Community Living Program launched in Ascension, area parishes

Staff reports

Louisiana has joined 20 other states in offering the federally-funded Community Living Program through its Aging and Disability Resource Center network to assist individuals who are at risk of nursing home placement, the Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs announced.

Director Dr. Bulot said the state program, titled “Louisiana Answers…for Living at Home,” will be piloted this year in Ascension, East and West Baton Rouge, East and West Feliciana, Iberville and Pointe Coupee parishes.

“Our mission is to help individuals and caregivers find the supports they need to stay at home before they delete their savings,” said Dr. Bulot.

With nearly $2 million in funding from the U.S. Administration on Aging, and in collaboration with the Capital Area Agency on Aging, the program targets older adults, adults with disabilities, adults with Alzheimer’s or related dementias and their caregivers.

“We help adults who do not qualify for Medicaid remain independent and find more options for their care,” said Capital Aging and Disability Resource Center Project Coordinator Tracy Thompson. “When someone is struggling, they need to call us.”

According to GOEA, there are as many as 20,000 adults with dementia and more than 66,000 older adults who could utilize the program in the greater Baton Rouge/Florida Parishes area.

“We offer a seamless information, assistance, referral and follow up process,” said Thompson.

“Just make the call. We'll do the rest.”

The program also hopes to help educate caregivers of older adults with Alzheimer’s or related dementias learn some everyday skills to enhance the good work they are already providing for their loved one, Thompson said. “The average caregiver, who tends to be an older woman caring for her aging parents, most likely doesn’t seek support and is getting burned out,” she added.

Individuals who call should be older than 60 years of age, or an adult older than 21 years with an adult-onset disability, or be the caregiver of an adult with a disability, such as Alzheimer's or a related dementia. The individual seeking help should not qualify for, but be close to Medicaid eligibility, Thompson said.

For more information, call 1-800-280-0908.