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The ElderHelp Program (EHP) provides free, short-term assistance to frail seniors to maintain their independence at home and is funded by the Older American’s Act (OAA). Due to the high number of referrals, clients may be placed on a waiting list and if approved receive assistance from one service category. Due to the cost of providing the service, EHP referrals must come from senior service agencies or from VCAAA Information and Assistance (I&A) staff.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE SERVICES?
- Ventura County residents age 60 or older*
- Seniors requiring help with Activities of Daily Living such as bathing, shopping and housework
- Referrals for seniors age 85 or older, living alone, recently discharged from the hospital and/or referred by Adult Protective Services (APS) are given priority
funds were obtained to provide a limited number of rides to disabled adults under age 60*.
WHAT SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE?
Medi-Ride Transportation: This service provides rides to medical appointments only.
- Transportation can be provided outside city limits (for example, a senior in Ventura needing to get to Kaiser in Woodland Hills)
- Clients must provide proof of Americans with Disability Act (ADA) eligibility such as a copy their ADA card or ADA application letter
- Clients must show that they are unable to take public transportation because of their disability (for example a senior requiring door-through-door gurney transportation)
- Caps on the number of rides provided may be instituted at any time
- Dial-A-Ride Tickets: This service provides paratransit tickets or coins for any transportation need such as medical appointments, shopping, errands, visiting family, etc.
- This service is targeted towards low-income seniors for whom paying for the cost of Dial-A-Ride is a financial burden
- Tickets are assigned and given directly to the senior for tracking purposes (i.e. not handed out to senior service agencies for bulk distribution)
- Referrals will only be accepted from a senior service agency that is familiar with the senior’s situation and can certify that the senior qualifies for Dial-A-Ride
Personal Care: This service provides assistance with tasks such as bathing, dressing, grooming; also includes stand-by help and/or supervision.
Homemaker: This service provides assistance with light housework tasks such as dusting, vacuuming, laundry and preparing meals.
Chore: This service provides assistance heavy housework tasks that require more energy and deep cleaning such as decluttering, mopping and scrubbing bathtubs.
- One instance of Homemaker and/or Chore service is allowed per household
- Due to the high demand for these services, clients who received Personal Care, Homemaker and/or Chore assistance last year are ineligible for services this year
Home Modification and/or Assistive Devices: This service assists with minor physical changes to the home such as installation of grab bars or replacement of door handles, construction of an entrance ramp, etc. and/or assistive devices such as bathtub transfer bench, hand held shower, grab bars and chair lifts
- Due to the cost of this service, major home renovations are not covered
- If clients do not own their residence, the owner must first be asked to cover the repairs
- Services are provided by licensed and bonded construction vendors
Meals: This service forwards meal referrals to the local Senior Nutrition Program provider who will determine if the senior meets program eligibility for Congregate or Home Delivered
- Meals (HDM)
- Congregate meals are provided Monday – Friday
- HDM are available for eligible homebound seniors in most communities
- Due to high demand, some communities have waiting lists for meals
- All meals meet the USDA’s Dietary Recommended Intake for Older Adults and all menus are approved by a Registered Dietitian
HOW DOES THE PROGRAM WORK?
- The senior service agency will make the referral and e-mail it to: Elder.Help@ventura.org or fax it to: (805) 477-7312. E-mailed referrals are preferred.
- The Elder Help Program Committee will determine if the senior qualifies and forward the referral on to the appropriate vendor providing the Elder Help Program service.
- Ventura County Area Agency on Aging Staff will notify the referring senior service agency that the referral has been approved, which vendor will provide the service and what has been approved. Approved service units have expiration dates. Services will be approved on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional service units may be authorized on a case-by-case basis depending on the circumstance and available funding. If the referral has been denied, staff will notify the referring senior service agency that the request has been denied and why.
- It is the responsibly of the referring senior service agency to notify the senior that the request has been accepted or denied. Ventura County Area Agency on Aging is the pass-through agency for the Elder Help Program; seniors should not be contacting Ventura County Area Agency on Aging directly for status updates.
- The Elder Help Program is not an emergency program and is unable to provide services immediately. Due to the volume of referrals and limited resources, the Elder Help Program is unable to provide services long term; the intent of the Elder Help Program is to help as many frail seniors as possible by offering short term assistance while the senior and the referring senior service agency look for long term solutions.