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Delaware Headlines

Sussex County senior care services receive federal funding

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Delaware’s Congressional delegation announced CHEER, Inc is getting over $280 thousand in American Rescue Plan Act funds to support COVID-19 recovery in Sussex County.

CHEER is a non-profit that provides a wide-range of at-home and on-site services to senior citizens in Sussex to help them stay in their own homes while also receiving care.

CHEER CEO Ken Bock says without CHEER’s at-home services, many families would have to resort to placing seniors in assisted living, which costs thousands of dollars a month.

“Our mission is to help these individuals stay in their own homes. If CHEER was not there providing those kinds of services, many people would wind up being institutionalized, or worse,” Bock explained. “And these are often avoidable with just a little bit of help and assistance.”

Some of CHEER’s services include transportation and personal care, as well as Meals-on-Wheels, which has risen in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Bock notes that having the staffing to provide those services to the growing number of seniors in Sussex County is becoming an issue.

“The labor market that we are experiencing right now is a real challenge for non-profit service organizations to be able to staff these need,” said Bock. “In fact, in our home care division, our labor force is actually down 50% from where it was pre-pandemic.”

This new federal funding will support 1,000 Americorps Seniors volunteers in Sussex County, helping CHEER to rebuild its volunteer network and provide essential services to senior citizens.

“This grant that we received to help us recruit, train, retain, and incentive volunteers for the Meals-On-Wheels program is critically, critically important at this time for us to help try to rebuild that volunteer workforce,” Bock noted.

More information about CHEER’s services can be found online.