Mercy will receive approximately $44,000 while the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission’s Aging and Disability Resource Connection will receive approximately $6,000 to help administer the program.
The funding will enable Mercy to provide counseling that will help families make more informed decisions about long-term support and services. According to the Department of Human Resources, options counseling begins with a personal interview to determine the client’s individual values and strengths, an exploration of services that may be available and the development of an action with follow-up sessions to make sure the client’s needs are being met in the best manner possible.
Rita Lawler, executive director of Mercy Senior Care, is excited about the opportunity to help provided one-on-one counseling services to their client base.
“This is a new initiative,” Lawler said. “The way to help them is to create service options that they want and need for their families.”
The grant will help fund a new part-time employee to run the program and put together plans to meet very specific needs. Lawler said she hopes the program would enable her agency to serve at least 75 families during the course of the next 10 months.
“It may not necessarily be traditional personal service agencies,” Lawler said. “It may be something very special that particular person is interested in having. All of this is supposed to be very individually oriented.”
Lawler said she is particularly pleased to be chosen to participate in the pilot project because of Mercy Senior Care’s background in providing care to older adults and those with disabilities.
“We have done this on an informal basis for many years, but we look forward now to doing it in a more formal way,” Lawler said. “The state will be collecting information on how this proceeds and I guess they will be making a decision about whether they will continue the program in the future.”
The Mayo Clinic Health System of Waycross and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon will also receive grants to participate in the pilot project.
For more about the ADRC visit www.aging.dhs.georgia.gov or call 1-866-552-4464.