Eastern Sierra Area Agency on Aging (ESAAA)
The California Department of Aging (CDA) administers programs that serve older adults, adults with disabilities, family caregivers, and residents in long-term care facilities throughout the State. The Department administers funds allocated under the federal Older Americans Act and the Older Californians Act.
CDA contracts with the network of Area Agencies on Aging, who directly manage a wide array of federal and state-funded services that help older adults to live as independently as possible in the community; promote healthy aging and community involvement; and assist family members in their vital care giving role. The Area Agency on Aging in our region is ESAAA, which encompasses both Inyo and Mono counties. ESAAA is governed by the Inyo County Board of Supervisors (BOS), who has designated the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to administer the ESAAA services. HHS oversees a contract with the County of Mono through which Mono County employees serve Mono County seniors. In Inyo County, HHS staff directly serve Inyo County seniors.
The following services are provided through ESAAA to seniors, age 60 or older and caregivers:
Information and Assistance (I&A)
This service is provided to residents in both Inyo and Mono counties by Inyo County through the ESAAA program. I&A provides individuals with information on services available within the communities; links individuals to the services and opportunities that are available; and to the extent possible, provides follow up to ensure that the individual is satisfied with the outcome of the referral. This service is available to seniors and caregivers, who can remain anonymous and can refuse further follow-up.
This service is provided to residents in both Inyo and Mono counties by Inyo County through the ESAAA program. Telephone reassurance is available to seniors who have been assessed to need regular contact and safety checks for the purpose of providing reassurance and support.
Family Caregiver Support Services (FCSS)
This service is provided to caregiver in both Inyo and Mono counties by Inyo County through the ESAAA program. FCSS is available to unpaid caregivers of individuals over the age of 60 to caregivers of individuals of any age who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or related disorder with neurologic and organic brain dysfunction. Services include caregiver assessments, support/counseling and respite.
Congregate and Home Delivered Meals - Elder Nutrition Program (ENP)
Nutrition services are available in both Inyo and Mono Counties through ESAAA. Each county provides these services directly to their residents. The available services include meals that comply with Dietary Guidelines for Americans and meet a minimum of one-third of recommended Dietary Reference Intake. Meals are available in congregate settings, as well as to home-bound or isolated individuals through home delivery services. The ENP also provides nutrition education and counseling to seniors in both communities.
Assisted Transportation and Transportation
Transportation services are provided in both Inyo and Mono Counties through ESAAA by both counties. Transportation services include the provision of bus passes to seniors in order to provide access to community resources. In addition, individuals who have been assessed as needing assistance with transportation as a result of physical or cognitive difficulties are able to receive assisted transportation services. Assisted transportation is primarily used to access out of area medical care, however assistance with accessing local medical and other support services is also available.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Services
This service is provided to residents in both Inyo and Mono counties by Inyo County through the ESAAA program. The primary responsibility of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program is to investigate and resolve complaints made by, or on behalf of, individual residents in long-term care facilities, including skilled nursing facilities and residential care facilities.
Legal Assistance is provided to the region through a contract with a local agency and/or attorney’s office. Services include legal advice, counseling and/or representation by an attorney or other person acting under the supervision of an attorney.
To be eligible for services through ESAAA, an individual must be 60 years of age or older, or, for services outlined under FCSP above, an unpaid caregiver of a senior or of a person of any age as outlined above under FCSP. The Older Americans Act requires that ESAAA target low income, isolated and underserved seniors. Seniors are provided an opportunity to donate to ESAAA to help offset the cost of services, but this is a voluntary donation and a person’s inability to donate will not disqualify them from services.
Inyo County-Growing Older, Living with Dignity (IC-GOLD)
The IC-GOLD program is funded by the County in an effort to ensure a continuum of services is available to our senior community in Inyo County. The County of Inyo is committed to supporting the independence and the overall health and well-being of the seniors residing in the county. The County regularly assesses the needs of seniors and adjusts program services to meet those needs to the extent available resources allow.
Services currently available through IC-GOLD include:
ESAAA funding has historically not fully covered the cost of meals to meet the needs of county residents. Through IC-GOLD, meals not fully funded through ESAAA are currently funded directly by Inyo County for Inyo County residents. This is primarily in the home-delivered meal program where the eligibility criteria currently mirror that of ESAAA.
Homemaker/Personal Care Services
Inyo County seniors who are experiencing physical and/or cognitive difficulties as a result of their age or disability are able to apply for one or both of these services. Applicants must be deemed ineligible for In Home Support Services (IHSS), a county-based social services program, and an assessment of their abilities conducted in the home before services can be provided. Homemaking services include preparation of meals, shopping assistance, light housekeeping or other homemaking activities. Personal Care services include providing stand-by assistance and assistance with personal care. These services are designed to provide limited assistance that will support the individual’s ability to safely remain independent and are available to the extent available resources allow.
Personal Safety Devices
Inyo County has a contract with a company providing Emergency Response Systems to provide valuable safety monitoring devises to seniors who have been identified as at high risk of injury. These devises provide the senior with the security of knowing that if they are injured or ill and unable to reach a telephone, that they can access emergency assistance with the push of a button.
Senior Center Activities
IC-GOLD supports five senior centers in Inyo County, which provide varying levels of activities. Three of the facilities, located in Bishop, Lone Pine and Tecopa, are open five days a week and provide congregate meals, senior activities and access to a wide range of information and services. The facilities located in Independence and Big Pine are open for congregate meals on a more limited basis.
To access IC-GOLD services or to find the information about the senior center nearest you, contact our Adult Services Office at (760) 873-6364 or (877) 462-2298.
Suggested Donations for Various Services
The Older American's Act allows us to offer clients the opportunity to donate to our program. Services provided through ESAAA are funded with state and federal dollars, but the demand for these services exceeds the amount of money we receive annually. Funds donated by our clients increase our ability to serve seniors in our county. We do realize that some people are in situations that make it difficult or impossible to donate to our program, and we will not deny service for this reason. The following is a short description of how much each service costs Inyo County, along with the suggested donation. Costs include wages, travel, and administration, as well as the cost of food products for the meal program.
Homemaker and Personal Care Services
The cost of these services range between $30.00 to $32.00 per hour.
Recommended donation: $1.00 - $16.00 per hour
Senior Center and Home-Delivered Meals
The cost of these services ranges between $8.25 to $8.75 per meal.
Recommended donation: $1.00 - $4.25 per meal
ESAAA receives a discounted fare rate as a result of bulk purchasing of 10-punch and monthly transit passes for people who cannot afford the regular price.
Recommended donation: 50% of Actual Cost
Assisted Transportation Services
Assisted transportation services vary in cost depending on the destination and duration of the trip. Clients will receive a statement that itemizes the actual cost. For example, the cost to provide an assisted transportation service from Bishop to Reno is approximately $387.00.
Recommended donation: 15% - 50% of Actual Cost
When a senior is enrolled for services, ESAAA/IC-GOLD will send a monthly statement, which will itemize services received and specify the suggested donation for the month. This statement is NOT a bill, but only an itemized statement of services used so that the senior can determine what amount, if any, they wish to donate. Donations can be forwarded by mail or can be given directly to an ESAAA/IC-GOLD employee.