By MIKE MORRIS
Kristin Millhoff has started playing the radio and bringing Fairmont, her adopted black Labrador retriever, to work.
"I get lonely because no one knows we're here yet," said Millhoff, program manager for the new Angels Camp office of the Area 12 Agency on Aging. "Come on in. Fairmont will greet you."
Area 12 provides services for senior citizens in five counties: Calaveras, Tuolumne, Alpine, Amador and Mariposa.
The Angels Camp office is the agency's first satellite location from its main office in Sonora. It opened about two weeks ago.
"We've been moving in and getting settled. Now we're ready for people to come in and see us," Millhoff said. "We want seniors in Calaveras County to come here and not have to drive to Sonora."
Millhoff stressed the importance of Area 12's new location, because many of the area's seniors want face-to-face contact with representatives. Area 12 provides numerous services, including meal deliveries and in-home care.
It also offers a support program for family caregivers. The agency helps primary caregivers of people 60 and older in trying to find support groups, training workshops and respite care.
"Caregiving for a loved one is very stressful," Millhoff said.
The agency also offers a program to answer Medicare and supplemental health insurance questions, in addition to assisting with Medicare billing issues.
Counseling sessions are available by appointment one day a week.
The new office has three staff members Millhoff, Debbie Shally and Gina Fox, all from Area 12's Sonora office.
"Area 12 Agency on Aging is here for the people of Calaveras County," Millhoff said.