Project Independence is the name of a program of a program that encourages seniors to age-in-place and provides seniors and their caregivers with the resources to aid them in this endeavor.
Note: “Project Independence” is the name of the local program in my area. The Office of the Aging in your area may have a similar program in your area that goes by a different name.
The program offers multiple resources for seniors to live more independent lives and allows them to continue to function in society.
I will detail the types of programs below that are offered, but it is up to the reader to understand that these programs may go by different names in your area…
Health Related Services
The program links seniors to providers of physician home visits, geriatric mental health assessments, Alzheimer’s Disease support programs and advance directive education. Our partners provide case management, supportive counseling, wellness classes and nutrition education.1
In addition, the program has social workers and nurses who can assist with immunizations, screen for high blood pressure and diabetes, and provide health care advocacy and Ombudsman services for those who need it.
Overall, this part of the program is designed to keep seniors as healthy as possible, because this is the primary way to assist them to age-in-place.
Social and Recreational
The program offers many recreational services so that seniors can continue to enjoy an active social life. Staying active in this capacity can possibly help to ward off diseases like Alzheimer’s as well as dealing with the social isolation issues that many seniors who live alone have to deal with.
These services are provided throughout several senior centers.
So you have to check with your local senior centers to see what types of resources are available for you in your local area.
Through Project Independence, caregivers are recognized for the work they do and special assistance is set up in order to help deal with the rigors of care giving as well as helping to link caregivers with respite care services.
Many services and support programs are available. Support groups bring caregivers together to discuss issues and concerns. Respite services (adult day care programs and in-home support services) provide the opportunity for time off. Project Independence and its partners can assist with information and linkage to services.2
Free transportation is provided to and from Project Independence locations. (Note: It should be noted that the transportation is CURB-TO-CURB. The senior has to have the physical ability to get in and out of the van on their own. The situation may vary depending on the municipality you live in…I am just detailing the local situation for me).
In addition, discounted taxi service is available for non-emergency medical services, dental appointments and physical therapy treatments.
Food and Nutrition
Through this program Project Independence will coordinate home deal deliveries (Meals-On-Wheels), assist with food stamps and help with locations of local food pantries.
Benefits and Finances
Project Independence, the Town of North Hempstead’s aging in place initiative, with its community partners, will provide information about and access to benefits such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Medicaid, Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC), Home Energy Assistance Programs (HEAP), food stamps and senior citizen real property tax exemptions (STAR).3
In addition, you can find benefit counseling through Project Independence so that you can locate other resources to help.
Once again, let me emphasize the fact that while your local municipality probably has similar services, the name “Project Independence” is probably exclusive to my area. You will need to seek out similar services in your area that might go by a similar name.