by Babs Cape –

Aging brings more than aches and pains and gray hair. Without funds enough for daily living, aging can create a sense of loss, fear and hopelessness. The Caring Place (TCP) assists our aging community in a special way, and Seeds of Strength is part of making that possible.

TCP’s program, SENIOR INDEPENDENCE PROGRAM (SIP), began two years ago. The goal for SIP is to provide overall basic-needs support to 600 individuals, age 65 or older, with any type of assistance provided by the Caring Place, which includes financial and non-financial assistance. Its goal is also to provide case-management support to 75 individuals, age 65 or older.

Identifying those in need, and what kind of need is a first step. Our $24,000 grant allowed TCP to expand staffing for SIP to hire a referral specialist–someone to do the initial screening into the program so that case managers can focus time on goal-planning and successful outcomes.

Clients, enrolled with a case manager to develop an individualized plan, set short-term goals to improve their quality of life and connect them to resources, all the while providing support and advocacy and promoting stabilization – all towards allowing them to age in their respective homes. In the nine months since the SoS grant, 71 seniors have benefited from case-management support under SIP.

SoS members visited TCP recently and were shown a video of one individual’s story whose life was changed by the assistance he received, making his meager $791 a month adequate to sustain him and turn around his life. With case management, he paid off a loan with a huge interest fee and worked out a reasonable loan with First Texas Bank through the agreement of bank and TCP. He learned about public transportation and was provided food from the Food Pantry. Case Management support showed him how to access resources that allowed him to age in place. He learned to actively participate in getting his needs met in order to continue to live a more independent, fulfilling life within his home.

Our thanks to Erin Becnel, Programs and Services Director, and her staff for the informative tour and for the leadership and care they are providing.

The Caring Place is a treasure for Georgetown. We at SoS are helping to sustain it.