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Bourne Council On Aging

Outreach Services





The Bourne Council on Aging Outreach Program provides information and referral, as well as direct services, for all seniors in the Town of Bourne. Working with Council on Aging programs, as well as a variety of local, state and federal resources, it is the mission of the Outreach Program to assist seniors in areas which directly affect the quality of their lives.

Our Outreach Program is supervised by the Outreach Coordinator, a Licensed Social Worker. As necessary, the Outreach Coordinator develops a care plan based on client needs, makes home visits and provides confidential case management. Many of the inquiries and requests received by the Outreach Coordinator originate from the families of seniors, often living out of town, as well as concerned friends and neighbors, hospitals, physicians and home care agencies.

The Outreach Coordinator is the primary link to information and referral; providing direction and guidance to elders and their family members. This often includes referrals to the appropriate service agencies, assistance with application processes; and practical information in areas such as financial, home care assistance, nursing home and housing options.

The Outreach Coordinator, as a licensed social worker, is a mandated reporter of elder financial and physical abuse. She works closely with the state reporting agency; Protective Services of Elder Services of Cape Cod & the Islands. The Outreach Coordinator case manages those elders considered at risk in our community, who may or may not be eligible for the Self Neglecting Elders state program. In addition, in partnership with Cape Cod Human Services and funded by Barnstable County, our Outreach Coordinator can now make referrals for elder in home mental health assessments by Cape Cod Healthcare Behavioral Health Services. (see Elders At Risk link).

The Outreach program offers 2 FREE safety services co-sponsored with the Bourne Fire Department: Files of Life and Knox Boxes. The File of Life is a plastic magnetic folder in which important medical and emergency information can be listed and placed on the refrigerator. EMS personnel are trained to look for a File of Life for fast emergency response information. Files of Life are available to all seniors at the Council on Aging. A Knox Box is a lock box for a key that is installed by the Fire Department on a homeowner's door. The key is available for emergency use only and only the Fire Department has access to the box. It avoids the Fire Department having to break down the door in an emergency, especially important if the senior has many ambulance runs. Knox Boxes are loaned at no charge to those with acute medical needs. For more information on how to obtain a Knox Box or a File of Life, contact the Outreach Coordinator at the Council on Aging, 508-759-0654.

The Outreach Coordinator works in conjunction with other municipal and community agencies to offer services. In cooperation with the UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing, student nurses, under the supervision of a clinical nursing professor and the Outreach Coordinator, make weekly visits to elders who reside at home. These visits typically include blood pressure, pulse, respiration and edema checks, general health assessments, medication reviews, nutritional counseling, and environmental safety assessments. These services are offered at no charge to the seniors.

A unique feature of the Bourne Outreach Program is that of the Outreach Workers; a team of four (4) individuals, specifically trained to work with seniors. The Workers provide one on one visits with frail and/or housebound elders, as well as reassurance calls to seniors needing additional support and contact.

As part of our community Outreach and to heighten appreciation of the older population, the Outreach Coordinator conducts a variety of intergenerational programs during the year, such as the award winning "Intergenerational Memory Share", an annual Intergenerational Spelling Bee, the "What I Like About Older People" poster contest and holiday sing-alongs with preschoolers.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren is an important issue for many adults in the Town of Bourne and the surrounding areas. The Outreach Program offers a monthly support group for these caregivers, as well as information and referral, a resource library and special programming. (See link)

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