California caregiver assistance programs.

Tens of thousands of individuals across California take care of members of their immediate or extended family. Many of these caregivers need to help senior citizens, those with a disability, or someone else who may be homebound. The people giving the home care are often faced with their own challenges, some of which may be financial. However they can turn to a number of non-profit organizations and/or government programs in California in an effort to access resources during this period. Some of the assistance programs are available statewide and others are more regional in nature.

Cancer Care provides local and regional financial assistance programs to help people with all types of cancers in California. Financial help is available for transportation, pain medications, home care, and child expenses. 800-813-HOPE

Patients with AIDs can turn to a couple different programs. The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) can provide vouchers for over 40 different prescription medications. The other option is the California AIDS Emergency Fund. This offers patients and the person caring for them various forms of financial assistance. They can apply for free or discounted special medical equipment, rental assistance, supplies for home care, medical premiums, prescription medications, and even money to pay for utilities or phone costs. 415-558-6999

The Jeffery Katz Bone Marrow Transplant Fund For Children provides financial aid for children and their families who are transplanted to southern California transplant centers. The main office is at 4560 Foundation Fountain Avenue, Los Angeles. Telephone - 213-666-6400.

Alameda County Social Services Agency can support children from low income families. The government will provide them, and their family members, with social services and the possibility of financial assistance. Call 510-596-0110 or dial 510-639-1000.

The Angel Fund - Union Labor Health Foundation (phone 707-442-2993) may have support for people with a health care need. The location provides grants for expenses such as clothing and medical-related travel expenses for the patient and caregiver. Applications to the fund can be obtained from a health care provider or counselor.




Adams Family Resource Center/South Central Los Angeles Regional Center can help caregivers and their families. Resources are focused on people caring for an individual with developmental disabilities. Call the center at 323-730-2279 for case management, counseling, financial assistance for bills, and respite. While most services are free, it also accepts Medi-Cal and has a sliding fee scale in place. A second location is in Gardena California.

Altadena Family Center administers financial services and food to people involved with the programs that the center provides. Information, counseling, food, meals, and more may be provided. 626-791-0508.

Arcadia Welfare and Thrift Shop only supports family’s and caregivers in the immediate Arcadia California region. Services include the ability to buy goods at the thrift store. Some of the financial aid may include utility bill assistance for senior citizens, prescription assistance (for life threatening conditions), and rent assistance in very special circumstances. 626-447-6864.

Far Northern Regional Center offers resources to children, adults, and their caregivers. Aid is for those who have developmental disabilities. Services offered include health care, fixed point referral, case management, and rehabilitation assistance from the infant development program. Call 530-895-1501 for information. Additional support services offered, mostly for free, include legal and medical assistance, financial aid and more. This particular non-profits covers northern California including Modoc, Butte, Siskiyou, Glenn, Lassen, Plumas, Tehama, Shasta and Trinity.

National Kidney Foundation of Northern California provides information and referrals to emergency financial assistance programs. Dial 650-349-3812 for more information.

Building Opportunities for Self - Sufficiency, or BOSS, focuses adults, the elderly and children with severe and multiple disabilities, including physical or mental. Other support is for HIV/AIDS patients and those in California with chronic health conditions. 510-649-1930

California Department of Health Services/California Children's Services is a government administered program that assists care takers who are helping children from low-income families. It is only available provided the child has a serious medical condition. The state will need to authorize treatment for the condition and they can also provide funding for diagnostic and treatment for children, teenagers and people under the age of 21. Aid is offered for those with a disabling illness or injury. Health services and medical care is provided by a network of doctors and medical professionals at hospitals and community clinics throughout California. 916-653-8050.

The Center for Handicapped Children & Teenagers can provide medical bill assistance to qualified teenagers and children with birth defects and/or physical disabilities. Special education evaluations, testing and referrals are available by dialing 415-771-7057.

San Francisco Muscular Dystrophy Association offers qualified patients with a free loan closet of used medical equipment. While more limited, there may be monetary assistance available to be used for the purchase and repair of mobility equipment. This branch of the MDA serves the Northern California area from Menlo Park to Ukiah. 415-673-7500.

Children's Liver Association for Support Services (CLASS) is for families coping with childhood liver disease and transplantation. The family and their caregiver can access emotional, educational, and financial needs. The center and its staff offer limited amounts of financial aid for families, a free telephone help line, and also parent matching program to link families for friendship, information, and mutual support. The two phone numbers to dial are 805-255-0353 or 877-679-8256.

Christian Action Life Line can help arrange loans for medical equipment (e.g. canes, walkers, wheelchairs) and may have limited amounts of emergency aid including food, gasoline vouchers, bus tickets, and rental assistance. Support may be offered for seniors too. 650-342-2255.

Office of Primary and Rural Health Care, California Department of Health Services is located in Sacramento. Call (916) 654-0348. The agency will have additional information on caring for the disabled and seniors. Learn what steps caregivers can take to apply for aid and support.





Exceptional Children's Foundation - Lifetime Assistance Program provides more holistic assistance. This includes evaluation, recommendations and assistance concerning the handicapped individual's total life situation, including social and recreational activities, housing needs, education, training, employment opportunities and personal and financial needs. 323-290-2000.

David Weiner Memorial Free Loan Society of the Valley, Inc. offers zero percent/interest-free loans and emergency assistance. Patients and the people taking care of them can apply for clothing, clothing, food and cash. The program operates out of Valley Village, California.

The Desi Geestman Foundation can help children with a serious illness, their care givers, and immediate family members. They operate out of City of Hope National Medical Center in California. Assistance may be offered for travel expenses, phone card, hotel costs, gas card, clothing, food, transportation, gifts, and lodging. 818-242-1729

National Kidney Foundation of Southern California can help patients. Caregivers may be provided respite and other guidance as well. Apply for grants for paying for food, prescription medications, utilities, medical expense assistance, disease/disability information, health care referrals, temporary financial aid, organ donor cards and transportation. The foundation also runs a summer camp program for youth in the southern part of the state, including San Diego and Los Angeles. 818-783-8153

Native Daughters of the Golden West - Children's Foundation can help people apply for financial assistance to children from birth to 18 years of age who need immediate health care. 415-563-9091.

Proxy Parent Services Foundation provides financial support, guidance, and a listening ear to continue parental-type care for mentally ill adults, the elderly and children in California. Call 213-413-1130.

San Francisco Department of Public Health - Children's Medical Services can help low income and uninsured. They may receive access to testing, medications, and limited financial assistance including government support such as Medi-Cal. 415-554-9952

Health Insurance Premium Payment Program (HPP) can help pay for Medi-Cal Program. This will assist with paying for a patients health insurance premium. It is offered for individuals eligible for Medi-Cal that have high cost medical bills, are seriously ill and that have private health coverage. Dial 800-952-5294 for details on this government program.

Another organization to try is Rural Health Policy Council, which is part of California Health & Human Services Agency. Call (916) 651-7870.




By Jon McNamara

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