History and Description of Agency:
In 1974, Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc. was established as a private, non-profit Home Care corporation, and in 1975 was designated as an Area Agency on Aging in accordance with the Older Americans Act. In 1997, Elder Services was designated by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs to be the Aging Services Access Point (ASAP) for all of Berkshire County. Services offered to elders include information and referral, case management, respite care, homemaker and home health assistance, and nursing home pre-screening. The agency also operates Housing, Adult Family Care, Nursing Home Ombudsman, Money Management, and Protective Services programs, and oversees the Senior Aide Employment Program. The Volunteer Program serves more than thirty-six hundred elders annually with a corps of about 400 volunteers.
Every two years the agency identifies priority needs of Berkshire County's elderly and plans and develops services to address these needs. Each year, more than 1,000 elders receive in-home services, authorized by case managers. Another 1,600 attend one of the 14 congregate meal sites, while 1,700 have Meals on Wheels delivered to them. Each day, 1,000 to 1,200 meals are prepared in Elder Services own kitchen. The Housing, Adult Family Care, and Nursing Home Ombudsman Programs serve an additional 2,161 people. The agency publishes a monthly newspaper, the Berkshire Senior, which is circulated to 7,500 individuals throughout the county.
In pursuing our mission, we collaborate with local Councils on Aging, senior centers, certified home health agencies, adult day health and social day care programs, mental health agencies, long term care facilities, and all area hospitals.
Elder Services, Berkshire Countys Aging Services Access Point, allows convenient access to such resources as enhanced elder nutrition, housing options, in-home and protective services, nursing home ombudsman, and information on elder programs and services throughout the state and country.
The mission of Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc. is to provide Berkshire elders the opportunity to live with dignity, independence, and self-determination, and to achieve the highest possible quality of life.
Philosophy of Elder Autonomy: Elder Services recognizes and respects an older person's right to autonomy and strives to adhere to the principles of self-determination in all Agency activity.
The organization is committed to encouraging each elder to control his/her own life, and will give the information needed for each one to make informed decisions. All consumers have the right to determine, within societal and resource constraints, their desire for services and the scope of services utilized.
Elder Services supports every older person's right to make his/her own choices, even when those choices may not be what are generally accepted as the right choices.