Senior citizens living in Juneau, their spouses and adult children may find valuable assistance and relief through the services offered by Center for Community. Respite, personal care, chore and care coordination services are critical for seniors who wish to remain in their own home and for their family members who provide daily care giving.
"To continue doing a good job of care giving, care givers need a break," explains Cheryl Johnson, acting executive director of Center for Community. "We want to support them in the job they're already doing." Respite care does just that. Whether the break for the care giver involves going to a friend's house for the evening or simply getting a much-needed nap, the respite worker can come into the home and make sure the senior is safe, comfortable and enjoying the company of a caring person.
Personal care is designed for people who require assistance with personal care needs such as bathing, dressing, medication reminders or exercise in order to remain safely at home. Seniors commonly need temporary assistance with bathing following hospitalization (after a fall, broken arm, surgery, etc.). Others who have permanent disabilities may depend on personal care services to continue living at home. A professionally trained care attendant comes into the senior's home on a regularly scheduled basis to assist with his or her unique personal care needs.
Center for Community also offers chore services. In order to help one maintain independence and a safe, sanitary home, chore services help with housecleaning, errands, meal preparation and other types of "homemaker services." Respite, personal care and chore services can be paid for in a variety of ways, depending on the unique situation of each senior. State grants, Medicaid Waiver and private payment are the primary sources of funding for these in-home services.
Care coordination is a convenient and effective way for senior citizens and their families to access the variety of services available in Juneau. Beginning with a holistic assessment of the senior's particular situation and needs, the care coordinator develops a plan of care and arranges necessary in-home services. Anyone who needs help navigating through the expanding senior service system will find care coordination a true blessing.
All of the respite and chore providers, care attendants and care coordinators who work for Center for Community are pre-screened with local, state and federal background checks, including fingerprint checks. They are also certified in CPR and first aid and receive individualized training tailored to the persons they are serving. Center for Community is currently recruiting responsible, caring persons to serve as care providers.
Center for Community is a private, non-profit organization initially established in 1978 to provide support to children with disabilities and their parents. Since that time, its services have grown tremendously, now promoting the independent living of senior citizens, adults with physical disabilities, as well as persons of all ages with developmental disabilities. To arrange services or for further information, contact Celeste Lopez, Regional Manager at 790-3650, or call Center for Community's main office at (800) 478-6970. The Juneau office is in the Jordan Creek Mall at 8800 Glacier Highway, Suite 108 B.
Marianne Mills oversees senior citizen nutrition and transportation programs in Juneau, Skagway, Sitka and Yakutat as a staff member of Southeast Senior Services, a program of Catholic Community Service. CCS assists all persons regardless of their faith.