Programs & Services
Programs listed in this area are for seniors, caregivers, & adults with disabilities.
This is a listing of all programs and services provided by CDA, but not all are available in every area
Community-Based Adult Services/Adult Day Health Care
Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Family Caregiver Support Program
Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
Multipurpose Senior Services Program
Senior Companion Program
Senior Community Services Employment Program
The Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) Program is a licensed community-based day health program that provides services to older persons and adults with chronic medical, cognitive, or mental health conditions and/or disabilities that are at risk of needing institutional care. The majority of ADHC participants are Medi-Cal beneficiaries. Through March 31, 2012, ADHC services were an optional benefit under the Medi-Cal Program for individuals eligible for Medi-Cal.
Effective April 1, 2012, a new program similar to ADHC – Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) – has begun under California’s “Bridge to Reform” 1115 Medicaid waiver. Former ADHC participants who meet the more stringent CBAS eligibility standards will begin receiving CBAS services in approved CBAS centers. There are approximately 250 CBAS centers statewide. In addition to meeting Medi-Cal program and waiver requirements, CBAS providers must maintain an ADHC license.
Under an interagency agreement, the ADHC (now CBAS) Program is administered between the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the California Department of Aging (CDA). CDPH licenses ADHC centers and CDA certifies them for participation in the Medi-Cal Program.
The primary objectives of the program are to:
- Restore or maintain optimal capacity for self-care to frail elderly persons or adults with disabilities; and
- Delay or prevent inappropriate or personally undesirable institutionalization.
The Program stresses partnership with the participant, the family and/or caregiver, the primary care physician, and the community in working toward maintaining personal independence.
Each center has a multidisciplinary team of health professionals who conduct a comprehensive assessment of each potential participant to determine and plan services needed to meet the individual's specific health and social needs. Services provided at the center include the following: professional nursing services; physical, occupational and speech therapies; mental health services; therapeutic activities; social services; personal care; hot meals and nutritional counseling; and transportation to and from the participant’s residence.
The Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Services Program (Title III D) provides disease prevention services or health promotion programs. Title III D supports programs to assist older adults prevent illness and manage chronic physical conditions. Although illness and disability rates increase with age, research has demonstrated that health promotion and disease prevention activities can help promote healthy and independent lives for older individuals.
Services include routine health screening, nutrition counseling, nutrition education and activities that promote physical fitness, falls prevention, emotional well-being, and evidence-based health promotion programs. Individuals participate in programs at multipurpose senior centers, congregate nutrition sites, through home-delivered meals programs, and at other locations.
Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Services promote healthy aging and the maintenance of optimal physical, mental, and social well-being in older adults. An active healthy lifestyle is can help older adults prolong their independence and improve their quality of life.
The Aging Network has been moving toward using evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion programs over the past few years. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Congressional appropriations now require that OAA Title IIID funding be used only for program and activities which have been demonstrated to be evidence-based. For more information on the AoA definition of evidence-based programs go to: http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/AoA_Programs/HPW/Title_IIID/index.aspx
The California Department of Aging, with funding from the U.S. Administration on Aging, contracts with 33 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) to coordinate local community-service systems for assisting caregivers of seniors. Services are available to family and other unpaid caregivers supporting older individuals, as well as grandparents and older relatives caring for children. Each AAA is responsible for determining the array of services, including caregiver information, assistance in gaining access to services, counseling and training support, temporary respite, and limited supplemental services to complement the care provided by caregivers. Services are provided directly by AAA staff, or through partnerships with other public or private agencies.
The AAA’s Information and Assistance (I&A) program provides accurate and up-to-date information about caregiver support programs and services available within the local community. The California Department of Aging supports a toll-free information line for use from anywhere in the state. Regardless of the area, the caller can dial 1-800-510-2020 (using a land-line phone) and be automatically connected with the local I&A service provider. If information is needed about other areas, the caller will be referred to service providers in those regions. The aging services network is committed to helping seniors remain in their own homes and maintain a high quality of life for as long as possible. California can only do this by supporting our primary resource for long term care – the family caregiver.
The California Department of Aging's Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) provides personalized counseling, community education and outreach events for Medicare beneficiaries. HICAP is the primary local source for accurate and objective information and assistance with Medicare benefits, prescription drug plans and health plans.
California HICAP is part of a national network of State Health Insurance and Assistance Programs (SHIP). SHIP is a Federal grant program that helps States enhance and support a network of local programs, staff, and volunteers. Local programs are charged with directly helping beneficiaries to understand how to use their Medicare benefits including Prescription Drug Plan coverage, Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare supplemental policies, Medicare Savings Programs, and long term care insurance. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) administers the SHIP grant programs nationally.
There are 24 local HICAP offices in California providing free community education and unbiased confidential
individual counseling statewide. HICAP Counselors are trained to assist you with choosing and/or enrolling in
Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Health Plans, filing original Medicare and private insurance claims and/or
preparing Medicare appeals. If you are considering purchasing long-term care insurance or Medicare supplement
insurance, HICAP Counselors can help you compare policies and explain what services each policy provides.
(Reference the State of California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 9540-9547
The California Department of Aging funds Legal Services Projects for older persons through the network of local Area Agencies on Aging. The projects identify legal problems and legal service needs of older individuals and adults with disabilities within their communities.
The Department aids the Area Agencies on Aging in evaluating their senior Legal Services Projects with a view to increasing the quantity and quality of services. Through the Association of Legal Service Programs for Older Californians, the Department provides individual and group technical assistance to senior legal service projects.
A total of 39 California Senior Legal Services Projects assist the state's seniors and adults with disabilities with a variety of legal problems concerning housing, consumer fraud, elder abuse, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicare, Medi-Cal, age discrimination, pensions, nursing homes, protective services, conservatorships, and other matters.
The senior or adult with disabilities who needs assistance can locate a Legal Services Project by calling the local Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-510-2020.
The California State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is authorized by the federal Older Americans Act and its State companion, the Older Californians Act. The primary responsibility of the program is to investigate and endeavor to resolve complaints made by, or on behalf of, individual residents in long-term care facilities. These facilities include nursing homes, residential care facilities for the elderly, and assisted living facilities. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program investigates elder abuse complaints in long-term care facilities and in residential care facilities for the elderly.
The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (OSLTCO) develops policy and provides oversight to the local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs. OSLTCO staff confer with State licensing agencies regarding difficult cases, meet with the California Department of Aging Staff Counsels to clarify laws and develop plans for implementing them, define program roles, and provide ongoing statewide Ombudsman training.
The goal of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is to advocate for the rights of all residents of long-term care facilities. The Ombudsman's advocacy role takes two forms: 1) to receive and resolve individual complaints and issues by, or on behalf of, these residents; and 2) to pursue resident advocacy in the long-term care system, its laws, policies, regulations, and administration through public education and consensus building. Residents or their family members can file a complaint directly with the local Long-Term Care Ombudsman or by calling the CRISISline. All long-term care facilities are required to post, in a conspicuous location, the phone number for the local Ombudsman office and the Statewide CRISISline number 1-800-231-4024. This CRISISline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take calls and refer complaints from residents.
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is a community-supported program. Volunteers are an integral part of this program. The OSLTCO and its 35 local Ombudsman Program Coordinators are responsible for recruiting, training, and supervising the volunteer Ombudsman representatives.
Ombudsman services are free and confidential. Contact your local LTC Ombudsman Program for the following resident services:
- Questions or concerns about quality of care
- Questions or concerns about financial abuse
- Suspected physical, mental or emotional abuse of residents
- Witnessing services for Advance Health Care Directives
- Requesting an Ombudsman to attend a resident care plan meeting
- Requesting an Ombudsman to attend a resident or family council meeting
The State CRISISline number:
This CRISISline is available to take calls and refer complaints 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Local Multipurpose Senior Service Program (MSSP) sites provide social and health care management for frail elderly clients who are certifiable for placement in a nursing facility but who wish to remain in the community. The goal of the program is to arrange for and monitor the use of community services to prevent or delay premature institutional placement of these frail clients. The services must be provided at a cost lower than that for nursing facility care.
Clients eligible for the program must be 65 years of age or older, live within a site's service area, be able to be served within MSSP's cost limitations, be appropriate for care management services, currently eligible for Medi-Cal, and certified or certifiable for placement in a nursing facility. MSSP site staff make this certification determination based upon Medi-Cal criteria for placement.
Under a federal Medicaid Home and Community-Based, Long-Term Care Services Waiver, MSSP provides comprehensive care management to assist frail elderly persons to remain at home. The program, which began in 1977 with eight sites, has expanded to 38 sites statewide and can serve up to 11,789 clients per month.
The services that may be provided with MSSP funds include:
- Adult Day Care / Support Center
Community-based programs that provide non-medical care to meet the needs of adults with disabilities; a variety of social, psychosocial, and related support services in a protective setting, necessary to reach a therapeutic goal.
- Housing Assistance
May include provision of physical adaptations and assistive devices, emergency assistance in situations that demand relocation, temporary lodging expenses in particular situations, and assistance to restore utility services.
- Chore and Personal Care Assistance
Services are provided by individuals to elderly persons who need outside help to maintain independent living. Chore is for purposes of household support and applies to the performance of household tasks rather than to the care of the client. Personal Care provides assistance to maintain bodily hygiene, personal safety, and activities of daily living.
- Protective Supervision
Insures provision of supervision to persons in their own homes who are very frail or otherwise may suffer a medical emergency. Such supervision does not require medical skills and can be performed by an individual trained to identify the onset of a medical crisis and able to summon aid in the event of an emergency.
- Care Management
Assists clients in gaining access to needed waiver and other local services regardless of the funding source. Care managers are responsible for ongoing monitoring of the provision of services included in the client's plan of care. Additionally, care managers initiate and oversee the process of assessment and reassessment of a client's level of care and the monthly review of plans of care.
Includes the supervision and care of a client while the family or other individuals who normally provide full-time care take short-term relief or respite which allows them to continue as caretakers.
Provides access to the community (e.g., non-emergency medical transportation to health and social service providers) and special events for clients who do not have means for transportation.
- Meal Services
Includes meals served in congregate settings or meals delivered to clients who are homebound, unable to prepare their own meals and have no caretaker at home to prepare meals for them.
- Social Services
Includes social reassurance / friendly visiting, individual or group counseling, and money management.
- Communications Services
Includes translation and interpretive services and the provision of emergency response systems.
Nutrition services provide a vital link in maintaining the health of older Californians by preventing premature institutionalization and improving their overall quality of life. The California Department of Aging administers nutrition services funded by the federal Older Americans Act and state general fund dollars through the network of Area Agencies on Aging and their service providers. They serve Californians 60 years of age or older, with preference given to those in greatest economic or social need and to low-income multi-ethnic individuals. Participants are provided an opportunity to contribute to the cost of the meal. Meals must meet nutritional standards by providing a minimum of one-third of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).
- Title III C-1: Congregate Nutrition Services provide meals in a group setting. Services also include nutrition and health promotion education, and opportunities for socialization. People eligible for Title III C-1 nutrition services are 60 years of age or older, individuals with a handicap or disability who meet specific criteria, spouses of eligible participants regardless of age, and volunteers who provide needed services during meal hours. Project facilities and operations conform to health and safety standards and provide safe, wholesome and nutritious meal services to our older clients.
- Title III C-2: Home Delivered Meal Services are available to people, age 60 or older, who are homebound by reason of illness, incapacity, or disability, or who are otherwise isolated. Because homebound meal recipients are typically older and more frail, they are usually referred to the program by a hospital, a family member, or other referral service. Most home-delivered meal programs provide their clients with a hot meal five days a week delivered by staff or volunteer drivers. In addition, nutrition education is provided.
Senior Companion volunteers meet critical community needs and touch the lives of adults who need extra assistance to live independently in their own homes or communities. They serve frail older adults, adults with disabilities, those with terminal illnesses, and offer respite for caregivers.
Senior Companion volunteers serve in a variety of settings: private homes, skilled nursing facilities, private/non-profit healthcare agencies, adult day care centers, nutrition sites, multipurpose senior centers, and other facilities that serve the elderly.
Senior Companion volunteers assist their adult clients in basic but essential ways:
- Provide respite for caregivers;
- Report physical or emotional changes to a care management team, doctor, family member, etc.;
- Offer companionship and friendship to isolated and frail adults;
- Assist with simple chores;
- Assist with grocery shopping and meal preparation;
- Read to the visually impaired;
- Prepare correspondence for the physically challenged;
- Provide transportation to medical and other appointments; and
- Add richness to their clients' lives.
In many instances, the Senior Companion volunteer is an integral part of a care management team and is trained to alert doctors and/or family members of potential health problems.
Eligibility: Senior Companion volunteers must be 60 years of age or older and meet the established income eligibility guidelines not to exceed 125% of the poverty level ($1,064 per month/$12,770 annual), or in some high cost areas 135% ($1,149 per month/$13,785). Senior Companion volunteers must be willing to serve between 15 to 40 hours per week.
Benefits: Senior Companion volunteers know they are making significant contributions to their client's lives, and in return they receive the following:
- Pre-service and monthly training sessions;
- Reimbursement for transportation;
- Some meals during service;
- An annual physical;
- Accident and liability insurance while on duty; and
- A modest, tax-free stipend ($2.65 per hour) to offset the cost of volunteering.
The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) provides part-time work-based training opportunities at local community service agencies for older workers who have poor employment prospects and assists with the transition of individuals to private or other employment opportunities in the community. The program provides a variety of supportive services to the individual such as personal and job-related counseling, job training, and job referral.
Individuals who participate in the program must be residents of California, be at least 55 years of age, and have an income that does not exceed 125 percent of the federal poverty level. ($1,163.58 per month/$13,963.00 annual). The SCSEP Eligibility Calculator is available on the website to assist individuals in determining SCSEP income eligibility. The Calculator is intended to be a guide. Some income sources may be excludable, and other factors may effect an individual's eligibility. It is strongly recommended that individuals confirm their eligibility results with SCSEP program staff.
The work-based training is an integral part of the program. Individuals may receive job-related training prior to, and as preparation for their community service assignment, and train for an average 20 hours per week. After a prescribed period of on-the-job training, individuals are either transitioned into unsubsidized employment or rotated to other training positions in the community to further upgrade their skills and assist in finding unsubsidized employment.
For more information about this program in your area, call your local Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-510-2020, or contact the programs operating in specific counties in the State. (Area Agencies on Aging in California with Senior Community Service Employment (Title V) Programs)
In addition to the programs administered by the California Department of Aging through local Area Agencies on Aging, other national organizations operate SCSEP in California can be found here.
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