Helping Hands

Helping Hands: Centre County welcomes seniors with social, health programs

December 25, 2013 

With more and more people older than 60 moving to Centre County, many wonder where to find help with aging services. There are many services through the Office of Aging for those 60 or better in Centre County:

•  Adult day care: Local venues provide group activities in a supportive environment for people who do not require 24-hour institutional care but find full-time independent living difficult. It also can provide a relief period for caregivers, spouses, partners and adult children.

•  APPRISE insurance counseling: Qualified individuals provide unbiased help for Medicare recipients to better understand Medicare and other health insurance benefits. They also assist in submitting claims or filing appeals, health insurance and prescription drug coverage.

•  Congregate meals: Hot, nutritious meals are provided at our six senior activities centers daily for those who call and make a reservation.

• Family caregiver support program: This program provides assistance for families who are caring for older relatives. Reimbursement is given for certain supplies, equipment and in-home services needed to continue caring for the older-than-60 care-receiver.

• Home-delivered meals: A well-balanced meal is available up to five days a week for those who are homebound, unable to prepare meals themselves and have no one to assist them in meal preparation. To be added to the program, the client must be assessed as to having one or more of these difficulties. These meals are different from Meals on Wheels. MoW serves the State College Area School District and Home Delivered Meals serve all other areas of the county.

•  Information and referral: These services provide information for aging services; makes referrals to other agencies in the community that provide services needed; and assists in completing applications for PACE/PACENET, farmers market vouchers when available and property tax/rent rebates.

• Legal services: Limited legal assistance is available for those age 60 or older who meet eligibility requirements.

• Nursing home transition program: This program is designed to improve a consumer’s satisfaction and the quality of long-term living services they receive. The long-term living counselor will assess current health status, functional status, informal support status and living arrangements and any other issues to help with coordinating a safe discharge plan and a smooth transition into the community.

• Ombudsman: These advocates protect and enhance the health, safety, welfare and rights of consumers receiving long-term care (whether it be in a nursing home, personal care home, assisted living facility or one’s own home.) Volunteer ombudsmen work with all parties concerned toward resolution of the problem on behalf of the consumer.

•  PDA waiver program: An intensive in-home community service program is available for consumers who are eligible to reside in a nursing facility and meet the income and resource limits of the program. An individual’s assets must be $8,000 or less and does not include the consumer’s residential property.

•  Prime Time Health: Prime Time Health provides health promotion, disease prevention services, exercise and educational programs through the six senior activities centers.

•  Protective services: Resources and support are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to prevent, detect, reduce or eliminate abuse, neglect and exploitation of those older than 60.

•  RSVP: The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is a volunteer opportunity for people age 55 and older. Volunteers are matched with positions in more than 130 nonprofit agencies which are best suited to each volunteer’s interests, abilities and schedule.

• Senior activities centers: Six centers provide hot nutritious meals, recreation, exercise, socialization, education, and volunteer opportunities tailored to each center and their participants’ interests.

•  Transportation: Rides are available by shared ride van throughout Centre County. Twenty-four-hours’ notice is required, rides are available to and from senior centers, medical appointments, social services agencies, grocery stores, beauty shops or barbers, and pharmacies. CATA and CATARide also provide transportation in some parts of the county. Call County Transportation at 355-6807, CATA at 238-2282 or CATARIDE (formerly Centre Ride) at 353-7433.

If you have questions, call Centre County Office of Aging at 355-6716, email aging@centrecountypa.gov or visit www.centrecountypa.gov.

Sandy Schuckers is a coordinator for Prime Time Health.

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