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Community Foundation awards $10,000 grant to Easter Seals to expand senior services in Cape Coral

By Staff | Dec 20, 2011

The Cape Coral Community Foundation has announced its Senior Services Initiative Grant has been awarded to Easter Seals Florida. The purpose of this grant is to reach seniors in need in the Cape Coral community. “The intent is beyond just funding seniors services, but making a substantial impact on the quality and accessibility of these services. Easter Seals Florida provided us with a proven model that has worked in other

communities as well as providing easy access in a cost effective manner,” said Beth Sanger, executive director, in a prepared statement.

Approximately 29,000, or 19 percent, of Cape Coral residents are aged 65 and over. Of these 2,000 or more live in poverty, more than 50 percent have at least one or more disability and live alone and are not accessing the benefits, programs and services from which they can benefit.

Cape Coral Community Foundation announced the award to Easter Seals Florida at its

Annual Celebration on Nov. 2.

Easter Seals will provide comprehensive person- and family-centered case management, client advocacy, benefits enrollment and referral services to Cape Coral seniors in need of these services via its Family Resources Project.

“Easter Seals is delighted to have been awarded this timely and important grant to ensure that Cape Coral seniors can be assisted in leading self-determined lives and to age gracefully in their homes,” said Debra Lynne, vice president Easter Seals in Southwest Florida, in a prepared statement.

According to the National Center on Aging, approximately 50% of all seniors are not accessing benefits for which they qualify such as the Medicare Savings Plan, due to lack of knowledge about them.

More than 55% of all Family Resources Project clients live in the Cape; they express a

particular difficulty in finding, navigating to and accessing programs and services

Easter Seals expert Family Resource Specialists will break down these barriers and assure the necessary connections and supports in collaboration with its more than 50 local partner organizations. Services will be provided in the environments most suited to these clients: in their homes, at senior centers, by phone to assure there are no transportation barriers to receiving services, officials said.

Additionally, Easter Seals will work with out-of-state adult children and serve as a local advocate and liaison to assist them in helping to manage their aging parent’s care and support. This grant will serve at minimum 150 Cape Coral seniors over a 10-month period and it is our hope to be able to expand these services to even more individuals and families in the future.

Source: Cape Coral Community Foundation