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Can't keep track of your bills? Here's help

(ran SP, NP editions)

Pinellas County senior citizens who have a hard time with bookkeeping may want to try a new service offered by Neighborly Senior Services.

The bill-payer program matches a volunteer with a senior who needs help keeping track of bills and bank statements. The volunteer visits twice a month, writes checks for bills and balances the checkbook. The senior client remains in control of his/her finances and signs the checks.

Clients are identified by case managers. Volunteers undergo rigorous screening, including a criminal history check, an abuse background check and a personal reference check. Volunteers also must complete a training program to ensure that they are qualified to provide the service and must be bonded. Quarterly reviews of their work are performed.

For more information about the program, call (813) 573-9444. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Jan Sebald, director of volunteer resources, or Pat Hofstadter, program coordinator.

Neighborly Senior Services is a not-for-profit agency that helps seniors stay in their homes and avoid nursing home care. Its offices are at 13650 Stoneybrook Drive in Clearwater.

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