Mission: To enhance the social and economic well being of seniors aged 55 and older and make a positive impact in the lives of children with special needs, the frail and the elderly and the community as a whole. Also, to provide mentoring and tutoring to special needs children and curriculum based activities.
Programs: Senior employment program lee county has a population of 228,965 for people 60 and older; 107,362 male and 121,603 are female. Of the 60 and older population there are 17,742 below poverty level and 27,343 below 125 percent of the poverty guideline according to the 2017 florida county profiles by the department of elder affairs. With the economic breakdown, the unemployment rate in the state of florida is 4. 1 in july 2017. Lee county's unemployment rate in july 2017 is 4. 2. According to the statistics supplied by the agency for workforce innovation, lee county zip codes 33901, 33905 and 33916 still has the highest unemployment rate in the county. 22. 5% of the residents in this area are 55 and older and 100% of this age group is low-income seniors. The community disadvantage index commonly used to summarize the general socio- economic conditions of an area considered zip code 33916 in lee county as the most disadvantaged in the country with a score of 10, the highest possible cdi score. Cdi ranks 33901 and 33905 a score of 5. Many of the 55 and older, low-income applicants of the senior employment program are discouraged job seekers who have given up hope of finding a job. Others, for various reasons, have been out of the job market for years. These are people who need to work to supply their basic needs. What can they do to change their situations? For some it may be a matter of changing their attitudes and the way they present themselves to employers. In most cases, however, what they need is training. This training could start with techniques to rebuild self-confidence and could include learning, new or updated skills, pertinent to the local job market with the interviewing and other techniques that will prepare them for a successful job search. For the training to be successful, it must be designed around the needs of the people to be trained. The older workers among us who want and need to work should have access to the types of training that will help them compete and be successful in a technological society. Through the senior employment program, low-income seniors are given the opportunity to compete in the job market. But for those who are really having difficulty finding a job, we also offer skills training to become stipend volunteers through the senior companion and foster grandparent program. They will be enrolled in the program earning stipend and other benefits while seeking permanent job opportunities. A four (4) hour monthly in-service meeting is provided to senior companion and foster grandparent volunteers to further enhance their skills. The dr. Piper center for social services, inc. Enhances employment and volunteer opportunities for seniors 55 and older and promotes them as a solution for businesses seeking trained, qualified, and reliable employees. Older workers are a valuable resource for the 21st century workforce, and the dr. Piper center is committed to providing high-quality skills training and employment assistance to participants. Through a comprehensive case management and skills training workshop low-income seniors are given the opportunity to compete in the job market. A comprehensive case management provides assistance and achieving optimal employment outcomes for low- income seniors, which involves assessment, counseling, training opportunities, service strategies and collaborative partnership with community and government agencies and businesses. A comprehensive case management also addresses barriers to employment goals and provide assistance to low-income seniors to manage if not eliminate those barriers. The senior employment program matches our mission of enhancing the social and economic well-being of seniors by providing the opportunity to update and/or gain useful employment skills and volunteer training. A total of 125 low-income enrollees were enrolled in this program and 82. 36% were successfully placed in the senior companion program, foster grandparent program and other job placements. The program outcomes are as follows: 1. 47. 5% of participants in the skills training workshops are successfully placed and retained. 2. 90% of participants in computer classes are actively searching and applying for job opportunities online. 3. 100% of participants have total satisfaction with the amount of the support received.
foster grandparent program: there is a great and growing need for quality out-of-school time programs for young people. Youth spend only 20% of their waking hours in school. On average, public schools meet for six hours per day, 180 days per year. This leaves 185 days and many hours each day free for young people to be bored or lonely, get into trouble; or participate in meaningful and fun activities. What young people do with the hours that they are not in school has an obvious impact on their development and well-being. In the past few decades, changes in the social and economic fabric of our country have led to important changes for families. Because children's primary care-givers are increasingly required to work full-time outside the home, a large percentage of young people are in need of a safe place to spend their non- school hours while their parents are at work. Today, less than 15% of the nation's young people live in a household with a working father and a "stay-at-home" mother. Young people ages five to fourteen are in need of care during their out-of-school time. Young people without adult supervision are at significantly greater risk of truancy from school, stress, receiving poor grades, risk-taking behavior, and substance abuse. Those who spend more hours on their own and begin self-care at young ages are at increased risk of poor outcomes. The juvenile crime rate triples between the hours of 3:00 p. M. And 6:00 p. M. And young people are most likely to be victims of a violent crime committed by a non-family member during these same hours. According to city-data. Com, there are approximately 496,901 family households in lee county and 48,484 are female householders. 16. 4% of households with children are below poverty level. Based on the community disadvantage index or cdi, zip code 33916 was identified as the most disadvantage in the country with a score of 10 followed by zip codes 33905 and 33901 both with a score of 5. Working poor have a relatively greater risk of children slipping into crime. For fiscal year 2016-2017 there were 5,532 youths referred for felonies, misdemeanors and other offenses in circuit 20, according to the florida department of juvenile justice. The highest number of juvenile crime is committed by juveniles between the ages 15-17+. As part of a community alternative to institutional care, foster grandparents have been identified as a very cost effective component in the service plans to address the challenge of impacting the lives of our children and youth. Through curriculum based after school programs and planned activities in the summer programs, children and youth will be provided with a one on one mentoring and tutoring by a trained foster grandparent volunteer. The goal of the foster grandparent program is two-fold: one is to provide one on one mentoring and tutoring to children and youth with special needs; through diverse activities which meet their needs and interest, activities that will enable them to develop self-esteem, and to reach their full potential. The second goal is to provide volunteer opportunities to low- income seniors 55 and older, to serve as mentors and tutors to assigned children at volunteer stations. Low-income seniors are provided with a stipend of 2. 65 an hour, and mileage reimbursement of 0. 40 cents per mile to cover the cost of volunteering, that helps them remain active and self- sufficient. The foster grandparent program is the most cost effective program to help children develop skills, confidence, and strength of character to succeed in life. The goal of the foster grandparent program definitely relates to the mission of the dr. Piper center of enhancing the social and economic well-being of low-income seniors and making a positive impact in the lives of children with special needs. This fiscal year the foster grandparent program of sw florida provided 103,657 hours of service, serving 473 children with special needs. 97% of children provided with mentoring and tutoring were promoted to the next grade level while 100% of low-income seniors enrolled in the program were trained, retained and remained active and self-sufficient.
senior companion program: the department of elder affairs 2017 county profiles declared that 32. 8% of lee county's total population of 697,708 is 60 and older with 46,950 living alone. 29,593 of those 65 and older have two or more types of disabilities, including sensory, physical and mental disabilities. 21,663 suffer from some form of dementia or alzheimer's disease. According to the department of aging and mental health, depression goes untreated in 80% of the senior population. Studies show that at least 10-25 % of all elderly people show clear symptoms of depression. 1-5 % has so-called serious depressive episodes, and 2-8 % suffers from loneliness and melancholy. Studies on residents in homes for the elderly find that 5-15 % suffer from depression. Up to 30 % of the residents have more or less pronounced symptoms of depression such as tiredness, lack of appetite and dejection. It is also known that much depression among the elderly is not diagnosed by psychiatric services. Through the nature of the aging process, chronic illnesses and conditions such as debilitating arthritis, osteoporosis, dementia, diabetes, respiratory problems, blindness, etc. Substantially limit mobility thus quality of life is deteriorating, which accelerates their physical problems and most of the time mental problems such as depression. The demand for care of these elderly will grow dramatically if they are to remain at home and avoid premature and costly institutionalization. With several service providers in lee county showing a waiting list for this population, funding does not exist to alleviate this crisis. As part of a community alternative to institutional long-term care, senior companions have been identified as a very cost effective component in the service plans to address this challenge. By helping frail elderly clients with meal preparation, transportation to and from medical appointments and grocery shopping, advocacy and simple housekeeping, senior companions help ease loneliness and illness while boosting self-esteem of their assigned clients. Since senior companions spend a significant amount of time with their frail elderly clients, they will be able to continue alerting doctors and case managers or family members of potential health problems, allowing them to provide immediate care to the client. The senior companion volunteer can also play a critical role in recognizing signs that an elderly client may be depressed. Recognizing the possible warning signs of depression is the first step in helping a depressed person. Senior companions can immediately alert case managers so that the depressed elderly will get the support he or she needs. Even though many families take great joy in providing care to their loved ones so that they can remain at home, the physical, emotional and financial consequences for the family caregiver can be overwhelming without some support, such as respite. Senior companions provide family caregivers a much-needed break to prevent burn out. The goal of the senior companion program is two-fold: one is to provide assistance to frail, home bound seniors, 60 and older, thus preserving their quality of life and independence. Through client assessment and case management, simple housekeeping, companionship and friendship, running errands, advocacy, transportation to and from grocery shopping or medical appointments, frail elderly clients are more likely maintained in their own home. The program also provides respite to full-time caregiver, giving them time for themselves to prevent burn out. The second goal is to provide volunteer opportunities to low-income seniors 55 and older to serve identified frail elderly clients in our communities. Low-income seniors are provided with a stipend of 2. 65 an hour and mileage reimbursement of 0. 40 per mile to cover the cost of volunteering, which help them to remain active and self-sufficient. The senior companion program is the most cost effective program to maintain frail elderly clients in their own home and prevent premature institutionalization. A total of approximately 81,306 hours were provided by our senior companions this last fiscal year. Six hundred fifty-one (651) frail elderly clients were served and the following are the outcomes: 1. 95% of the frail elderly clients served will have improved/maintained independent living. 2. 98% of frail elderly clients served are less lonely and access to services will have improved. 3. 100% of senior companion volunteers benefit the program with increase health and longevity and feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment.