Talking to others about your situation and feelings can help ease some of the stress that comes with caregiving. Two Alameda County programs provide free peer counseling in your home. Those ages 55 and over in the Tri-City area (Union City, Newark, and Fremont) can call the Senior Peer Counseling Program operated by the City of Fremont Senior Services at (510) 574-2064. Space at the Fremont office is available to participants who prefer not to meet at their home. Services are also available in Farsi.
Residents of Central and Northern Alameda County ages 60 and over can contact Senior In-Home Counseling Program at (800) 260-0094 for services. Emotional support can help with grief, physical decline, family discord, depression, losing one’s driver’s license or decline in physical mobility, and couples counseling, if both participants are over the age of 60. There is currently a waiting list for residents in Northern Alameda County. Those interested in becoming volunteer peer counselors should call the program in their area to learn more about the training program.
Assistance in Management or AIM provides free money-management help to very low-income seniors ages 60 and over in East Contra Costa County. Services include creating a budget that will cover bills, monthly check writing, maintaining records and balancing and reconciling check books. AARP monitors and trains the volunteers. Contact this program at (925) 946-0178.
The BACS Senior Nutrition and Money Management programs offer assistance to frail or disabled older adults in Alameda County. The programs’ goals are to help seniors live in their homes and to prevent or delay placement in a care facility. The Senior Nutrition program offers hot meals to community dining sites located throughout the cities of Alameda and Oakland and is open to residents of these cities. The Money Management Assistance program provides protection against financial abuse and exploitation that could deplete an older person’s financial resources. This program is available to residents of Alameda County. There are fees for some services, but no one will be denied service because of inability to pay. Call (510) 986-8900 for more information.
The Senior Injury Prevention Program of San Rafael is operated through the San Rafael Fire Department and the Whistlestop’s Marin Independent Elders Project. The fire department can provide a home safety checklist for residents of San Rafael. The checklist can help caregivers and their loved ones reduce the risk of fall or injury by identifying areas of the home that are potentially hazardous. For more information call the San Rafael Fire Department at (415) 485-3488.
API Legal Outreach has a program offering low-cost or free legal services to seniors above the age of 60 through the Senior Law Project. Legal assistance is available in the areas of elder abuse, long-term care, estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, Medi-Cal, SSI, Social Security, taxes, conservatorships, and consumer fraud. Services are free to those receiving public benefits or who are low-income, and are also offered on a sliding scale. San Francisco residents call (415) 567-6255 and those in Alameda County can call (510) 251-2846. Services are available in several Asian languages as well as English.
Legal assistance is available to very low-income residents of southern Santa Clara County through the California Rural Legal Assistance Program. Help is available in public benefits cases relating to Social Security or SSI overpayments and terminations, In-Home Supportive Services, Medicare, Medi-Cal, Treatment Authorization Requests, food stamps and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. Assistance is also available for landlord/tenant disputes, evictions and some home ownership cases. Information about eligibility is available at (408) 847-1408.
Legacy Corps is a free respite program sponsored by the Family Service Agency of San Francisco and the University of Maryland Center on Aging. The program provides basic in-home support to frail and home-bound elders and their regular caregivers residing in San Francisco. Multigenerational caregiving teams comprised of an older adult aged 50 and over and a young person aged 16–21 provide basic care services such as companionship and social support, meal and snack preparation, taking their elderly care receiver for a walk (if ambulatory or in a wheelchair), performing light household tasks, and running errands within close proximity to the home. This service enables the caregiver to take a break and to attend to personal business. Legacy Corps caregivers may be scheduled once or twice a week for a total of up to four hours. For availability and intake, call program manager T. Crandall at (415) 694-8300.
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