By Keith Gushard
The new Crawford County Link isn’t a place, but an information network to help people age 60 and older or those between 18 and 59 with disabilities stay living independently.
Often in the past, residents would have trouble finding out what aid may be available to them, said Donna Stimpson, executive director of Active Aging Inc., the county’s agency on aging.
For the past year, personnel from various public and private social service agencies around the county have been cross-trained about what other agencies do and the services they provide — everything from home health care options to senior housing to behavioral services to job assistance.
Collaboration between agencies had always been there, Stimpson said, but sometimes personnel didn’t necessarily know what was available from other providers.
“It’s the ‘no wrong door’ concept,” Stimpson said. “It’s to get people to the services they need without them falling through the cracks.”
Joyce O’Brien, state director of the Link program, said the idea is to provide better care to people which leads to better health for the people and lower costs of providing it.
“Doesn’t matter where you start,” O’Brien said during a recent visit to the 26th annual Crawford County Senior Fest. “The idea is you ask anyone at an agency and they’ll know the answer or be able to get it.”
There’s no charge for assistance provided by Crawford County Link. It will provide funding options available on any service providers who may charge a fee for service.
n More information: Contact Active Aging, 1034 Park Ave., Meadville, at 336-1792 or toll-free at (800) 321-7705, or visit ltlinpa.org.
Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crawford County Link to Aging and Disability Resources can provide information and support for persons over age 60 and for persons 18 to 59 with disabilities on the following topics:
Community support services
Drug and alcohol
Health and nutrition
Medical Equipment and supplies
Mental health services and support
Nursing home transition
Utilities and fuel