Q: I am helping an older relative with chores and do not know about help that may be available to me should I need it. Can you steer me in the right direction? A: Yes. Senior Concerns has a new service for family caregivers in eastern Ventura County. Senior Concerns opened a Family Caregiver Support Center on July 1. The center serves family caregivers of people older than 60; people with dementia, traumatic brain injury and other cognitive disorders; and grandparents raising grandchildren. The centerpiece of the program is a mobile unit that will travel to major employers, religious communities, active senior centers, health clinics, pharmacies and other locations to help caregivers get support. The program provides free variety to family caregivers including consultation, help with information and referrals to community resources, support groups, legal and financial advocacy services and education. There also will be limited funds for low-cost in-home respite care, adult day care and home modifications. The support center will also be available at Senior Concerns, at 401 Hodencamp Road, and the Goebel Adult Community Center, at 1385 E. Janss Road, both in Thousand Oaks; and at the Simi Valley Senior Center, at 3900 Avenida Simi in Simi Valley. To learn more about the program or schedule an appointment with a care manager, visit https://www.seniorconcerns.org or call 497-0189. People who are out of area but are caring for a loved one living in Ventura County can may call 855-318-5921. The support center is partly funded by a grant from the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging through the Older Americans Act. Q: My neighbor receives an SSI check from the federal government each month. Is this the same as Social Security? A: No. SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, differs from Social Security. The money comes from the general fund of the Treasury, not the Social Security Trust Fund. SSI is a direct cash assistance program for people in financial need. Recipients must be 65 and older, blind or disabled and meet strict eligibility requirements. Applicants must have very little or no income and very few assets and be U.S. citizens or in the country legally and live in the U.S. or Northern Mariana Islands. Part of the funds in the SSI benefit may come from the state. The state and federal governments combine their payments into one deposit that is rendered by the federal government. Applicants who are eligible for other benefits, such as Social Security, must apply for them before SSI eligibility can be determined. Applicants who are eligible because of a disability must accept any vocational rehabilitation services offered. An applicant who is eligible is usually eligible for MediCal, and a separate MediCal application is not necessary. Those who receive SSI are ineligible for food stamps. Contact a Social Security office or visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov for more information about eligibility and benefits. HAPPENINGS Aug. 14: “Will You Pass Your Next Driving Test?” seminar. 1:30-3 p.m.; Moorpark Active Adult Center, 799 Moorpark Ave. in Moorpark. For information and reservations, call 517-6261. Medicare seminars July 30: “Covered California, Medicare Fraud and Extra Help Programs.” 1:30-3 p.m.; Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi in Simi Valley. For information and reservations, call 583-6363. July 31: “Medicare Overview and Extra Help Programs.” 11 a.m. to noon; South Oxnard Senior Center, 200 E. Bard Road in Oxnard. For information, call 477-7310. Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns. The advocates are at the Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362, or call 495-6250 or email email@example.com . Please include your telephone number. More …
Senior Concerns program helps caregivers
About the Author: Betty Berry
Betty Berry brings a deep understanding of senior issues to her position as Senior Advocate for Senior Concerns. She has advocated for seniors since 1993. Through the Health Insurance Counseling Advocacy Program, known as HICAP, she is registered with the State of California as an Insurance Counselor, a Long-Term Care Insurance Counselor and a Community Educator. She has served on the Area Agency on Aging’s Advisory Council as a member and Chair, has been a member of the Financial Abuse Strategic Team (FAST) and currently serves on the Conejo Senior Volunteer Program (CSVP) Advisory Board and authors the Senior Advocate column that appears in the Ventura County Star. Betty completed her undergraduate degree at California Lutheran University and earned her Juris Doctorate degree at Ventura College of Law.
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