Help may be on way for elderly at Ridge Residences

August 04, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

A program to provide meals and household help to frail, elderly Carroll residents is scheduled to begin this fall at Ridge Residences, a subsidized senior apartment development in Westminster -- if enough of those eligible want to participate.

The Senior Assisted Living program, SAL, would provide qualified seniors with three meals a day, plus an hour a week of housekeeping help and an hour a week of limited personal care.

Associated Catholic Charities of Baltimore, which operates five SAL programs in Baltimore and Baltimore County, would operate the program.

"It's one of the ways of keeping people out of nursing homes," said John Hanson, president of Ridge Residences Inc. Keeping people independent, he said, is good for them and good for the taxpayers.

"There really are people who need that service," said Wanda Wilson, senior program administrator for Associated Catholic Charities' division of services for the aging.

To qualify for SAL, a senior would first have to qualify to live in one of the 79 HUD-subsidized apartments at Ridge Residences or at Timber Ridge, a development of 100 garden apartments for seniors next door to Ridge Residences.

A person must be 62 or older and meet income limits to qualify for the subsidized apartments.

An annual income of $16,500 or less qualifies a single person, and a joint income of $18,900 qualifies a couple, said Deborah Bullock, manager of both Ridge Residences and Timber Ridge.

Seniors in the SAL program would receive three meals a day, cooked by Francis & Dyann Caterers of Baltimore in the Ridge Residences kitchen, and served in the dining room. Meals are intended to be a social activity, a time of fellowship.

Participants would also receive an hour a week of help with housekeeping chores, such as vacuuming, and an hour a week of limited personal care, such as help with laundry or help getting into and out of the bath.

The full cost of the program is $308 per person a month, said Ms. Wilson. However, the program is subsidized by the Maryland Office on Aging, and seniors who couldn't afford the full amount would pay according to sliding fees.

Ms. Wilson said the key to the program is that, in addition to the meals and assistance, each person would have the services of a case manager.

The case manager and an aide would see the person each day, said, so there would always be a watchful eye to ensure the person's needs are being met and to notify relatives of any problems.

The Ridge Residences kitchen is ready to operate, but can not open for residents until the SAL program begins, said Ms. Bullock.

"We don't have the staffing [now] to prepare meals," she said.

However, she added, even residents of Ridge Residences and Timber Ridge who don't qualify for the SAL program will be able to eat in the dining room once it opens.

Ms. Wilson said 15 people must qualify for the SAL program before meal service begins.

Oct. 1 is the projected starting date, she said.

Information: 876-5200.

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