One is a grant to study how to better deliver services.
Frederick, Md (KM) Some senior initiatives were unveiled on Thursday by Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner. During her public information briefing, Gardner announced that the county has received a $10,000 eldercare grant from the Altarum Institute. She says the funds will be used to study how to better deliver services.
“Frederick County will use these funds to conduct a strategic planning process. We’ll look at the best ways to evaluate data on both social and medical support services. And the goal is to provide quality services as efficiently as possible, reducing the cost to the taxpayers,:” says Gardner.
She says Frederick County is one of only 10 communities in the country selected to receive this grant.
In addition to the Division of Senior Services, Gardner says other agencies helping with this process will include the Division of Citizens Services, the Frederick County Health Department, Frederick Memorial Hospital, the County Senior Services Advisory Board, the Advocates for the Aging and other entities. “By analyzing our data, we can better provide the right services to the right people,” says Gardner.
In addition to this grant, the Division of Senior Services has applied for another grant to implement a program to reduce depression in physically impaired and socially isolated older adults. “This program is called PEARLS. PEARLS stands for the Program to Encourage Active and Rewarding Lives. PEARLS brings high quality mental health care to a community-based setting to reach vulnerable, older adults. And we know isolation can be a problem,” says Gardner.
The Division of Senior Services is also partnering with Daybreak Adult Daycare Services to provide caregivers with the tools and strategies they need to deal with the challenges they face each day. “The program will be taught by the Division staff in partnership with Daybreak Adult Daycare Services,” says Gardner.
Related to that, the Division is also providing respite care for family caregivers who are looking after older relatives, to give them a break. :”Senior Services offers up to $350 a year per caregiver to provide this respite care,” says Gardner. “To be eligible for the grant, family caregivers must be taking care someone whose 60 years old or older, with early onset dementia, and needs assistance with two or more activities of daily living,” Gardner says.
A Virtual Learning Center was launched on Thursday on the Division’s website. It provides a nutrition module with a cooking video series called the “Silver Platter” which helps seniors cook delicious and nutritious meals, says the County. The web address is www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/seniorservices.
The County will also hold Medicare workshops over the next weeks at the Frederick Senior Center at 1440 Taney Avenue, along with a Do-It-Yourself Medicare D trainings to be held in November at Frederick Community College’s computer labs. Open enrollment for Medicare is October 15th.
By Kevin McManus