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A Time for Seniors: Gift of time a great idea for caregivers

By: Candace Roeder
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Dear Readers: Whatever else you do today, don’t forget to vote!!!!! Dear Candace: I think I have come up with a great Christmas gift for my mother and I want to know if something like this exists. My mother is my father’s full-time caregiver and as such, she takes this responsibility very seriously. My siblings and I have come up with the idea of “buying” her some time off. What I mean by this is we would like to find an agency from whom we can pre-purchase a caregiver’s time so my mother can just call, make the necessary arrangements and leave my father in the hands of this caregiver. I think the only way she would ever consider something like this is if the “tab” is already paid and the background work is already done. What do you think, good idea or bad idea? Is this available? — CB Dear CB: I think it is a good idea to carefully look into. Maybe even speak with Mom about it ahead of time to make sure she would be comfortable with the idea. I do know of one non-medical in-home care provider who offers this type of service. Craig Cares, (916) 782-7121, www.craigcares.com, offers “Care Certificates” so respite care can be purchased. I would also check with Home Instead Senior Care, (530) 885-3904, and Help at Home senior care (530) 885-7444. Be sure the agency you work with thoroughly understands what you are trying to accomplish. This may be a good bridge to Mom getting regular breaks from 24/7 caregiving. Good luck with this and please keep me posted on how it goes. Dear Candace: My husband and I attended your November 1, 2008 fundraiser at the Ridge and want to congratulate you on putting on such a fine, fun event. There was something for everyone and the food was fantastic! We intend to attend your Fall Brew Fest again next year and bring some of our friends. I want to make sure we receive notification (if you do that), can you tell me who to contact to get on a list? — GG Dear GG: Glad you had a good time and thank you for coming! This was our 13th annual Fall Brew Fest and the event just keeps getting better and better! To get on a mailing for next year, call Laura at (530) 889-9500 ext. 207 or e-mail her your name and address at laura@seniorsfirst.org. You may want to mark your calendar for March 17, 2009. We are cooking up a St. Patrick’s Day traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner. We don’t have all the details worked out yet but we’ll keep you posted. You can also give Laura your contact info for this event if you are interested. This will be our next fundraiser and it is scheduled to be held at ARD’s Canyon View Center in Auburn. Dear Readers: Placer County Transportation Planning Agency (PCTPA) is seeking your comments on unmet transit needs (bus, dial-a-ride, etc.) that may exist in Placer County. You may provide your comments in many ways — by mail, phone, fax, internet, email, in person. Although most of the in-person hearings are over, you can still make your needs known. If you are aware of a need, please, let them know about it. Don’t forget, the squeaky wheel gets the oil! At Seniors First, we hear your transportation concerns and frustrations fairly regularly. This is your opportunity to help us help you. It doesn’t matter if you’ve taken part in this survey before and nothing has changed (yet!), together our voices will be heard and once our voice is heard, we have a better chance of having our needs met! By Mail: Send to David Melko at PCTPA, 299 Nevada St., Auburn, CA 95603. By Phone: Call (530) 823-4090. By Fax: Fax (530) 823-4036. By Internet: http://www.pctpa.net. By E-mail: dmelko@pctpa.net. Comments are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7. Dear Candace: Is there a program that can help me with some little repairs around my home? I don't have much money and my children are not close by. I just don’t know who to call. I've looked in the phone book and called a few people, but they are so expensive, and I’m a little uncomfortable having someone out of the phone book in my home. So I thought maybe you might know someone. Thank you. — Dorothy Dear Dorothy: There are two free handyman services in Placer County, Placer Independent Resources (530) 885-6100 ext. 34 and Seniors First has one (530) 889-9500 ext. 400 and 401 (or 1-800-878-9222 use the same extensions). Primarily these programs serve individuals who are 65 or older and/or individuals with disabilities with a gross annual income below $55,000. They can provide services such as the installation of grab bars, door and window repairs, lock and deadbolt repair and installation, minor electrical repairs, repair/replace leaky faucets, toilet repairs, garbage disposals, smoke detectors, clogged drains, water heater repairs, weather stripping and caulking, swamp coolers, etc. These programs serve all of Placer County, Foresthill, Loomis, Lincoln, Rocklin, Colfax, etc. In some cases they are able to assist with handicap access issues as well. Give them a call, most likely this is what you are looking for. Candace Roeder is the executive director of Seniors First, a no-profit senior services agency whose mission is to keep seniors independent. Mail your senior-related questions to: A Time For Seniors, c/o Seniors First, 11566 D Ave., Auburn, CA, 95603, e-mail them to Candace@seniorsfirst.org or call her at (530) 889-9500 ext. 203.