Dad will be able to get some help through energy assistance by contacting those nice folks at the Coastal Community Action Program (CCAP) at 800-828-4883 after Nov. 28. He remembers them from when he worked with them once before, and now he can breathe a little easier - and stay a little warmer during the winter months. His plan, however, got him to thinking about some other things ...

Dad's been around a while and he realizes that everybody can usually help someone sometime - and needs help sometime. He prides himself on being a realist (most of the time) and knows he's getting to the point where he might be needing a little something to help him maintain his own independence. Or in Dad's terms: "A little help probably wouldn't hurt."

He's seen the PACE vans running all over the neighborhood and knows that home-delivered meals are available to folks who need them. He also knows some of the guys go to the congregate meal sites for lunch and gabbing. (PACE Nutrition: Ilwaco: 642-3321; Raymond: 942-5739). Still enjoying puttering around the kitchen, Dad isn't there yet, but knows some folks who could benefit from the information. (Dad's a community information and assistance worker at heart.)

Dad's doc has been talking to him about possible surgery sometime in the future - nothing drastic, but surgery just the same. Dad's thinking "Maybe the meals would be good thing when I'm at home recovering and what else might I need?" And again, what might be out there that could help other folks? He does a little checking, asks a few questions, makes a couple calls to that "information place" (us) and begins to get some insight to a lot of different options and resources.

One thing he discovered is that there are agencies that provide in-home care workers who will provide physical assistance, household chores and some transportation. In Pacific County, he hears again that PACE and CCAP both provide this service for private pay and also are contracted for state paid services. Hmm ... a little more digging before he thinks about calling them. (PACE In-Home Care: Ilwaco: 642-4300; Raymond: 942-5756. CCAP: 800-828-4883, or in South Bend 875-8194)

(As a quick side note: CCAP and PACE are usually on the lookout for new caregivers. If you're interested in being paid for helping others, give them a call.)

Dad learns that private-pay was exactly what he thought it was - paying privately, out of pocket. He begins to have a sneaking suspicion that some of these terms are pretty self-evident. He also learns that state paid in this instance has to do with Medicaid (not Medicare), it's for folks who need the help to remain home, and has some financial eligibility standards - as well as physical needs.

Not being a wealthy guy, Dad decides to see just what those financial standards are - you never know what you might need. He finds out that his income as a single person would have to be at about $1,869 a month or less (for married folks it's $3,738) and assets (bank accounts, stocks, etc.) can be no higher than $2,000. There are exceptions and that seems like it gets complicated, but Dad has enough general information to get started.

Dad is ready. He knows a lot of resources, knows where to look for more information and feels better knowing what the options are for him and others he might run into. And that's exactly where Dad likes to be!

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