What Makes Us Unique: CoC is a grassroots, non-profit membership organization guided by people who understand the rural way of life, along with its challenges. It is governed by a local board of directors and staffed by employees who care about their fellow community members, making people comfortable in contacting the program. Gaps in services have been addressed by developing needed services that promote a wholistic approach to care.
Who We Serve: Active community seniors, the marginalized, frail, family members, and others in need. There are no other human service agencies located in rural Cass County causing many to seek our services. Flexibility allows us to serve a wide range of people with a wide range of needs.
Where We Serve: Offices in Casselton and Arthur allow good contact with and easy access for local residents. Home visits and outreach activities are provided as requested.
How We Do This: Services include the One Stop Service Center, Volunteer Program, Support and Options Counseling, and Community Education and Health Promotion. The number of people utilizing services continues to increase significantly each year. In 2010, over 300 members have joined together to help support the mission and programs of Community of Care.
Support and Options Counseling
Individual and group caregiver support, care coordination and counseling are provided on long term care needs.
A new caregiver joins the Caregiver Support Group. He/she receives encouragement, camaraderie and support from other members and feels better prepared to meet the special challenges of care giving. Monthly meetings are led by staff and include devotions, education and fellowship.
A family member needs information on caring for a parent with a long term illness. Staff is able to assist by sharing what services are available, how to obtain respite care for family members, what local resources are available for the parent, and much more.
Family lives too far away to effectively support and counsel a family member living in rural Cass County. The Care Coordinator is able to offer support, health education, and encouragement on a one-on-one basis.
One Stop Service Center
Information & Referral: A community member has a terminal illness and family members are asking about what equipment and supplies are available to help their loved one be more comfortable. Staff make the appropriate referrals and can assist in picking up and delivering the supplies to their home.
Assistance: Someone just can’t keep up with getting their bills paid. Staff is able to provide peace of mind by regularly sorting through bills, writing and mailing checks and filing paperwork.
A family is struggling to figure out how they will pay their fuel bills this winter. They are relieved when staff visits them in their home and helps them complete the forms necessary to receive fuel assistance.
State Health Insurance Counseling: A person is turning 65 years old and still employed. They have questions about whether to sign up for Medicare Part B, supplement policy and Part D coverage or continue with their employer health insurance coverage. Staff, who are trained as State Health Insurance Counselors, can help sort through the decision process.
Care Coordination: A medically complex individual receives ongoing assistance in following prescribed treatment, monitoring health status, and getting to scheduled appointments.
Connecting formal and informal organizations and individuals with older persons and others in need. We offer services such as: medical and social transporation, minor home repair, shopping and errands, visitation telephone reassurance and yard work.
A local resident doesn't have transportation or doesn't feel comfortable driving to a medical appointment in Fargo. Staff arrange for volunteers to provide transportation to and from the appointment.
An individual, who doesn’t drive, needs a ride to run errands at the bank and grocery store. Staff arrange for a volunteer to provide the ride.
A person suffering from a chronic illness needs medical treatment several times each week. A group of volunteers is enlisted to take turns providing these important rides.
Local residents who are shut-in, have long term health problems, or are dealing with challenging situations receive emotional and social support from the programs’s BeFriender Ministry.
Community Education and Health Promotion
The community benefits from activites such as a walking program in Arthur, blood pressure checks in Casselton. Someone is looking for information on dementia or depression. Staff can provide an array of resources, including books, brochures, web sites, and toll-free numbers.
Staff provide education on a variety of topics related to aging in the form of newsletters, articles and presentations. Community Education Forums have held on:
Advance Directives and Long-Term Care Planning
Nutrition, Safety and Exercise for Seniors
Resource directories, which include information on housing, financial and legal issues, health/wellness, and services and support, are located in Arthur, Casselton, Page, Kindred, and Buffalo.
Good physical health is encouraged through a new walking group in Arthur. Blood pressure screenings are offered in the Casselton office, at regularly scheduled group functions, and as requested.
Communities Served in 2011
Absaraka, Alice, Amenia, Argusville, Arthur, Ayr, Buffalo, Casselton, Chaffee, Davenport, Durbin, Embden, Erie, Gardner, Grandin, Harwood, Horace, Hunter, Kindred, Leonard, Mapleton, Page, Tower City, Wheatland
2011 Concerns Addressed by Community of Care
Psychosocial: Grief/Loss/Death, Transition, Aging, Hospitalization, Loneliness, Spiritual, Caregiving, End-of-Life, Emotional Needs, Other
Health-Related Behaviors: Medications, Diet/Nutrition, Weight Loss/Gain, Exercise, Blood Pressure Screening, Substance Abuse, Other
Physiological: Dementia, Mental Health, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Arthritis, Respiratory, Cancer, Other
Environmental: Housing: In-Home Services, Safety, Abuse/Neglect, Yard Work, Equipment, Legal Services, Minor Home Repair, Transportation, Other
Financial: Medicare: Medicare, Medicare Part D, Medicaid, Social Security, Disability, Fuel Assistance, Taxes, Food Stamps, Rental Assistance, Insurance, Other
Approximately 691 people were served in 2011 with the most frequent interventions as follows:
Medicare Part D
The Volunteer Program continues to serve many individuals for medical transportation and social transportation utilizing 40+ dedicated volunteers who donated 725.50+ hours of service and provided over 11,887 miles of transportation. In addition, volunteers provided 362 miles of social transportation. Forty-six volunteers provided 175 hours of service doing yard work, minor home repair and trained Medicare Part D Drug Plan enrollment.
We are always looking for additional volunteers in the rural community who share the passion of Community of Care's mission. This is a great way to give back to those who have given so much to us. We are also looking for volunteers from the F-M metro area who are willing to assist with transportation needs, along with yard work and minor home repairs.
The Support & Options Counseling, Volunteer Program, One Stop Service Center, and Community Education & Health Promotion Programs are enhancing independent living and quality of living by improving access to services, benefits, health care, and prescription medications, by avoiding unnecessary costs, by preventing injuries/risks, and by reducing distress associated with aging and/or health concerns.
Impact on Community
Promotes individual and community responsibility for care of our older citizens. We rely on the concept of "neighbor helping neighbor".
Delays institutional care and promotes more cost effective services.
Increases knowledge and awareness which helps people access the current system of services.
Does not duplicate services provided by other agencies, but instead addresses lacking or insufficient services in the rural area.