In-home support agency opens in Truckee
Things just got easier for local residents in need of help around the house due to age, blindness or a disability that makes it unsafe to live in their homes without the help of supportive services. The Nevada-Sierra Regional In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority has just opened an office in Truckee and is currently building up a list of qualified supportive service providers in this area.
Created by California state law, the new agency has been tasked with establishing and maintaining a registry of care providers in the area, matching providers’ skills with the community’s needs, performing reference and background checks on providers, conducting follow-ups and satisfaction surveys and providing training to both providers and consumers of their services.
In-Home Supportive Services programs started in the 1970s as a way of keeping people out of nursing homes. IHSS consumers include qualified low-income elderly and blind people as well as persons with disabilities in need of help to live safely in their own homes. Duties that they may need help with include: personal assistance with dressing and bathing as well as general household tasks.
Currently, care providers who register with the county IHSS agency are paid by the State of California $7.11 per hour, although they are technically classified as independent contractors hired by the people they care for.
According to Nevada-Sierra Regional IHSS Public Authority Executive Director Tony Sauer, “people have a really hard time finding providers, and a lot of people have to go into nursing homes because of that.” Sauer fears that it may be difficult to find providers in this area because the wage paid by the state isn’t great and the cost of living here is so high. However, Sauer hopes the flexibility of scheduling will be an incentive to a lot of providers.
The IHSS office in Grass Valley has been open since July, and recently celebrated its 100th match between care providers and consumers. Sauer hopes to have similar success in the Truckee area.
Currently there are two bilingual staff members in the Truckee office located in the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office building on Donner Pass Road. Eventually, a third employee will be hired to help recruit local care providers and maintain the IHSS registry.
Melanie Kauffman, the executive director of the Truckee Tahoe Seniors Council, was excited to see the IHSS office open in town. “I think that the Public Authority will help the Truckee community meet unmet needs and help individuals who are unable to access critical services in their homes,” she said. “TTSC has recognized that there are a lot of seniors and disabled persons who need help with day-to-day critical in-home needs, and the agency will meet some of those needs.”
Kauffman believes that approximately 100 people in the Truckee area will take advantage of the program, especially now that the agency has an office in town.
To find out more information about becoming a care provider or a consumer in the IHSS program, call the Grass Valley office at (530) 274-5601. The Truckee IHSS office is located at 10879 Donner Pass Road, suite B, and their telephone number is (530) 587-6331.
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