Agency on Aging works to connect seniors with services | Kitsap Living: The time of your life

Kitsap County Aging and Long Term Care, or ALTC, is a division of Kitsap County Human Services Department and is the locally designated Area Agency on Aging for Kitsap County. ALTC was created through the collaborative action of citizens, aging- network service providers and the Kitsap Board of County Commissioners in 1980.

An ALTC Advisory Council, with representation by citizens from all three commissioner districts, make recommendations as to programs and services provided by the agency, and advocates with elected officials regarding the interests and needs of older adults and adults with disabilities living in Kitsap County.

The ALTC’s mission is to work independently and through community partnerships to promote well-being of older adults and adults with disabilities. Nationally, 10,000 individuals a day celebrate their 65th birthday.

ALTC has 20 subcontracts with local providers for various services to support older persons, as well as 30 Medicaid supportive subcontracts to assist those served through the Medicaid Long Term Care program.

“ALTC is available to answer questions and help people make decisions that will positively affect their lives,” said Stacey Smith, administrator.

“We provide unbiased information and referrals to local services that support citizens making informed choices, experience positive outcomes, and connect to local resources. Often, there are relatively simple and low-cost options available to help people remain living in their own homes and communities. We’re here as a free resource for Kitsap residents to get the information they need as they make important life decisions.”

ALTC’s Senior Information & Assistance Program expects to assist more than 1,500 people in 2017. Community Living Connections is a specifically-designed local resource database of services to older persons. Other in-house programs include the Family Caregiver Support Program, which helps individuals taking care of family or friends, expected to serve at least 300 caregivers this year.

Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) anticipates providing approximately 1,750 consultations to local community members for free information on Medicare options and cost savings programs. Last year SHIBA volunteers helped Kitsap residents save a combined, estimated $170,000 in premiums and prescription co-payments.

Long-Term Care Ombudsman, which expects to assist 2,500 people residing in nursing homes, assisted living or adult family homes throughout Kitsap County. Last year, the Long Term Care Ombudsman program provided 3,600 volunteer hours to the citizens of Kitsap.

The Medicaid Long-Term Care Case Management Services assists individuals with disabilities over the age of 18 years, eligible for Medicaid and independently living in the community. On any given day, ALTC serves over 950 individuals throughout the county through this program.

ALTC also operates a Title V Senior Community Services Employment and Training Program for individuals over the age of 55 years interested in re-training and seeking employment.

“If any of these services interest you or could assist you to continue to live independently in Kitsap County, give us call”, Smith reiterated. “Folks don’t realize ALTC is their local free resource. They have contributed to our existence their entire working lives. Now, we are here to support them in their golden years.”

ALTC purchases services from private and public agencies and arranges for service delivery for individuals who meet eligibility requirements. ALTC utilizes a variety of state, federal and local funding sources including the Federal Older Americans Act, Medicaid, the National and State Family Caregiver Support Program, the State Senior Citizens Services Act, and Kitsap County, as well as individual and community donations.

At a glance: Aging and Long-Term Care program service numbers for 2017, to be facilitated or provided by staff.

Information and Assistance & Community Living Connections: 1,500 individuals served.

Family Caregiver Support Program: 300 caregivers served; 6,000-plus hours of respite care for 56 caregivers; 100 counseling sessions; free trainings to 140 individuals; 25 individuals received home-delivered meals, legal services or durable medical equipment.

Long-Term Care Ombudsman: 500 investigations or interventions; 2,500 individuals served; 3,600 volunteer hours.

Medicaid Long-Term Care Case Management Services: 950 individuals served.

Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA): 1,750 direct consumer contacts for assistance.

Title V Senior Community Service Employment & Training Program: Provides training and employment opportunities for 12 eligible participants.

Congregate Meals: 31,000 meals for 775 individuals.

Home-Delivered Meals: 41,500 meals for 370 individuals.

Kinship Caregivers Support Program: Support for 60 caregivers raising other family members’ children.

Mental Health/Substance Abuse Counseling: 575 hours of counseling for 70 individuals

Senior Drug Education: Four to eight community events providing expert information regarding the safe use of prescribed medications for older adults and their caregivers.

Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program: 580 individuals each receiving about $40 worth of fresh food and produce.

Legal Services: 410 hours of (non-criminal) legal services for up to 150 individuals.

Source: Kitsap County Aging and Long Term Care

Leslie Kelly is special sections editor for Kitsap Living and the Kitsap News Group. This story first appeared in the Spring 2017 edition of Kitsap Living: The time of your life.

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