Transitions With Jean Blog

Outagamie Co. has a helpful program

July 7, 2019

Do you find yourself having a harder time keeping up with your house? There is a program that is unique to Outagamie County (O.C.) for some of its seniors. O.C. knows that many residents want to stay in their home as long as possible, but as we age, some of the smaller tasks become more difficult.

If you want to remain independent and living in your own home, O.C. wants to help you do just that, so they have the Supportive Home Care Program. It is designed to aid people, who are 65 and older, with lighter tasks like laundry, cleaning, and errands. The tasks must be things that you are no longer able to perform yourself.

There are financial requirements that must be met, but those requirements have higher income limits than Medicaid. Once you have become eligible for this program, there is no cost for you.

Mary Guyette, the program supervisor, talked with me about Supportive Home Care. It was easy to tell that she is passionate about helping folks and that she is proud of her team.

First, she talked about the challenges of spreading the word that this free program is here for you, explaining, “Sometimes, it is difficult for seniors to accept help. Folks have been independent so long and are very proud of that, so to ask for help can be hard. This program is nice because it is very laid back. We don’t go into your home and tell you what to do. Instead, you tell us what needs to be done. We only do what you allow us to do.” She said, “You’re the boss, you tell us what you want. You can ‘hire’ us and fire us.” (Remember, it is free.)

“We try to always send the same person each time. If you don’t click, we’ll try someone else. These helpers aren’t nurses, they are people who care and enjoy helping others. You want to stay in your home, and they want to make it work for you.”

Are there any other requirements to qualify? Well, you must have a need. For example, if you have congestive heart failure, and your doctor has said that you shouldn’t vacuum, Supportive Home Care will help you. If you can dust, but you just don’t like to, that isn’t a need. You dust and they’ll vacuum. They’ll encourage you to do the things you can. It is good for you to keep moving. Maybe they’ll do the laundry, and you do the folding, if you are able.

How do you know if this program is for you? If you live in Outagamie County, call 920-832-5178 and ask. It only takes a couple of minutes. You answer some questions. They don’t push you; they want to figure out what you need. Then they will come out and meet with you to get everything lined up.

You may find that just one or two hours of help a week is all it takes to ensure that you can stay in your home longer.


How to reach them:
Outagamie County Aging and Disability Resource Center
8 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday

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