Specialized services and resources for local seniors can be easily accessed by a one-stop agency.
Established in 2005 and funded by the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division, Nevada Care Connection is the state’s Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC).
The program is designed to serve as a single point of entry into long-term support for individuals with functional limitations and their families.
The agency held a presentation to provide information in areas such as health and medical issues, utility assistance, future planning and caregiver support.
Nevada Senior Services President and CEO Jeffrey Kline said part of the agency’s mission is to make sure people with disabilities, chronic diseases and aging issues who are at risk for a nursing home placement, will get a chance to stay in the community.
“It’s really all about building a sense of keeping people in the community, out of institutions and giving them control of their own lives as well as access to resources and facilitating their ability to navigate the system,” he said. “The original goal was to help consumers identify needs, provide information on the full range of options available and help people access benefits for which they might qualify.”
Kline also said the agency uses a team of experts who are familiar with various services that local seniors and family members may one day need.
“We have what’s called information referral and assistance and that’s for that question one might have for ‘how do I get from here to there?’ Or ‘is there a resource I can contact?'” he said. “If somebody needs meals in the home, our resource specialist would be able to say ‘yes, this is who delivers it and this is how we can get you in touch with it.'”
Some of the services go beyond that, Kline said.
“We can also facilitate options counseling, which is a deeper dive,” he said. “It’s for someone who needs a little more help to make decisions about what some of the alternatives might be, and how to access them. It’s intensive support to make sure that no one gets left behind in the process, because it’s customizing the process.”
An additional function Kline noted, was that of care consultation.
“We have a person who is specially trained to provide telephone assistance to caregivers of all ages so that if they are caring for a loved one and they are trying to problem solve, we help them deal with behavior issues and stress and we also deal with resources,” he said. “The care consultation program is really designed to help them make those assessments, do that planning and it’s specifically tailored to the needs of the individual.”
In terms of area, the program covers the southern third of the state, encompassing Esmeralda, Lincoln, and Clark counties.
Kline said rural areas such as Pahrump are also a big focus.
“We are urban and frontier and we’ve been coming out to the NyE Communities Coalition meetings and our expectation is to be out here quite a bit,” he said. “We are going to the other communities in our southern counties because our name is Nevada Senior Services, it’s not Clark County or Las Vegas Senior Services so we have some statewide responsibilities and responsibilities throughout the region.”
For more information on the resource center call (702) 364-2273, or log on to the Nevada Care Connections website or the Nevada Senior Services website.
“The Nevada Care Connection’s website will give them regional access to resources where they can put in a question, do a search and find an answer,” Klein said. “Every community is different and has different needs and different approaches to certain things. We want to make sure the community knows us and we know the community and we can respond appropriately.”
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at email@example.com. Find him on Twitter: @sharrispvt.