2012-04-12 / Local & State

Link Helps Senior Citizens, Disabled

STAFF REPORT


Dwight Washabaugh, second from right, president of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, listens as Marie Bourassa, Link regional co-ordinator for central Pennsyvlania, addresses the audience at a recent meeting that introduced the Link to Aging and Disability Resources network to the community. Dwight Washabaugh, second from right, president of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, listens as Marie Bourassa, Link regional co-ordinator for central Pennsyvlania, addresses the audience at a recent meeting that introduced the Link to Aging and Disability Resources network to the community. A coordinated network of partnered agencies and organizations serving the aging and disabled was recently introduced to the community.

The network, called Link to Aging and Disability Resources, or Link, allows the consumer to initiate contact with any Link partner and, in most cases, complete a single-entry intake process that will enable the consumer to access all information, assistance and resources available throughout the Link network.

According to Crystal Paylor, network coordinator in Fulton and Huntingdon counties, Link will directly connect consumers to the information and services needed no matter where the point of entry into the system.

“The ‘no wrong door’ approach,” Paylor said, “attempts to minimize duplication of efforts by consumer and providers.”

Paylor stresses that Link is not a place but rather a process where partner agencies work in collaboration to educate and serve to make connecting linkages. It serves individuals of all ages and income levels.

“Our vision is to have the Fulton County Link serve our community as highly visible and trusted places where people of all incomes and ages can turn for information on the full range of long-term options and single point of entry for access to public long-term support programs and benefits,” said Paylor.

Link aims to educate Fulton County residents about all the options and resources that are available to them.

“We are trying to end the days of calling 10 phone numbers and repeating the story 10 different times, or just doing without because people don’t know who to contact,” Paylor said. She said a need can be as simple as taking the trash to the curb, medical equipment or daily personal care in the home.

Link will also assist resource centers, and Paylor says that there is a possibility of seed money availability for health fairs or service awarenss. Grants will be more easily accessed for agencies and resource centers that belong to Link, according to Paylor.

Paylor is in the process of organizing cross-trainings and informational meetings with interested resource centers in Fulton County. Individuals with questions regarding needed services or resource centers that would like to participate in Link should contact Paylor at the Community Resources for Independence located at 201 Lincoln Way West, Suite 109, Mc- Connellsburg, or call 717-485- 0200.

Special guest speaker at the Link introduction meeting was Joyce O’Brien, Link state director. Also speaking were Crystal Paylor; Marie Bourassa, Link regional co-ordinator for central Pennsylvania; and Shaun Hayes, Community Resources for Independence, a Link core partner. About 20 individuals representing various county agencies, organizations and businesses attended.

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