COAST Serves Our Community
By Mary Toti, Executive Director of the St. Tammany Council on Aging (COAST), Northshore LIVING WELL Magazine
The St. Tammany Council on Aging (COAST) has helped seniors achieve and maintain independence since 1967. Seniors and their caregivers come to us to learn about services and other support that will improve their lives. Our mission at COAST is to provide St. Tammany Parish seniors with unparalleled services in order to maintain and improve their quality of life, independence, and involvement in the community. COAST is a Louisiana quasi-governmental agency and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.
Who is Eligible to Receive Services?
All older (age 60+) St. Tammany Parish residents are eligible to receive services; however, the federal Older Americans Act targets those individuals who are in greatest economic and social need. These are not entitlement programs. COAST receives additional funding through a Parish millage and local government, as well as private donations. Clients are eligible for services regardless of their ability to contribute towards the cost of the service they receive.
What Services are Available from COAST?
COAST offers transportation services, which provides rides for older persons to medical appointments and other locations. Nutrition services that provide home delivered meals and congregate meals that are served at each of COAST’s seven senior centers. COAST’s Wellness Program provides education and services to increase healthy lifestyles through physical activity, appropriate diet and nutrition and regular health screenings. COAST also sponsors Senior Olympics and yearly senior resource events.
The National Family Caregiver Support Program was created to help the millions of people who provide the primary care for spouses, parents, older relatives and friends through services including: assistance to caregivers, support groups, respite, sitter service, personal care, and material aid. This program also recognizes the needs of grandparents caring for grandchildren and for caregivers of those children 18 and under with developmental disabilities.
COAST’s newest service is an Alzheimer’s Voucher Program. It consists of a variety of services to help caregivers provide the best care they can. The voucher program is supported through fundraising and our local parish millage.
Many thanks to COAST’s board members and staff for all they have done and continue to do. Please contact us if you need services or would like to volunteer your time and talents. To learn more about COAST and our services, go to www.coastseniors.org, or call 985-892-0377 or 800- 256-2823.