Since 1973, CARES has provided services that help older persons face aging issues that can limit their ability to live independently. CARES promotes quality of life and independence for adults through health, social and supportive services. CARES services vulnerable seniors 60 and older. CARES is under the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and the leading senior services agency in Pasco County. Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, CARES' primary focus has been protecting our most vulnerable seniors. These vulnerable adults are individuals that are not able to care for themselves and require assistance to maintain their independence and remain living in their homes. Unfortunately, in Pasco County over 3,800 vulnerable seniors are on a waiting list for services that can help them face many hardships. Without the aid of services from CARES, these seniors face the risk of premature or unnecessary nursing home placement.
During and following the COVID-19 Pandemic, the burden placed on the County's aging system has increased. As proven by State, national, and worldwide statistics, the senior population, is the most vulnerable segment of our society at risk of contracting COVID-19. COVID-19 is, without a doubt affecting the service delivery system to our vulnerable seniors living alone and afraid. For families that are desperately trying to take care of a beloved parent; seniors struggling to hold onto their independence; caregivers who need comfort and respite; vulnerable elderly choosing between food or medications; CARES assistance can be life-changing.