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Bergen Freeholders OK $1.3M In Grants For Community-Based Services

The Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
The Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Photo Credit:

HACKENSACK -- The Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders allocated $1.3 million in grants Wednesday to various agencies to provide respite care, assisted living and in-home health aides to adults with disabilities, older adults and children/adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

The money aims to keep these individuals in their homes and avoid homelessness or nursing home placement. Agencies receiving money include:

  • Bergen County Board of Social Services: $685,862 to provide certified home health aides to older individuals and disabled adults who are at risk of nursing home placement.
  • Geriatric Services Brightside Manor: $18,013 to provide assisted living services.
  • Heightened Independence and Progress: $88,817 to provide care management, health and safety equipment, such as bed lifts and grab bars, and other home modifications such as widening doorways or making bathrooms more accessible.
  • Visiting Homemaker Service of BC: $153,198 to provide certified home health aides.
  • The Arc of Bergen & Passaic Counties Inc: $276,132 to provide care management, short-term respite care for caregivers, and daytime activity and vocational programs for children and adults with disabilities.
  • Spectrum for Living Group Homes: $127,830 to provide respite care.

“This grant is so important, because it helps our older residents age in place, and helps provide stability and activities for our children and adults with disabilities,” said Freeholder John Felice, who serves on the Human Services Committee. “Not only does this make financial sense, because it helps keep people out of nursing homes and institutions, but it allows them to do so with independence and dignity."

The freeholders also allocated $425,006 from the State Respite Care Grant to provide respite for around 150 families and caregivers of eligible disabled and older Bergen County residents. The grant provides temporary placement for these individuals in nursing homes or medical day care centers, or subsidizes short-term home health aides.

“We know that being a caregiver can be stressful and tenuous, especially if a caregiver has an emergency situation that requires them to be away,” said Freeholder Chairman Steven Tanelli. “For many families, even spending a few hours a day away from the people they care for to buy groceries can be a daunting task. This grant helps us alleviate that stress and helps these families out in an emergency."

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