Center for Elders’ Independence Aids Mom and Daughter

Crystal Rivers (right); her mother Wilma Isler, a CEI participant; and Angelique Ogden, Activity Director at the Center for Elders’ Independence (CEI) San Pablo PACE Center.

Crystal Rivers was facing a dilemma that so many people encounter today with aging parents. When her 83-yea- old mother Wilma Isler could no longer live on her own in Florida, Rivers invited her to move in with her in San Leandro. Although Rivers knew the move would be the best thing for her mother, she also understood that if she took on the role of caregiver and kept her “more than full-time job” in Alameda, she was going to need help taking care of mom and her declining health. “I am so blessed. During a visit to the Eastmont Mall, I noticed the Center for Elders’ Independence located there. I stopped in to see if maybe they could help with my mother. The next thing I knew, I was talking to an intake worker who answered all my questions and was able to take care of everything I needed.” The Center for Elders’ Independence (CEI), which operates two PACE centers at the Eastmont Mall, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year in the East Bay. CEI is a PACE health plan (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) that provides comprehensive health and social services to seniors 55 years and older who prefer not to move into a nursing home but whose health problems make it impossible for them to stay at home without caregivers. CEI operates three PACE centers in Oakland and one in Berkeley, serving frail seniors from El Sobrante and Richmond to Hayward, each providing medical, rehabilitation and case management services, in-home care, transportation and day center activities. “CEI is a Godsend,” said Rivers.  “I am really impressed with CEI’s onsite medical services – everything Mom needs is in one place. And CEI helps me understand what to expect with her medical condition.. “I can go to work feeling assured that they are taking good care of Mom, from the time the van picks her up in the morning until they bring her home. I could not continue to work and feel comfortable with leaving my mother if it were not for the care and concern she receives from the CEI staff.” In addition to the care they give her mother, Rivers appreciates that CEI understands the needs of family caregivers like herself.  “CEI has saved my life in more ways than one.  They continue to provide my mom with a high standard of service.  And they have assisted me in learning how to be an informed and supportive caregiver.” On Friday, May 4, CEI celebrates “20 Years of Keeping Seniors Independent” at the historic Lake Merritt Hotel in Oakland.  County Supervisor Nate Miley and Corrine Jan, CEO, Family Bridges, Inc., will be honored at the celebration. For more information visit www.cei.elders.org or call (510) 433-1150. For information about the anniversary event, visit the website or call Earp Events at (510) 830-3100.
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