If you’re concerned about an older person, it’s important to know that help is available. The Gatekeeper Program, which aims to assist the vulnerable elderly before a crisis occurs, helps to make people aware of the various community services available. Trained community members, called gatekeepers, open the gates between the isolated elderly and these sources of assistance. Upon identification of a frail senior, gatekeepers make one phone call, which in turn initiates the individual’s assessment and access to a variety of in-home supportive services-including medical and personal care, household chore services, food, and transportation-preventing needless suffering and premature nursing home placement. The Gatekeeper Program represents collaboration between Friendship Adult Day Care Center, Cottage Hospital Parish Nursing funded by the St. Francis Foundation, and Santa Barbara County’s Adult Protective Services and Geriatric Assessment Programs. For info, call 681-4550.


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