Medicine" upon Saddle Mountain. My mother was the late Darlene Hovakah Wolf. My mother's mother was Mamie Sophia Tsoodle. Mamie was the only sister of 7 brothers. Grandma Mamie's grandpa was Red Teepee. Red Teepee had 10 wives one of which was a full-blooded Irish captive. From the Irish, Captive were born 5 children: Satepauhoodle, Kaulaity, Tsoodle, Bointy, and Ahhaitty.
Today, some of my uncles have green eyes from that bloodline. My mother's father was William Wolf. Grandpa William attended the Rainy Mountain Boarding School which was built to "civilize" the Kiowas. At one time, my grandfather William Wolf was offered the Kiowa Tribal Medicine - the Taime. Grandpa William's father, Hobay-Holah or Jack Hovakah, was a brother to Chief Lonewolf. Kiowas had a prophecy in the tribe hundreds of years old that one day people of white skin were going to come into our land. The prophecy instructed the Kiowas not to trust them because one day they were going to take away our buffalo, and our land, and change our way of life. By comparison to other tribes, the Kiowas have killed the most Whiteman in America because the prophecy instructed the Kiowas to kill them where they stand. My great grandfather was Jack Hobay-Holah, whose name meant "Wagon burner" or "Always had that itch to kill them." Because of that prophecy, Hobay-Holah would do just that which is how he received his Kiowa Name, Hobay-Holah. Later Hobay Holah was one of the Kiowa warriors forced to surrender by the government. At that time, he was given the Christian name Jack Hoväkah. They couldn't pronounce his name at the time of his surrender so it was simplified to Hovakah instead of Hobay-Holah. Later he became a Christian and a Deacon at the Rainy Mountain Church.
Today, I must give honor where honor is due and humbly say thank you to the Kiowa AOA Staff for staking their sash down with me and remaining on the front lines in serving our people during the Covid19 Pandemic. Although we are not out of the woods yet, we still hold fast our commitment through every spike, loss of loved ones, and daily exposure to Corona and its variants. Every Monday morning the Kiowa AOA conducts our staff meetings. Afterwards, we end each meeting with a prayer for our elders, for the AOA program, and for each other before we began our work week. I could not ask for a better team to work with - together we persevere. As the Kiowa AOA Program progressively grows we reconfigure our strategies and grow with the changes. Slowly, we move forward together taking every precaution necessary to protect our Elders and each other along the way. If you haven't been to the Kiowa AOA Center yet, please drop in sometime and see all the wonderful renovations completed and have a meal with us. Of course, with the current pandemic situation, everyone is required to wear a face mask and to present their vaccine verification before entering the AOA facility. Our Mission statement is: "Promoting Cohesive Nutritional Services with Hospitality and improving the quality of Life through Kiowa AOA Supportive Services. Come see what we're all about and experience Kiowa AOA Hospitality.
Darin Zotigh — Kiowa AOA Title VI Director
We love our Tribal Members, so feel free to visit during normal business hours.
PO Box 369, Carnegie, OK 73015, US
12:00 pm – 01:00 pm
12:00 pm – 01:00 pm
12:00 pm – 01:00 pm
12:00 pm – 01:00 pm
10:00 am – 11:00 am