Center for Elders’ Independence Receives $75,000 Grant

Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Community Benefit Program has awarded a $75,000 grant to the Center for Elders’ Independence (CEI) to help caregivers provide the best care for their aging parents.

The grant will be used to develop and provide education and support to family caregivers of participants in CEI’s Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

The PACE model of care provides comprehensive medical and social services that enable East Bay seniors with multiple chronic medical problems to remain living at home rather than in a nursing home facility. PACE, currently offered by 97 organizations in 31 states, is hailed by policy experts as the “gold standard for geriatric care,” providing eligible frail, low-income seniors all the services they need to experience an improved quality of life.

“The CEI Caregiver Education Project is a great fit with Kaiser Permanente’s ongoing investment in the safety net to improve the health of Northern California’s most vulnerable residents,” said Christina Wildlake, a project manager for Kaiser’s Community Benefit Program.

According to Linda Trowbridge, CEI’s Chief Executive Officer, the Kaiser Permanente grant provides a welcome boost to CEI’s ongoing work to maintain their participants’ functional health and quality of life.

“Family members and significant others serve as our partners in coordinating care for frail seniors, making sure they follow their care plans, take their medications, eat right, and stay active,” said Trowbridge.

Family caregiver Paul Chan moved his elderly mother to Oakland three years ago so she could be closer to family and enroll in CEI. “Caregiving is very demanding,” said Chan, describing how his life has changed since his mother came to CEI.

“I used to have to make all of my mother’s appointments with different doctors, collect all the information, and then go to the doctor with her,” he said. “Now it’s so much better! CEI coordinates everything and even sets the appointments. I can go with mom if I want, or, if I’m working, I feel confident that CEI staff will go with her and then call and tell me what the specialist said.”

After Chan’s mother had a stroke, he was grateful for the support he received from CEI. “CEI was so good in helping us coordinate Mom’s new diet and therapy routine. They showed us how to help her eat, and they helped us develop a specific plan for her rehabilitation. That’s what CEI does, they help people stay independent.”

For information, visit cei.elders.org or call (510) 433-1150.

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