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County's program to advocate for seniors continues

Posted on 03/16/2017
County's program to advocate for seniors continues

The Weld County Area Agency on Aging (WCAAA), a division of the Department of Human Services, has been approved by the Weld County Board of Commissioners to apply again for a Victim Assistance and Law Enforcement Grant (VALE) for use in the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Friendly Visitor Program. This application is for the grant cycle beginning July 1, 2017, and ending June 30, 2018, and totals $10,000. Funds from this grant have been utilized by the program since 1997.

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Friendly Visitor Program, has worked since 1972 to advocate for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes, assisted living facilities, or similar adult care facilities. Specifically, the Ombudsman program focuses on resolving problems of individual residents and bringing about changes to improve care and quality of life for these residents.  This program exists in all states and United States territories, and operates in conjunction with the National Association of States Agencies on Aging United for Aging and Disabilities.

In Weld County, this program works in partnership with the Department of Human Services to not only advocate for vulnerable long-term care residents but also to promote abuse education and awareness via an abuse education program. Funds from the VALE grant are used to facilitate and maintain this educational program, which focuses specifically on educating long-term caregivers on the warning signs and forms of abuse in a caregiving facility.  

“Members of our community living in long-term care facilities are often vulnerable to abuse,” said Department of Human Services Commissioner Coordinator Barbara Kirkmeyer. “Programs like the Area Agency on Aging and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Friendly Visitor Program are crucial resources for defending these people, and improving their care and quality of life.”