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Caregivers may be eligible for free 'Lifeline'

Caregivers of old adults may be eligible for a free Lifeline personal emergency response system through a grant program offered by Greater Springfield Senior Services, Inc. Personal emergency response systems enable elders to call for help 24-hours a day. A waterproof pendant or wristband is worn by the individual, who can summon an ambulance, family members or friends at the touch of a button in an emergency.

The grant will pay for the Lifeline unit, installation and monthly charges for one year. No long-term contracts are required. For more info or an application, contact the Greater Springfield Senior Services caregiver liaison at 781-8800.

Twenty-five grants are available. Priority will be given to those caregivers and seniors who are the most economically challenged and can demonstrate a medical condition that places the older adult at risk and in need of a Lifeline.

To be eligible, caregivers must be providing care for someone who is at least 60 years of age who lives within Greater Springfield Senior Services' 12-town service area: Agawam, Brimfield, East Longmeadow, Hampden, Holland, Longmeadow, Monson, Palmer, Springfield, Wales, West Springfield and Wilbraham.

Other grants are available for in-home respite care, and minor home repairs and modifications. Funding for these program is through Title III-E of the federal Older Americans Act. The program is part of the nationwide Family Caregiver Support Program.