No waiting is the goal of Aging, Disability Resource CenterWaiting is a fact of life, but staff members of the Aging and Disability Resource Center of St. Croix County are hoping to make it less of an issue for the clients they serve.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
Waiting is a fact of life, but staff members of the Aging and Disability Resource Center of St. Croix County are hoping to make it less of an issue for the clients they serve.
The center came together earlier this year as part of Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle’s initiative to get services to seniors and those with disabilities faster and more efficiently. The center is located on the first floor of the Government Center, 1101 Carmichael Road, in the same space formerly occupied by the Office on Aging. The ADRC is state funded, but some specific programs receive funding from the federal and county government.
Brad Beckman is the center’s manager and his staff includes a caregiver support coordinator, information and assistance specialists, a community services coordinator, a disability benefit specialist and a community outreach coordinator.
Beckman said the problem of getting services to those who need it in a more efficient manner was statewide. There were more than 200 people on the waiting list in St. Croix County for services when the center opened. “People were getting frustrated just to get information and sometimes they would just give up. Since the center has opened, we have been getting more and more calls from caregivers and those in need of things like medical assistance, respite care, a whole variety of services,” said Beckman.
The staff of the ADRC have been holding information sessions across the county to get the word out about their services. Along with the services to seniors and their families, the center also serves adults with disabilities in the county.
“Accessing those folks with disabilities is a big part of what we want to accomplish. They are very excited to see things happen and not be stuck on a waiting list that never seems to end. Our goal is to help them advocate for themselves and access the services they need to stay independent and active in the community,” said Beckman.
The center is working with local organizations like Bridge for Youth with Disabilities and with special-needs teachers in the Hudson School District to help students transition as adults in the community.
“We want to ensure that people with disabilities living in communities across St. Croix County have full and complete access to both information and services that can enhance their lives,” said Beckman.
Nancy Abrahamson is the center’s caregiver support coordinator. She works with individuals and their caregivers to provide services like the “DayAway Club,” which provides respite care for caregivers and a supervised program for participants in a safe and comfortable environment.
She also coordinates the Interfaith Volunteers/Faith in Action program that matches area volunteers with those who need everything from specific assistance to general companionship.
“We are seeing more and more people accessing our volunteer programs and senior activities. It is wonderful what happens when volunteers are matched with someone who needs them. It is a win/win for those involved — both the recipient and the volunteer,” said Abrahamson.
Along with operating meal service at 10 senior centers across the county, including Hudson, and programs like DayAway, some of the other services provided by the ADRC include:
The ADRC provides information and assistance with public benefits as well as information and access to other programs and services available throughout the area. The ADRC is open to the public. Help is also available via telephone or through a home visit.
For more information about the information and assistance available at ADRC, call (715) 381-4360 or email Beckman at firstname.lastname@example.org.