Residents of Kern County over the age of 55 can call upon Aging and Adult Services for assistance. The non-profit agency is involved in coordinating many resources, ranging from senior nutrition to Family Caregivers and more. Details on the programs available in the region are below.
The Senior Nutrition service provides low cost, daily noon meals. It is also combined with social activities and there is information on clearinghouse services in a congregate, or group, setting for seniors aged 60 and over. This particular program receives funding through the State General Fund as well as Federal Older Americans Act.
The In-Home Supportive Services Program from the Aging Center serves eligible blind, aged or disabled persons who otherwise would be unable to safely remain in their own homes without some form of financial or hands on assistance. IHSS is an alternative to out-of-home care, such as board and care facilities or nursing home. Recipients need to be able to have been found eligible for Medi-Cal benefits in order to benefit.
Available IHSS services in Kern County include domestic help, such as for housecleaning, meal preparation and grocery shopping. There is also personal care services, such as feeding, bowel and bladder care. Transportation can be arranged for local travel in Bakersfield, and clients can get help from workers on bathing, grooming, dressing, mobility and transfer assistance, and paramedical care.
The Lanterman–Petris–Short Conservatorship Program serves individuals when the California court system has determined that they are gravely disabled due to mental illness. The program sets up conservatorships that allow involuntary treatments to reduce or even eliminate the grave disability to the point where patients are capable of accepting third-party assistance.
Kern County Aging and Adult Services oversees this locally. Services provided by an LPS Conservatorship court appointed decision maker include referrals to treatment, work with mental health personnel, and much more.
Family Caregiver Support from KCAAS provides services and assistance to people caring for family members who are incapacitated due to illness, age or disability. FCS is set up as an intensive program, with the goal of promoting the well-being and health of the caregiver so that both the individual and loved one can enjoy the best quality of life possible.
Other programs are also run by KCAAS for both the elderly member of the home and the caregiver. There are referrals to legal aid, credit counseling, and support groups in the region. Staff help clients with education and training, and this covers topics such as medication management or information on applying for Medicare.
There is also respite services provided, as short term relief is vital for the well-being of both the caregiver and the patient. Staff also help arrange for Care Coordination, which are free, comprehensive assessments to determine the most appropriate services that can help the client.
Kern County Aging and Adult Services Senior Information and Referral is a program that helps the elderly, their spouses and their families identify and access the most beneficial assistance for them. There are many state resources and services for their needs, ranging from Meals on Wheels, transportation, to homemaker and home health services.
Many other non-profits also help senior citizens and the elderly in Kern County, in particular those with a low income. They may offer assistance in completing necessary forms and rebates on utility bills. There are also local food pantries and farmer market coupons available.
Senior outreach is available from volunteers in outer Kern County. There is also the related Seniors Active, Giving, and Engaged (SAGE) in the Bakersfield area. By either name, the program provides older adults and the disabled with help. There is support for people who may be isolated and alone with opportunities for socialization and stimulation. Program volunteers make regular contact with participants, and also provide advocacy services, as necessary.
The main office of the charity is at Kern County Aging and Adult Services. As noted, both the elderly and the people who care for them can get help, and the address is 5357 Truxtun Ave., Bakersfield, California 93309. Call 661-868-1000 for more details.
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