Citizens Who Care

To improve the quality of life for older adults and their caregivers in Yolo County.

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Address: 409 Lincoln Ave.
Woodland, CA 95695
County or Parish: Yolo County
Executive Director: Joanne Bell
Contact Email:
Primary Phone: 530-758-3704
Being a caregiver for one's elderly and ailing spouse or parent is a huge responsibility, requiring more work than a full-time job. Citizens Who Care is a nonprofit organization that cares for the older adults and their caregivers in Yolo County. CWC began in 1975 as a Citizens Advisory Committee of the Mental Health Association of Yolo County with the mission of improving the quality of life for Yolo County's elderly and their caregivers. CWC provides the frail and dependent elderly and their family caregivers with socialization and support to help sustain their quality of individual, family, and community life. The agency's programs help clients stay connected to their communities and, for those at home, remain as long as possible in their familiar and safe family environments. This is done by providing regular volunteer in-home visits and support, respite for family caregivers, and visitation in long-term care facilities. There are no fees for the in-home volunteer visits, whereas private in-home paid support costs on average $25 per hour typically with a four-hour minimum. Over 120 volunteers contributed more than 5,500 hours to provide the services offered in CWC's three programs in 2015.
As the only nonprofit in Yolo County that provides free or low-cost respite to caregivers of frail and dependent elderly family members CWC has an ongoing need for donations and volunteers to sustain and deliver its critical program. Our top needs: 1. Funding: Program - Funding for core programs: Most CWC programs are provided to the public at no cost and serve low income families and individuals. Small fees, when there is one, are waived for those who cannot afford to pay. 2. Funding: Other - Marketing opportunities: CWC is always seeking means to inform the public about the services we provide. Workplace, civic, and club speaking opportunities, PSA opportunities, and media coverage are equally needed to expand outreach. 3. Volunteers - Volunteers: CWC matches all elderly clients and their caregivers one-on-one with a volunteer who provide caregiver respite and/or elderly companionship. Additional volunteers are always needed! 4. Funding: Unrestricted - Funding to enable to agency to increase its capacity and effectiveness to serve greater numbers of those in need of CWC support. Funds would be used to retain volunteers with volunteer recognition events and on going training. 5. Board Members - CWC has an ongoing need for new, committed and diverse board members from Yolo County.
'The majority of frail seniors and their caregivers identify loss of independence, isolation, and loneliness as causes of enormous stress in their daily lives. Frequently income limitations do not allow the assistance of paid caregiver support. The emphasis of Citizen Who Care's programs is prevention of stress on elderly individuals and their family caregivers - stress that can lead to mental and physical breakdown, caregiver "burnout", premature institutionalization of the frail adult, and even elder abuse. Transfer to a long-term care facility often has a depressing impact on patient and family health, and every resource that supports independence is important. The challenge is to make it possible for frail elderly adults to maintain their independence and avoid placement in a care home prematurely by providing community based in-home social support and health resources to at-risk individuals, and respite for their caregivers.'

'Annually, individuals who volunteer as respite providers and visitors contribute about 5,500 hours of service to all of CWC's program service areas. Citizens who Care for the Elderly serves the frail elderly, defined as seniors over 60 years of age experiencing one or more chronic conditions that restrict daily living, and their caregivers where there is one. Seventy five percent of the clients have Alzheimer's or another type of dementia which places particular challenges on caregivers. Clients can be living alone or with a family caregiver. Among those living at home, approximately 70 percent have a family caregiver.'

Joanne Bell, CWC Executive Director