During the summer, temperatures inside a home without reliable air conditioning can reach dangerous highs. While many seniors simply cannot afford the higher electric bill from running a central unit for hours every day, some no longer have a functioning HVAC system. According to the CDC, complications from heat exhaustion kill more people each year than hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, floods and earthquakes combined. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to being adversely affected by excessive heat due to slower adjustment of the body to changes in temperature, increased risks associated with other medical conditions and prescription medicines that can impair the body's ability to regulate temperature or inhibit perspiration.
That's where Council on Aging comes in. We'll provide a free window air conditioner to the most vulnerable elder adults in our community, and in many cases we will install the unit for them too. This outreach has saved lives and enabled seniors to live through the hot Florida summer with dignity, comfort and safety.
SAFE-D of El Dorado County Inc. (Safety Accommodations For Elders and the Disabled) provides the volunteers and materials to install free, in-home fall prevention safety accommodations for low-income ($26,000/year gross, or less) seniors (60 or over) or disabled county residents with mobility limitations, especially those at risk of falling. These accommodations increase accessibility, independence and help clients to safely age in their own homes.
Typical safety accommodation installations can include:
Grab bars at the toilet, and in the shower or bathtub
Raised toilet seat with handles
Step handrails / minor step modifications
Shower seat and non-slip bath mat
Smoke / Carbon Monoxide Detector
The Savvy Seniors Cooking School will provide adults over age 60 with a fun and educational social activity, while learning basic cooking and recipe modification skills specific to cooking for one, and cooking on a budget. Participants will learn how to select the appropriate recipes and make the necessary adjustments to maintain a healthy diet.
The 4-Week Savvy Senior Healthy Cooking School will meet once a week, for two hours, for a total of four weeks. The program will be taught by a Registered Dietitian, who developed the program using a variety of educational and practical recipe modification and cooking techniques, specific to cooking for one, and cooking on a budget.
The weekly session will consist of a short social activity and nutritional lesson. The remaining time will be spent prepping the food and preparing the recipe. Each participant will be issued a program workbook and cookbook.
Arlington Neighborhood Village helps seniors age in their own homes safely, while remaining connected to the community. Our amazing corps of volunteers provide direct services like transportation to appointments, daily check-in calls, help around the house, and walking buddies. To combat social isolation, ANV hosts get-togethers, a weekly speaker series, health and wellness activities, and interest groups like Spanish conversation, Tai Chi, and bocce.
ANV wants to ensure that Village membership is available to all seniors in our county, and that we can offer support to those members with lower incomes and those who become increasingly frail because of a health crisis. We target outreach to those with lower incomes through our Financial Aid Fund which pays 80% of the membership fee, and support our more frail members through our Care Manager Program that provides short term professional guidance for navigating a health crisis.
ANV's Financial Aid Fund
A founding principle of ANV is to serve all eligible Arlington residents who want to join, regardless of ability to pay. The Financial Aid Fund makes it possible for low income seniors in Arlington to have access to all services and programming. Eighteen percent of ANV's full members receive financial aid. ANV has yet to turn away a potential member because they cannot afford the $500 membership fee. We've been able to offer financial aid by raising money specifically for the Financial Aid Fund. In 2018, the Financial Aid Fund made it possible for 27 Arlington residents to become ANV members and access all services and social events.
Care Manager Program
This year, ANV launched a Care Manager Program to address health and safety challenges facing our older, more frail members, who are rapidly becoming a greater proportion of our membership. A number of ANV members have become increasingly frail and need services beyond what ANV typically provides. Other members are having a health crisis and need intense short-term support to regain their independence. These members don't know how to get the extra help they need.
ANV's Care Manager Program gives our most in-need members access to the services of a Care Manager. Identified members will spend 7-10 hours with a Care Manager which will include an initial assessment, a written plan of care with recommendations, and assistance in securing additional resources.
Two recent examples demonstrate the need for a plan of action when ANV's services are no longer enough to keep a member safe at home. First, volunteers reported concern for a member's health and safety - noting significant personal hygiene issues and challenging physical arrangements that ultimately resulted in a fall. The member was unsure of how to get additional support, but was adamant about staying in-place.
Another member, released from the hospital after a stroke, has no local family. ANV volunteers assisted with hospital discharge and were on-site in the initial days helping with medications, groceries, and other immediate needs. However, ANV volunteers do not provide personal care services. This member needed to better understand his current circumstances, medium-term needs, and the resources available to help him fully recover.
ANV's Care Manager has the experience and expertise to help these ANV members navigate the challenges associated with unexpected and often debilitating health crises, helping them to understand and tap into resources that can help them live safely and independently.
Your GIVE65 donations will support ANV's Financial Aid Fund, the Care Manager Program, and marketing and outreach activities that will help promote these initiatives.