Klickitat County Senior Programs
Klickitat County Senior Services
Description of Programs
Information and Assistance
“Information and Assistance” (I&A) is the entry point of the Senior Services network.
Professionally trained and caring Information & Assistance (I&A) Specialists are available at each of our offices to confidentially answer questions and provide information, assistance, or referral to local, state and federal services and benefits available to older adults aged 60+, individuals with disabilities, and caregivers. Our goal is to help seniors live in their home with dignity, as long as safely manageable, and to enjoy the best quality of life possible.
We can assist in completing applications for benefits and find solutions for many complex issues including those listed below. Some programs are only available to those meeting certain income and/or asset limitations.
‘Information’ gives you just that – information. What do you need to know? Transportation schedules or services? What’s for dinner at the Senior Center? How to find information about Medicare or Social Security? How to apply for food stamps or the P.U.D. discount? What in home or long term care services are available?
The ‘Assistance’ part of Information and Assistance is actually doing something for you. We may call and make an appointment for you, help you figure out your insurance billings, help to fill out your application for a benefit, help you review your Medicare prescription drug plan and look at options based on your current medication needs and affordability, or conduct a home visit to determine eligibility for home delivered meals.
‘Case Management’ is another step beyond ‘Assistance.’ A better name might be “Care Management” because it provides help in arranging for Long Term Care needs/supports in your desired setting.
Case Management may be called for when a person is released from the hospital after an illness or accident. It may be needed because a family caregiver is unable to handle increasing care needs. Case Management may be called because a family wants to know what options they have in caring for an elder, or because a person needing care wants to talk to someone about their options.
Case Management helps to identify what care needs a person has by performing a ‘Comprehensive Assessment of their needs and resources. Then the Case Manager works with the individual or family to determine their options for getting needed care. Finally a ‘Plan of Care’ or ‘Service Plan’ is drawn up which reflects the person’s choices for receiving care. The plan details what problems must be solved, what activities will solve the problems, and who is responsible for each activity. Most Service Plans are a mix of services provided by family members, outside agencies and sometimes the person themselves. Services from outside agencies may be state supported or privately paid.
Case Management has three guiding principles: 1) The best plan is the one that allows the most independence and self-care, 2) Outside services should supplement, not replace, care being provided by families and friends. 3) The person needing care or their closest family members make the decisions about their care. Case Management is there to help develop a plan of care that suits the individual and his/her situation. This includes a person’s preferences as well as needs. Case Management stays involved to assure that the plan is implemented properly. Sometimes changes are made to reflect changes in the client’s condition or because the plan does not work as anticipated. The Case Manager helps solve problems that come up as the plan is implemented. When the plan is stable, Case Management is terminated.
Case Management as described above is available without regard to income. Donations are gratefully accepted.
Medicaid Case Management
A local state worker (in Home and Community Services) is the ‘Front Door’ for people who will be receiving state-funded services. The Home & Community Services worker will do the case management described above and authorize state services. Our Case Managers with Senior Services receive the case when the Medicaid client is receiving in-home services and the service plan has been substantially implemented. We are then responsible for ongoing case management and re-authorization of services while the Medicaid client is receiving in-home services. Case Management remains in effect for as long as state services are received.
In–Home Personal Care Services
Senior Services provides Personal Care and Housekeeping services through a number of different programs. In general, housekeeping is provided only to those also needing personal care services. For state funded services, initial authorization is by Home and Community Services. The file is transferred to our Case Mangers for ongoing case management and re-authorization once the Service Plan has been put into place. Each of the In-Home programs has slightly different guidelines both for financial eligibility and what kinds of services can be provided.
Medicaid Personal Care – is available to those who are Categorically Eligible for Medicaid, and who need help with at least one Personal Care task such as bathing, eating, dressing, toileting, personal hygiene, or body care. Assistance with household tasks may be provided only if personal care assistance is needed.
C.O.P.E.S. – is available to persons who would be expected to need nursing home care without the availability of services. The person must need substantial or total assistance with two or more personal care tasks OR need minimal, substantial, or total assistance with three or more tasks. C.O.P.E.S. is available to those who earn more than the Medicaid standard, but they must contribute to the cost of care.
The cost of providing Medicaid services (including Medicaid Personal Care and C.O.P.E.S.) or Chore Services may, in some circumstances, be recovered from the estates of program participants. The details are complicated and individualized advice should be obtained.
Senior Personal Care – is a small state funded program that is available to some whose resources or income are too high for federally supported programs. Participation in cost is on a sliding fee scale.
Private Pay Chore Services – is available to those not eligible for other programs. Since the recipient of the service pays the cost, an agreement is negotiated for the services they wish to purchase.
Respite – provides time off for unpaid caregivers. The cost is on a sliding fee scale based on the person needing the care (not the caregiver’s income.) Additionally the family caregiver must qualify based on a state assessment or an individual can pay privately for respite services.
Family Caregiver Support
Family Caregiver Support - is a new program that was added when the Older Americans Act was reauthorized in 2001. It is a flexible program designed to help meet the needs of unpaid family caregivers. It can provide assistive supplies and tools, support and consultation, homemaker services, a personal care companion, and/or respite for the caregiver if the caregiver qualifies through a screening and assessment process.
Congregate Meals – are served at five “meal sites” in Klickitat County. A hot nutritious meal containing at least one third of the Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) of nutrients needed by the elderly is served Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Goldendale Senior Center, Mondays and Wednesdays at the Pioneer Center in White Salmon, Tuesdays at the Lyle Lyons Community Center, the first and third Tuesday at the Bickleton Grange, and the second Thursday at 5:30pm at the Trout Lake School. A donation of $3.50 is requested from those over 60. Those under 60 must pay the full cost of the meal (currently $6.50).
The Congregate Meal Program is based on the knowledge that people do not eat well in the absence of other people. We are social beings, and mealtime is an important social event in our lives. Seniors who may have become isolated are encouraged to take part in the meal program as a step towards getting involved with people again. Eating at the mealsite helps prevent seniors, especially those living alone, from drifting into isolation. A recent study confirms that seniors who attend meal sites are healthier and more independent than their counterparts who do not attend.
Home Delivered Meals – are delivered to a senior’s home when attendance at a mealsite is not practical. Home Delivered Meals participants are generally homebound. Often HD meals are sent out after a hospital stay or when the spouse that usually prepares the meals becomes ill or dies. The goal is to encourage the senior to attend the mealsite if and when it is possible, but HD meals provide nutrition when the senior is unable or unwilling to attend mealsite. An Information & Assistance worker visits the home and does a short assessment before Home Delivered Meals can be provided. HD meals recipients are often at high risk for becoming isolated. Participation in the program assures that the recipient will have some contact with others.
Hot meals are delivered when the meal sites operate. Delivery is limited to the area that can be served while the meals remain at a safe temperature. Frozen meals are available to those who need them on other days or who live too far from the meal sites. As with other programs funded by the Older Americans Act, Home Delivered Meals participants are asked for a confidential donation. The requested donation is $3.50.
C.O.P.E.S. program recipients may receive Home Delivered Meals as a part of that program.
Many of our communities’ older adults are unable to access transportation for several reasons. Some can no longer drive safely. Others can no longer afford to maintain a car and pay for insurance. Sometimes a person is temporarily unable to drive due to surgery or illness. Whatever the reason, losing the ability to drive becomes a barrier to receiving vital services such as going to doctors and shopping for medicine and food. Day to day activities normally managed on their own, like going to a doctor, grocery shopping, attending church, visiting friends and family all become impossible. This can lead to isolation, depression, and overall decline in health and quality of life.
We are determined to eliminate the barriers that keep seniors and disabled people from accessing reliable, affordable transportation in order for them to receive crucial services and having some measure of independence and dignity.
Transportation has always been at the top of the list of Senior Citizen priorities in Klickitat County. At every planning meeting it is always made clear. Seniors feel that loss of transportation is the biggest threat to their independence in our big rural county. Getting older means facing the inevitable time when we can no longer drive safely. At first night driving, busy traffic, and long trips become difficult. Eventually, if we live long enough, the safety of others and ourselves demands that we give up driving altogether. Those who have never had strong driving skills face this time sooner than those with a lifetime of safe driving habits to fall back on.
We provide transportation in vans when practical. Vans are prefrect for taking seniors to the meal site and shopping. All of our vehicles are equipped with wheelchair lifts so that people who depend on wheelchairs can be comfortably and safely transported. We often use Volunteer Drivers to provide trips to medical appointments or whenever it is more cost-effective. These volunteers use their own vehicle and are reimbursed for mileage.
All of our drivers, paid and volunteer, are screened for suitability and safe driving skills. They receive instruction in assisting passengers as needed. Volunteer vehicles are required to be in good repair and are inspected by management staff. Paid drivers receive additional training and are covered by mandatory drug testing requirements.
The goal of Senior Transportation is to make sure that alternative means of transportation are available so that no one is prevented from living independently because of the lack of basic transportation. We can’t match the independence provided by a car in the driveway raring to go, but we can make sure that senior’s basic transportation needs are met. Many enjoy the sociability of riding in our vehicles as they do their shopping and errands.
The terms of our contract with the Area Agency on Aging & Disabilities of Southwest Washington (AAADSW) define “essential transportation” as trips to our meal sites, trips to medical destinations, shopping, and social/financial trips to banks and the post office, etc. Trips to other destinations are possible through grants from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Federal transit administration (FTA), contract with the Medicaid Transportation Brokerage and support from the Klickitat County solid waste revenue.
Medicaid Transportation – is provided to those who are eligible for Medical Assistance through the Medicaid Program. Since many Medicaid recipients are senior citizens, providing service to them under Medicaid Transportation makes our other funding sources stretch further.
Public Transportation - There are many people under 60 who confront the same mobility problems as senior citizens. Some people begin having medical problems considered typical of senior citizens in their 50s. The physically and mentally disabled are often not able to drive. Their ability to live independently depends on access to transportation. Young people cannot drive, and when they get a little older, they may not be able to afford a car, insurance, and operating costs to get them to their first job or to community college. People taking certain medications are not supposed to drive, nor are people whose license has been suspended. Some families may have a car, but it is in use taking a breadwinner to work, leaving the rest of the family without transportation.
Senior Services has been able to get Washington State Department of Transportation grant funding which allows us to provide transportation to all those needing it. Providing transportation to the community also helps pay the considerable overhead expenses of meeting requirements for drug testing, training, and vehicle maintenance. It also allows us to have dispatchers and drivers available Monday through Friday so that we are able to meet the needs of seniors and other Klickitat County Citizens.
Adaptive Equipment Lending
Through generous donation of community members we receive walkers, bath benches, depends undergarments, commodes, etc. that we are able to lend out to seniors who are in need.
Senior Educational Events & Programs
Senior Services offers many recreations, education and health related activities at our offices and at convenient facilities in the communities we serve.
Through grant funding and contract opportunities with the Area Agency on Aging we have been able to offer some evidenced based classes and programs to seniors and community members such as: Powerful Tool for Caregivers; Chronic Disease Self-Management Program; Tai Chi for Better Balance; and Strong Women. Additionally, with the help of many volunteers we are able to offer a number of exercise classes, music, dancing, social/recreational classes at the Goldendale Senior Center and the Senior Center that is located at the Pioneer Center in White Salmon.
Date of Source Material: 5/14/2015
Source: Klickitat County Senior Services
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Sharon Carter: Director
Office Hours: 8am-5pm
Annex II 115 W. Court
Goldendale, WA 98620
Phone: (509) 773-3757
or 800 447-7858
Fax: (509) 773-6965
White Salmon Office:
P.O. Box 1877
501 NE Washington Street
White Salmon, WA 98672
Phone: (509) 493-3068
or 800 447-7858
Fax: (509) 493-4109