The city of Clearwater offers a variety of programs for residents to connect with culture, knowledge, nature and health. All programs are listed in the City's Calendar of Events. The City also provides special programs, such as housing assistance, crime prevention and life safety programs among others. For additional community services, the Senior Helpline provided by the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas is available.
The City of Clearwater Customer Service department offers the "62 Plus Program" to assist seniors and customers who are disabled and on a fixed income avoid late payment charges on their City of Clearwater utility bills. Call 562-4600.
Citizen Police Academy
For those who are interested in how their local police department operates. This program teaches citizens about patrol operations, traffic investigations and much more. Exciting K-9 and SWAT demonstrations are also part of the curriculum. Space is limited. Registration required. Call Officer Carol Schmidt at 562-4167.
Crime Prevention Programs
Clearwater's Police Department Crime Prevention section provides a variety of crime prevention programs and presentations to area community groups. Call Sgt. Gregory Stewart at 562-4347.
File of Life Program
Offered by the Office on Aging to City of Clearwater for residents age 50 or older. A File of Life provides critical information to emergency personnel including: name, medications, medical conditions, allergies, blood type, emergency contact and physician's name. File of Life stickers placed at participants' front doors direct emergency personnel to easily accessible folders containing patient data sheet. The packets are free to City residents and available at recreation centers, libraries or by calling the Office on Aging. Bilingual packets are available. Call 562-4830.
The City of Clearwater's Housing division provides income-eligible citizens with downpayment and closing-cost assistance, rehabilitation loans and assistance with retrofitting homes to increase accessibility. Call 562-4030.
Available through Development and Neighborhood Services Department, the guide promotes and assists residents to participate in their local government. This is a "How To" Guide to bring any issue of concern to city officials. The Resident Engagement Workbook and/or DVD are available upon request. Call 562-4772.
Clearwater Fire & Rescue participates in the Smoke Alarm "Giveaway" Program for those Clearwater residents who are unable to purchase an alarm. Smoke alarms can be installed for citizens in need of special assistance. Call 562-4334.
The Office on Aging participates in the Senior Safety Phone project through the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco Pinellas. Participating seniors are issued a cell phone that can be used to call 911 in case of an emergency. Donations of discarded cell phones and chargers are accepted at several locations in Pinellas. Every phone that can be recharged can be a lifesaver for a senior. Call (727) 217-8111.
The Solid Waste Department provides assistance to eligible Clearwater residents that are in need of special assistance and are unable to take their garbage to the curb. Call 562-4920.
Office on Aging's - Community for a Lifetime Activities
Communities for a Lifetime is a statewide initiative, begun in 1999, that assists Florida cities, towns and counties in planning and implementing improvements to benefit their residents of all ages. Communities use existing resources and state technical assistance to make improvements in housing, health care, transportation, accessibility, business partnerships, community education, employment, volunteer opportunities and recreation.
In 2002, the City of Clearwater affirmed its support of the State of Florida's Communities for a Lifetime initiative and issued a resolution to make Clearwater "Elder Ready". In 2002, Clearwater established a diverse, interdisciplinary Community for a Lifetime Committee and completed the "Report Card for Well and Frail Elders".
To effectively address the needs of our older residents, the Clearwater Office on Aging implemented multiple initiatives contained in the Communities for a Lifetime Committee Recommendations and additional projects. The completed activities are summarized below:
- Needs Assessment: The Aging Well Telephone Survey completed in 2006, measured the needs of Clearwater's older adults. Conducted by the Florida Survey Research Center, the project surveyed 500 Clearwater residents age 60 or older. Survey topics included: housing and transportation; health and health care; financial services and employment issues; preparation for emergencies; leisure, recreation, volunteering, and senior services; and demographics.
- New Transportation Option: Neighborly Care Network, Senior Citizens Services, and the Cities of Dunedin and Clearwater worked together to launch a new transportation option for area seniors. Neighborly's EZride service is a membership program, providing seniors with trips at an affordable rate. The EZride service began in 2007 and utilizes two hybrid vehicles.
- Aging Well Publication: The city launched the Aging Well magazine in 2006. The publication promoted city programs, services, initiatives and volunteer opportunities for older adults. It also promoted the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas' Senior Helpline linking seniors to supportive services. As of January 2009, this publication is consolidated within a new, all-city magazine entitled MyClearwater Magazine.
- File of Life Program: The Office on Aging and the Clearwater Fire Department worked with area partners to implement the File of Life program in 2007. A File of Life provides critical information to first responders in the event of an emergency. Packets are available at Clearwater recreational facilities and libraries or by calling the Office on Aging. Partners include the American Red Cross, the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas and the Alzheimer's Association. More than 6,500 Files of Life have been distributed to Clearwater residents.
- Senior Programs Expanded: The Office on Aging worked with other City departments (i.e. Police and Fire Department, Emergency Management and Therapeutic programs) to expand senior life safety programs at Clearwater recreation centers. Programs offered included hurricane awareness, senior crime prevention, safety phone program and the File of Life program.
- Health and Wellness Initiative: In 2008, the Clearwater Healthy Choices initiative and the Office on Aging implemented the Better Body Bingo program, an eight-week citywide health and wellness initiative for residents age 50 and older. Funded through an Area Agency on Aging of Pasco Pinellas and the Department of Elder Affairs' grant the program expanded opportunities for residents to pursue healthy lifestyles, improve their physical health and increase timely access to community healthcare education, disease screening and prevention services. The "healthy bingo" program's success resulted from many community partnerships including Morton Plant Mease Health Care and the YMCA of the Suncoast. The program attracted a very diverse group of 322 participants ranging in age from 50 to 99.
- Crime Prevention Forums: The Office on Aging and Area Agency on Aging provide crime prevention forums on an ongoing basis. Programs are designed to help prevent older adults from becoming victims of fraud and exploitation. Featured speakers include experts from the Florida Department of Financial Services, Pinellas County Justice and Consumer Services, Senior Medicare Patrol and the United States Department of Postal Inspection.
- Aging Well Center: In 2008, the city of Clearwater received a Department of Elder Affairs' capital outlay grant to establish a multi-service senior center at the Long Center. In August 2008 the city and UPARC amicably agreed that UPARC would return 8,000 square feet of its leased space to the city. The city used that space for the Aging Well Center and, in exchange, provide replacement for the aging roof and air conditioning system. The Aging Well Center opened in June 2010 and promotes health and wellness, education, recreation, socialization, creative expression and access to resources for residents age 55 and older.
- Aging Well Master Plan: In 2009, Clearwater implements the Aging Well Master Plan. This multi-year, comprehensive plan provides Clearwater with a roadmap to further enhance the quality of life for current and future older adults. Goals of the plan include: increase access to essential services; maximize older adult's independence; promote older adults' health and wellness; encourage older adults' social and civic engagement; and maximize resources that serve older adults.
- National Center for Creative Aging Collaboration: In late 2008, the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area was selected as a site for creative aging activities. Clearwater's Cultural Affairs and Office on Aging will participate and represent city's interest in the National Center for Creative Aging's Creative Aging Symposium. Pioneering research by Dr. Gene Cohen found professionally conducted community based cultural programs had a dramatic, positive impact on physical health, mental health, and social activities of people age 65 and older. The National Center for Creative Aging received a national grant to facilitate four work groups in four United States' areas for this issue. Clearwater/St. Petersburg was selected as one of the areas, which also include Cleveland, OH, Milwaukee, WI, Seattle, WA.
The Senior Helpline provided by the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas assists those seeking community services such as caregiver support, case management, in-home services, transportation, insurance counseling, legal help, meal services, nursing home and assisted living facilities, prescription assistance, mental health services or victim advocacy.
The Senior Helpline is a free, federally funded service for seniors, those who care for seniors, and adults with mental illness. The Senior Helpline is able to provide information on government funded programs, non-profit agencies, and for-profit businesses that serve seniors in Pinellas and Pasco counties.
- Senior Helpline (727) 217-8111
- Florida Relay Service Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired can dial 711 to contact the Senior Helpline for information and assistance.
- Web Site agingcarefl.org