Since it was founded in 2009, the Canyon Sages has run activities, including low-cost classes, free clubs and outings for what we decided to call “seniors of any age.” Many of our seniors don’t know the Sages also links seniors to services they might need to be able to stay in their Topanga homes.
The Sages is the clearing house for information about home healthcare options for the less than able, and drivers for the isolated.
The list of caregivers, all with local references is for everyone who might find themselves, temporarily or permanently, needing assistance. There is no age requirement. Just recently, the family of a man injured in a dirt bike accident reached out to us to ask for names of good agencies who service Topanga. No easy task, since some agencies consider Topanga too remote. The Sages list currently includes 17 individuals and several agencies that do serve the canyon.
The list includes many long-time Topangans, like Ellie Carroll, an experienced psychiatric nurse and trustee at Topanga Christian Fellowship Church, and caregiver Lola Babalon, who taught chair yoga for the Sages and was president of the Topanga Community Club.
The list is for information only. It’s up to the individual to interview the aides and check availability, references and prices, but it’s a good place to start. Some of the aides do light cooking and driving. Some are trained nurses; others act as companions and do simple care.
The Sages is looking for experienced caregivers with local references to add to our list. Contact Michele Johnson at email@example.com to be added to the list. Provide details about what work you are qualified to do and interested in doing and whatever other information you find relevant. We’re in the process of creating a form for caregivers so we can offer more information to our recipients.
The Sages also has a list of drivers who will work by the hour to take seniors who can’t, or don’t like to drive to appointments and shopping. We need more drivers! If you want to sign up, contact Michele at the email above. We are also seeking volunteer drivers.
To receive a Home Health Care or Drivers List, contact Michele at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (310) 455-1319 to receive one by mail.
Apps—Sages also encourages seniors to download apps for Uber and Lyft, so they can have a ride at their fingertips. Don’t know how to download an app? Bring your cellphone to John Coffer’s Computer Club at the library each Tuesday from 1-2:30 p.m. and he’ll show you how.
County Options—LA County offers some transportation options. First, there’s the Topanga Beach Bus that now runs year-round to and from the Valley to Santa Monica Beach. The Beach Bus gives a 50percent discount to seniors and disabled—only 50 cents a ride! For the schedule: http://dpw.lacounty.gov/transit/TopangaBeachBus.
LA County’s Cityride—Dial-a-Ride also serves seniors 65 and older and disabled in Topanga and other unincorporated areas of the county with curb-to-curb, low-cost van service and taxi vouchers. The shuttle operates Monday through Friday from 6:30 to 4:30 p.m., and must be ordered 24 hours in advance, 48 hours for a medical appointment and will travel up to 20 miles one way. Taxi vouchers work anytime. From certain Sages’ experience, the service does not cover all Topanga homes. The only way to find out if you can receive this service is to apply.
To register, call (310) 808-7433 to make a reservation.
By Michele Johnson