Your Family

Sep 13, 2010 7:57 PM by Monica Quintero

Benefits of spending Golden Years at home

Fewer senior citizens are moving to nursing homes, yet the senior population is increasing. The Area Agency on Aging, which serves the Central Coast, says these days more and more seniors are taking advantage of in-home services.

Elizabeth Crane, Santa Maria resident, said, "Sometimes he's a pain in the neck." She said that laughing and was referring to her husband, 85-year-old Curtis Crane. Elizabeth said, "Most of the time, he takes really, really good care of me." She has Cerebellar Atrophy which causes her to lose her balance. Elizabeth knows it hasn't been easy for her husband. Curtis said, "We've done everything we could to stay in our own home."

To help the Crane's stay in the comfort of their own home, the Area Agency on Aging provides a caretaker. The caretaker comes to their house twice a week, three hours a day and provides some critical services. Elizabeth said, "She cooks for me, she makes the most delicious enchiladas" The caregiver prepares meals to last the Santa Maria couple between visits. She also helps Elizabeth with physical therapy, things to help take some of the burden off of Curtis who takes care of her the rest of the time.

Curtis said, "We've been so blessed, we just want to enjoy what we have." It was important to the Crane's to spend their Golden Years in a place where their love has grown even stronger and these services are available to other seniors as well. The Area Agency on Aging says these services are free and funded by the federal government. They're available to seniors who have a need, to help them safely stay in their own homes.

In order to qualify, you must be 60 years or older and income does not matter. But the Area Agency on Aging says the funding must be within its budget to provide these types of services. While these services are free, the agency does accept donations.

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