PASSAGES Adult Resource Center

CASE IN POINT Ruth Steffensen and Barbara Johnson, PASSAGES staff members, compare notes on a client’s case.

CASE IN POINT Ruth Steffensen and Barbara Johnson, PASSAGES staff members, compare notes on a client’s case.

PASSAGES Adult Resource Center
2491 Carmichael Drive, Ste. 400, Chico, CA 95928, (530) 898-5923

Oddly enough, the organization formerly known as the Janet Levy Center had something of a mid-life crisis a couple of years ago that resulted in the name change to PASSAGES Adult Resource Center.

“When we tried to identify what it is we do, we realized that we accompany and assist people as they go through life transitions or life passages, if you will,” explained Carol Childers, a program director for PASSAGES as well as director of Fund Development Annual Appeals.

“We share the journey and are a resource for three groups of people—seniors, adults with disabilities and family caregivers,” Childers continued.

As she describes it, the life transitions these individuals might face include retirement and an interest in doing volunteer work. Others might need assistance with health insurance or information on how to provide care for a spouse or an aging parent. And, regardless of age, those individuals who become disabled need assistance in coordinating their own care.

PASSAGES Adult Resource Center is an umbrella organization that offers many different programs, each running under a distinct name and funded by various sources. For simplicity’s sake, Childers distilled the agency’s many offerings into six main areas of service:

Information and Assistance: PASSAGES provides guidance and assistance in the search for community resources, governmental benefits, care in the home, financial management and many other services.

Care Coordination: PASSAGES connects people who need help in coordinating their care with the resources they need to live independently. It helps delay or prevents the need for institutional care.

Caregiver Support: PASSAGES counsels individuals about care options for family and friends.

Advocacy: PASSAGES protects the rights of residents in long-term-care facilities and instructs individuals about Medicare, health insurance options and consumer rights.

Education: PASSAGES shares its knowledge with consumers, students and professionals through community forums, training sessions and internships.

Volunteer opportunities: PASSAGES matches people with the volunteer situation they will enjoy, as well as providing training and support to volunteers.

PASSAGES is part of a nationwide network of senior services called Area Agencies on Aging, as well as part of several statewide networks of service delivery, such as Caregiver Resource Centers, ombudsman services and health insurance counseling services.

PASSAGES’ parent organization is the California State University, Chico Research Foundation, but it does not contribute financially to PASSAGES. PASSAGES receives most of its funding from state and federal grant programs. With few exceptions, its services are available free of charge and without regard to a person’s income.

“Of course, we always accept donations, and we do some fund-raising,” Childers is quick to clarify, explaining that the extra income makes it possible for the agency to support those individuals who “fall between the cracks.”

At this time, PASSAGES is conducting its annual appeal to the community for donations. Although the appeal is generally directed at individuals who are associated in some way with the agency, Childers said anyone interested in supporting PASSAGES can contact her personally.

Until recently, PASSAGES was housed on the Chico State University campus, moving only a few weeks ago to office space on Carmichael Drive in south Chico. The new location promises easier access and readily available public parking.