A partnership between SourcePoint and the Liberty Township Fire Department has been revived.
For a few months in late 2012, a partnership existed between the elder care experts at SourcePoint and the township fire department. Called the “FIRST Program,” the partnership stationed an elder-care specialist in a small office at the fire department, where she could assist firefighters by responding to the needs of frail, at-risk older people who frequently call 911 for assistance with routine tasks, such as transferring from their bed to a wheelchair or taking out the garbage.
The program was abruptly discontinued in January 2013 after the township’s emergency services levy failed and funding for the department became critical.
“It has taken us three years, but after working closely with (Fire) Chief (Timothy) Jensen and township officials, we are excited to partner with Liberty Township to again bring needed support and services to their older residents,” said Fara Waugh, director of client services at SourcePoint.
“All of us hope to remain at home as we age,” Waugh said. “And for many of us, at some stage of life, we will need a bit of help to do that.” When people need assistance with what professionals call the activities of daily living, they may call for emergency assistance, she said, when what is really needed is extra, non-emergent, in-home care to help a person remain independent.
“These are the callers who may need us the most frequently, and the hearts of our emergency personnel certainly go out to them,” Jensen said. Yet attending to non-emergent needs isn’t the best use of the department’s resources, he said.
“Having one of SourcePoint’s service coordinators in-house is a win for everyone involved,” he explained. “It will mean that fire department resources are well-utilized, and that the older residents of Liberty Township and the city of Powell are getting the type of assistance they really need at home.”
“We have seen the FIRST program successfully connect older residents with vital in-home care services and other resources in other areas of the county,” Waugh said. “ We were eager to bring FIRST back to Liberty Township when the time was right.”
SourcePoint’s in-home care services and additional support are available to Delaware County residents. For more information, call 740-363-6677 or go to www.MySourcePoint.org. Intake and referral specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and other times by appointment.
SourcePoint is the former Council for Older Adults.
Information for this story was provided by SourcePoint.