Caregiving Resources in the San Francisco Bay Area
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s two San Francisco Bay Area chapters offer a wide range of support and services for persons with MS and their caregivers. Programs include short-term individual counseling, respite grants, caregiver wellness retreats, financial assistance for equipment purchase or repair and equipment lending libraries. The MS Society also publishes free booklets in English and Spanish on a variety of topics. Contact the Northern California Chapter at (800) FIGHT MS or (510) 268-0572, or visit them on the web at www.msconnection.org. Residents of Santa Clara County may contact the Silicon Valley Chapter at (408) 988-7557 or on the web at www.svcnmss.org.
Elder Abuse Prevention of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties sponsors the Senior Fraud Fighter Bureau, a program to educate and enhance awareness of fraud directed at older adults. The bureau provides public information through web, video, print media, individual consultation and workshops. Call (510) 233-1577 or visit www.fightseniorfraud.org.
Rebuilding Together (formerly known as Christmas in April) is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and revitalize houses and communities, ensuring that low-income seniors and persons with disabilities remain safe and independent. Volunteers and skilled tradespeople perform such tasks as home modification, painting, cleaning, carpentry, plumbing and electrical work. Rebuilding Together has pro-grams throughout the Bay Area. To find a program in your area call (800) 4-REHAB-9 or visit www.rebuildingtogether.org.
Seniors and persons with disabilities may be eligible for financial assistance for home modifications through the Local Housing Authority. For information, contact the Local Housing Authority offices: Marin County, (415) 491-2525; Alameda County, (510) 538-8876; Contra Costa County, (925) 372-0791; San Francisco County, (415) 554-1200; San Mateo County, (650) 802-3300; Santa Clara County, (408) 993-2900.
The Women’s Cancer Resource Center in Oakland provides support groups, emotional support, legal advice, information and referral, and a comprehensive lending library with updated information on cancer. An oncology nurse is also available to discuss treatment options. The center serves residents of Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco Counties. For information, call their toll-free number at (888) 421-7900, or visit their website at www.wcrc.org.
Catholic Charities Volunteer Respite Program provides free respite to those caring for dependent adults in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Trained volunteers offer care a few hours once a week so that primary caregivers can enjoy regular time off. The volunteers provide protective companionship and do not give medications or do housework. The $25 annual membership fee is waived for SSI recipients and those experiencing financial hardship. Call (510) 768-3100.
Residents of Santa Clara County may contact Day Break Respite and Caregiver Support Services, also facilitated by Catholic Charities. Day Break offers a volunteer respite program as well as escorted transportation, home health services, an Adult Day program, and a caregiver support group. There are sliding scale fees for some services, but no one is denied services due to inability to pay. Contact Day Break at (408) 270-4900. Residents of San Francisco and Marin Counties may contact (415) 592-9200 for services. For information on other Catholic Charities’ services, please visit their websites at www.cceb.org (East Bay), www.ccsj.org (Santa Clara County), and www.ccasf.org (San Francisco).
Spectrum Center for LGBT Concerns in Marin County offers information and referral, support groups, youth and senior activities, and a friendly visiting program for LGBT elders, as well as training for health and social service professionals. The center strengthens and promotes acceptance of diversity and LGBT issues. Call (415) 457-1115 or visit www.spectrummarin.org. Case management, senior nutrition, attendant registry, and rental subsidy services are available to residents of Southern and Central Alameda County. Contact Spectrum Community Services at (510) 881-0300 or www.spectrumcs.org.
California Nursing Home Search (www.calnhs.org) is a user-friendly website offering comprehensive information on nursing homes in California. Visitors may access a search engine providing detailed comparative information on the quality of different facilities in a selected area. The site also includes information on how to get started in your search for a nursing home, resident rights and other options for long-term care, and checklists detailing specific features to look for when evaluating a facility. California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) also offers a wealth of information on long-term care facilities at www.canhr.org.
For those caring for a spouse, partner or other family member 60 years or older with significant memory impairment, the Older Adults and Family Center is offering a Caregiver Skills Series in English and a Caregivers Skills Series in Spanish. Beginning in February, this four-class series will focus on self-care for the caregiver, managing stress and frustration and finding and using community resources. For the series in English, contact Lani Singer at (650) 493-5000, ext. 22007. For Spanish, contact Miguel Oportot at (650) 493-5000, ext. 22587.
For information on other resources in your community, call FCA at (800) 445-8106.
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