Riverside County Office on Aging
The Riverside County Office on Aging (RCOoA) is dedicated to assisting and providing services for older adults. It is also the appointed Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) for the County of Riverside recognized by the Administration on Aging (AoA). The RSVP Coachella Valley program is celebrating its 42nd year of local operation. It was brought to the Coachella Valley in 1971 through the combined interest and commitment of the valley's municipalities because it was recognized as a valuable asset to keep aging adults engaged, vital and actively involved in their community. The Riverside County Board of Supervisors assigned this program to the RCOoA in 1992 to continue and grow the volunteer base and increase the types of services offered in the community. Today, the RSVP Coachella Valley program is recognized for its impressive contribution to the service delivery of local community based organizations, non-profits, schools and governmental agencies and the meeting of community needs by providing access to volunteer opportunities, special recruitment activities for volunteers; by assisting all RSVP volunteers and sites with mediation; assignments that allow local organizations to sustain their level of service delivery; and special recognition activities that celebrate the spirit of volunteering and the work of our volunteers. RSVP services are critical because studies have found that between 40 and 50 percent of costly hospital readmissions are linked to social problems and lack of community resources (Proctor et al. (2000). Adequacy of Home Care and Hospital Readmission for Elderly Congestive Heart Failure Patients. Health and Social Work: 25(2):87-96(10)). The safety net of community based services and supports are vital to the health and wellbeing of older Californians. These findings are particularly significant today as Baby Boomers reach retirement age at an average rate of 330 per hour in the United States.
The broad program goals of RSVP Coachella Valley are to
provide volunteer recruitment, orientation, individual support, and recognition; develop opportunities for seniors to broaden their life experience through volunteer service develop and maintain quality volunteer service opportunities that will succeed in measurable outcomes and outputs that meet the needs of the communities and citizens of the Coachella Valley and Blythe.
An estimated 600 RSVP volunteers will continue to serve during FY 2012/2013. They will provide services to children, seniors, law enforcement, community based organizations and others through programs that are consistent with the CNCS Strategic Plan and provide outputs and outcomes through a network of 53 sites, which provide a variety of services, such as food assistance, chronic disease self-management, fitness programs, tutoring and mentoring, community policing, and medical services. The primary focus area of this project is Healthy Futures, which also coincides with the Riverside County Office on Aging's (sponsor agency) Strategic Plan, "Focusing on a Healthy Tomorrow," for FY12/13 through FY15/16. At the end of the first 12-month performance period 14% of our volunteers will be in outcome based assignments. The CNCS federal investment of $61,082 will be supplemented $18,325 by the anticipated level of non-federal resources or match funding.
The RSVP Coachella Valley program is a successful, rooted, organized, well known program in the region. In past years, we have had over 700 volunteers who worked at 100 volunteer sites. With the new direction and outcome measurements, we will be graduating volunteers from non-output/outcome assignments into other volunteer programs under the RCOoA as we will continue to serve the older adult volunteers.
Edward Walsh, Director
Riverside County Office on Aging