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COUCH'S CORNER: Funding ensures Kern seniors receive quality services

The Kern County Department of Aging and Adult Services serves the community by responding to allegations of abuse, neglect or exploitation of elderly and dependent adults. Also, Aging and Adult Services coordinates the delivery of in-home domestic services. The agency administers a senior nutrition program to provide congregate site and home-delivered meals and help military veterans and their relatives obtain veterans’ benefits.

Recently, the Board of Supervisors approved more than $260,000 in a combination of federal, state and county funding for Aging and Adult Services for Kern County seniors, including congregate senior nutrition services, management and support for the Senior Medicare Patrol Program, training resources for in-home supportive services care providers, homemaker services, and family caregiver support program services.

There were more than five agreements approved on July 27 that will bolster the programs and services that are necessary for seniors. For example, one of the agreements approved this July is a retroactive agreement with Bakersfield Senior Center to provide Congregate Senior Nutrition services in central and south central Bakersfield from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022.

Furthermore, the board approved a retroactive agreement with California Health Advocates for program management and support for the Senior Medicare Patrol program from June 1, 2021, through May 31, 2022. The SMP program provides volunteers of the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program with education and counseling on medicare fraud and abuse. SMPs conduct outreach and education, engage volunteers and receive beneficiary complaints. Additionally, SMPs are grant-funded projects of the federal U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Administration for Community Living.

I look forward to collaborating with Aging and Adult Services Director Lito Morillo to ensure senior citizens in Kern County receive quality services that they deserve. Please feel free to view the agenda from the July 27 Board of Supervisors meeting for further details.

If you have any questions about this or any District 4 matter, don’t hesitate to contact us at 661-868-3680 or email us at district4@kerncounty.com. Have a safe week.

David Couch represents Kern County’s 4th District.