Hanover Township launches in-home care program for seniors
Food insecurity isn't the only humanitarian crisis to be emphasized or worsened by the pandemic.
The hardships faced by some seniors in assisted living facilities has given rise to Hanover Township's launch of an in-home care pilot program to help provide the help older adults might need to remain outside such institutions.
"The social isolation of older adults was already a problem before the pandemic," said Megan Conway, the township's director of aging services.
Even the seniors whom COVID-19 spared were left basically trapped by the spread of the virus, she said. The newly licensed program intends to look after not only the physical needs of homebound seniors but also the cognitive stimulation brought by the visits.
Though the state has an excellent Community Care Program, like many other useful programs there's a gap where residents who don't financially qualify but are still of limited resources fall, Hanover Township Supervisor Brian McGuire said.
A program such as this was determined to be a way the township could make the most impact on the problem, he added.
"We know that it's cheaper for society to have people outside an institution," McGuire said.
A nurse and home care coordinator will provide initial in-home evaluations for participants to develop a service plan based on their own needs. Available services include such daily living activities as bathing, dressing, grooming, light housekeeping, grocery shopping and meal preparation.
Township transportation services also will be available.
All services will be provided at a sliding scale based on a resident's financial resources. Costs range from $5 to $25 per hour.
Conway said the process of getting the program licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health took seven months, but she believes it would be more streamlined for others who may adopt Hanover Township's model in the future.
Hanover Township's more than 101,000 residents live largely in portions of Streamwood, Bartlett, Hanover Park, Elgin, Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates.
Anyone with questions or wishing to register for the program is asked to call the Hanover Township Senior Center at (630) 483-5600.