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South Bay Digest

Local News in Brief : Elderly Aid Program OKd

August 04, 1988

The South Bay Hospital District has provided $1 million for a program to aid frail and house-bound elderly patients by linking them with existing services and providing some direct care through trained volunteers.

"A major goal of the program is to prevent the premature and undesired institutionalization of the frail elderly," said Philip Valera, district executive director. The allocation is for three years, but Valera said the district--which devised the program--is expected to continue its support beyond three years.

It is the largest grant given by the district since it allocated $1.3 million for a 5-year health program in four school districts in 1984.

The program will assess needs of clients and connect them with such in-home support services as light housekeeping, health monitoring and attendant care. In another activity, some 90 volunteers--many of them senior citizens--will be trained to provide companionship, run errands and offer support for elderly people in stressful situations.

During its first year, the program expects to have 360 clients in Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, the three cities served by the district. Valera said there are 13,000 people over the age of 60 in those cities, and an estimated 650 can be classified as frail elderly.

Behavioral Health Services Inc., a nonprofit agency selected by the district to run the program, has opened a service office at 2306 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Beach. People in the three cities who are interested in services may call 318-2273.

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