People with disabilities and their caregivers can learn about useful assistive technology through the Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco’s Assistive Technology Referral and Advocacy program. Anyone with questions about assistive technology may call and discuss what tools are available and where they can be purchased. Information is also available on funding sources that may help with the purchase of assistive technology. Advocacy is available to help obtain tools that might be covered by health insurance or that has been difficult to obtain through various sources. Anyone may use this service by calling Raphael at (415) 543-6222, extension 107.
Veterans’ benefits counseling is available in Santa Clara County through the Veterans Service Office. A veteran’s eligibility for health care based on a service related disability may be established by calling (408) 553-6000. Other benefits, such as disability compensation, pensions, spousal pensions and compensations and burial benefits can also be discussed. Veterans Service Offices exist in each Bay Area county. Alameda (North): (510) 577-3547; Alameda (South): (510) 265-8271; Contra Costa: (925) 313-1481; Contra Costa (West): (510) 374-3241; Marin: (415) 499-6193; San Francisco: (415) 554-7100; San Mateo: (650) 802-6598.
Hot, home delivered “main meals” are available through Catholic Charities CYO Meals on Wheels. Serving Daly City south to Belmont, Meals on Wheels provides low-sugar, low-sodium meals to seniors over the age of 60 and people with disabilities. Call (650) 295-2173 to participate. Meals can be delivered to eligible callers starting 24-48 hours after the call, Monday through Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. A home visit to assess needs is provided. Meals on Wheels programs are available throughout the Bay Area. City of Alameda: (510) 865-6131; Alameda (Central): (510) 582-1263; Alameda (South): (925) 373-5760; City of Berkeley: (510) 981-5250; Oakland/Montclair/Piedmont: (510) 986-8900; Contra Costa (Central): (925) 937-8607; Contra Costa (East): (925) 646-9137; Contra Costa (West): (510) 412-0166; Marin: (415) 507-4300; San Francisco: (415) 920-1111; Santa Clara: (800) 510-2020; Tri-City Area: (510) 574-2092.
Phone support and grief counseling are available in Marin County to people coping with crisis and grief through Suicide Prevention & Community Services, a program of Family Services Agency of Marin. A 24-hour hotline for people in crisis, or people concerned about someone in crisis, can be reached at (415) 499-1100. A 24-hour grief-line can be reached at (415) 499-1195. The Grief Counseling Program offers short-term counseling to individuals or families residing in Marin who are experiencing grief after the recent death of a loved one. Six sessions are available without charge. Further grief counseling is available on a for-fee basis for Marin residents who have experienced a death more than one year ago or for non-Marin residents.
Berkeley caregivers can receive nonmedical respite care for their loved ones through the Senior Companion Caregiver Program by calling (510) 981-5173. Senior companions provide companionship for care receivers or homebound seniors and a short break for their caregivers. Assistance is available once a week for up to three hours per day and includes companionship, light housekeeping, meal preparation, and errands. Comprehensive assessments, information and referrals are also provided. Volunteers are screened, trained and insured.
Residents of central Contra Costa County can access respite assistance through Caring Hands Volunteer Caregivers Program. Frail seniors and care receivers receive a home assessment, and if eligible, seniors are placed on a waiting list to be matched with a volunteer for a long-term helping relationship. Volunteers are available for one to three hours, once a week. Volunteers can provide friendly visiting, assistance with errands and shopping, and can accompany care receivers to doctor’s appointments. This also gives family caregivers a much-needed break. To sign-up for an assessment to receive services or to become a volunteer, call (925) 952-2999.
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