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Aging Matters In Brevard, a non-profit organization, develops solutions to community problems, promotes and maintains independence, and maximumizes the quality of life for the citizens of Brevard County, particularly the elderly and disabled adult.
Aging Matters In Brevard has served the matters of aging in Brevard County since 1965. The agency provides services for seniors 60 and older. Aging Matters has fourteen programs that serve seniors including the Brevard Senior Nutrition Program, Home and Community Based Services, Seniors Assistance Program, Community Home Services, the Caregiver Support Program, the Sunflower House, Senior TranServe, the Brevard Community Kitchen, and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).
The Brevard Senior Nutrition Program provides hot, nutritious meals to frail homebound seniors through Meals on Wheels and coordinates 14 Seniors at Lunch congregate dining sites throughout the county. In 2011, Meals on Wheels volunteers delivered 226,720 meals to homebound seniors, and congregate dining sites provided 96,426 meals to the nutritionally disadvantaged.
The Brevard Community Kitchen provides meals not only for Meals on Wheels and Seniors at Lunch but also for seniors attending adult daycare centers, for at-risk children attending the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Summer Lunch program, and, in partnership with United Way and local corporations, for seniors who need a meal on Saturdays. The kitchen also has a catering business, the income from which helps to subsidize the cost of agency nutrition programs. As a community kitchen, it also provides meals to emergency services workers during times of disaster.
The Seniors Assistance Program, which is part of the agency's Home and Community Based Services, provides housing improvement services to seniors who own their own homes. Skilled handymen perform minor home repairs and modifications including installation of grab bars and access ramps. Last year, the Housing Improvement team provided 7,794 hours of service to improve home accessibility, safety, and security for 1,501 seniors.
The Caregiver Support Program, housed at the Sunflower House, serves family caregivers actively caring for elderly loved ones. To relieve stress and give caregivers a break from their everyday responsibilities, in-home respite and adult daycare are provided along with consumable medical supplies. Services are also provided for grandparents who are formally and informally raising their grandchildren. The Sunflower House offers exercise classes, support groups, educational workshops, and recreational activities.
Senior TranServe provides transportation to non-driving ambulatory seniors who have no other means of transport to medical appointments and stores. In 2011, volunteers utilized their own vehicles, fuel, and time to transport 239 seniors to appointments.
RSVP recruits volunteers to serve in not-for-profit and governmental agencies in Brevard County. In 2011, RSVP volunteers provided 130,844 hours of service valued at $2,533,840.
- Heather Dimmig
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