Mary Sheridan, executive director for the Coast Caregiver Resource Center, provided an informative talk about CCRC’s programs during the Association for Senior Care monthly meeting.
“Family caregivers are the invisible lynchpins who hold it together for everyone when an adult becomes incapacitated due to traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease or any other brain impairing condition,” Sheridan said. “Our job is to provide individual interventions targeting specific problems of caregiving such as decreasing depression, increasing social support, increasing competency of care skills, and aiding caregivers to plan for future health and financial decisions that accompany chronic disabling conditions.”
CCRC, a program of Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital, provides family and other unpaid caregivers with meaningful information, referral, consultation and other support, enabling them to provide competent care to their loved ones at home while managing the stress that often accompanies caregiving.
CCRC serves families in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties under funding from the California Department of Health Care Services; and in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties with funding from the Area Agency on Aging. Services and eligibility vary according to grant funding available.
Under a grant from the Area Agency on Aging for Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, CCRC also offers brief respite care to those who qualify. Respite care is time-limited care and supervision by a substitute caregiver, thereby giving the family or friend caregiver a break from the stress of every day care. Unpaid caregivers who could not otherwise afford the cost of substitute care may be eligible if they provide care either to an individual aged 60 or older who needs assistance with activities of daily living (eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, walking, transferring from bed to chair) or an adult of any age who requires supervision due to a cognitive disorder.
In tandem with its direct services to families, CCRC provides support groups, education, caregiver retreats, caregiver counseling and a central source of information about brain impairment.
Most services are free of charge. There may be a small cost for some educational programs and caregiver retreats. For more information, call 805.962.3600 x14 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Association for Senior Care is a group of senior services-related health-care professionals who are interested in improving the life of seniors in Santa Barbara County. The group meets monthly and offers educational programs for its members along with networking opportunities.
— Melinda Johansson is the public relations chair for the Association for Senior Care.