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A guide to county services

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 21, 2002

Tampa senior citizens age 60 and older are eligible for a multitude of services, coordinated by the Hillsborough Department of Aging Services.

For a complete list, ask for a free copy of "Quick Guide to Community Resources" by calling 272-5900.

Among the options for seniors:

Senior Citizens Nutrition and Activity Program

Midday meals are served at more than 25 locations throughout the county, with five sites in or near South Tampa. After lunch, seniors socialize or watch a movie. Includes delivery to homebound seniors unable to cook. Transportation available for these meal sites: Haciendas de Ybor, 1615 Hacienda Court; Jewish Towers, 3001 DeLeon St.; Port Tampa Recreations Center, 4719 Prescott St.; Kings Manor Apartments, 2949 W Columbus Drive. Call 272-5250.

Alzheimer's Disease Initiative

This program provides case management, social services and day care for those with memory disorders. Support groups, educational classes and monthly meetings help caregivers of Alzheimer's patients stay focused. Call 272-5250.

Assisted Living Medicaid Waiver

Participants are placed in an assisted living facility rather than in a nursing home using Medicaid funding. Eligibility is based on income, assets and functional impairment. Call 272-5250.

Home Care for the Elderly

Those at risk of entering a nursing home can hire a live-in caregiver as part of this program. It promotes family living for as long as possible. Call 272-5250.

Homemaker Services

An assistant stops by and helps functionally disabled, long-term care recipients with household chores, shopping and errands. Call 272-5250.

Retired & Senior Volunteer Program

RSVP puts seniors to work in volunteer posts at nonprofit organizations. Call 272-5250.

Working Seniors

Those 55 and older can glean new skills and on-the-job training. Call 272-5250.

SENIOR CENTERS

People 60 and older at welcome at the county's senior centers, where activities include computer training, blood pressure checks, exercise, arts and crafts, field trips, support groups and lunch.

Rooms are available for meetings, classes and card games.

There are two senior centers near South Tampa:

David M. Barksdale Senior Center, 1801 N Lincoln Ave. Call 348-1180 for a schedule of activities.

Westshore Senior Center, 4102 Spruce St. Call 554-5156 for a schedule of activities.

OTHER SENIOR PROGRAMS

Nonprofit organizations such as the Centre for Women assist seniors with aid ranging from household repairs to health insurance advice. Many are coordinated by the ElderLink Consortium.

Bay Area Legal Services

Free legal advice, counseling or individual representation for elderly and low-income Hillsborough County residents. Legal issues include housing, family law, unemployment compensation, public benefits, Medicare, domestic violence, disabilities, credit problems and access to health care. Call 232-1343.

The Bill Payer Program

Bill-paying and record-keeping assistance to self-sufficient elder or disabled adults. To qualify, you must be a Hillsborough County resident with a monthly income of less than $1,500. Call 932-5228.

Caregiver Advocacy Program

Helps caregivers muddle through guardianship proceedings and provides legal assistance with paperwork regarding durable power of attorney, health care surrogates and advance care directives. Call 232-1343.

Elder Justice Center

Assists the elderly in navigating the court system. Provides free case management for those involved in multiple court cases. Offers devices for the hearing impaired, a link to mediation services and court forms printed in large type. Hillsborough County Courthouse, 419 Pierce St., Room 296. Call (813) 276-2726.

ElderNet

Volunteers call homebound seniors daily just to make sure everything is okay. Call 964-1577 or 234-1234.

LongTerm Care Ombudsman Council

Free help for people having problems with nursing homes or assisted living facilities. The council, part of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, investigates allegations and helps resolve tough issues. Call 558-5591.

Project Ayuda

Free job training for low-income seniors age 55 and older. Services available in English and Spanish. Call 870-3172.

Senior Advocacy Unit

Advocates for the rights of elderly crime victims. Assists with civil issues such as mortgages, leases, consumer purchases, services or home improvements. There are several sites in the South Tampa area. Call 232-1222 or 634-6044.

Senior Environmental Assistance

Removing dead trees or other clutter from seniors' homes and yards. Age and income restricted. Call 238-3237.

Senior Home Improvement Program

Low-income homeowners age 60 or older get help with emergency plumbing or roof repairs. Income restricted. Call 250-9336.

Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders

Answers questions about Medicare and offers assistance completing health insurance forms. Call 740-3888.

TRANSPORTATION

American Red Cross Angel Wings

Transportation to and from medical appointments. Volunteer drivers trained in first aid and CPR. Vehicles not wheelchair accessible but can accommodate walkers and canes. Rides offered from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., must be scheduled a week in advance. Not income restricted. Call 251-0921.

HARTline

County bus service, with more than 20 routes in South Tampa. Wheelchair-accessible buses. Door-to-door van service for a nominal fee. Senior discounts for Florida residents over age 65. Call 254-4278.

SHARE-A-VAN

County-operated transit program for low-income seniors. Trips to doctor appointments, meal centers and senior day care sites. Fees based on sliding scale. Call 272-7272.

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