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Free training for caregivers in using new electronic social services directories

Free training for caregivers in using new electronic social services directories
Info provided by Progressive Options

Two new phone and internet based social services directories are now available in Lincoln County, but many people who need these services – as well as their caregivers — are still struggling to learn how to us them, according Progressive Options of Lincoln County President Richard Sherlock.
To address this need and to encourage more people to use the services, Progressive Options is sponsoring a free training workshop on Thursday, January 26 to train caregivers, social service agency personnel and others to access the services and utilize them most effectively.

The services are the new Dial 2-1-1 social services information service, which is primarily phone-based, but has an online component, and the Oregon Department of Human Services’ Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) system, an internet directory (at www.ADRCofOregon.org ) that also has a phone service component.

The Dial 2-1-1 service, based in Portland, is operated locally by United Way and the Lincoln County Commission on Children and Families. The ADRC service is handled locally by the Oregon Cascades West Council of Governrnents Senior and Disability Services office in Toledo.
The intensive three-hour training will be conducted jointly by Lola Jones, local coordinator for Dial 2-1-1 and Nannette Bengel, a caseworker with Senior and Disability Services and local spokesperson for ADRC. They will discuss both services and clarify the differences. The organizers said Bengel will be accompanied by Kristy Murphy, a Salem ADRC representative who has been involved with the website since the beginning.

Progressive Options, which primarily advocates and provides services for persons with physical, mental, and cognitive disabilities, recently began providing computer and telephone access and free assistance to anyone who needs help using the new directories, at its new Newport office.
There is no charge for the service, but Sherlock said the cash-strapped, all-volunteer agency appreciates donations to offset operational costs.
“We decided that we needed to arrange an intensive training session for our own volunteers, but we realized that many other agencies and independent caregivers are also struggling to get used to the new services, so we opened the training to everyone’, Sherlock said .
Sherlock said the agency’s hope is that the caregivers and case managers – and the Progressive Options volunteers – will be able to pass the information along to their clients so that the clients can use the new directories independently.

The January 26 training will take place from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at St. Stephens Episcopal Church, SW 9th and Hurbert Streets, in Newport. The training is open to anyone who would like to attend, there will be free light refreshments, and the church has an accessibility entrance on the Hurbert Street side.

Immediate help with the new directories is available on a drop-in basis at the Progressive Options office, 611 SW Hurbert Street, Suite A, off the parking lot across the street from the Jonah’s Whale thrift store. Office hours are 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
For more information on the workshop or other services contact Progressive Options at progop541@yahoo.com or 541-265-4674.

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