03 Jan Elder Care Resources
There are a variety of elder care resources available to help seniors remain in their homes for as long as possible. This assistance comes from a variety of state and community-based service programs. Elder care resources vary state-by-state so the best place to find out what is available in your community is to contact your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA). Visit the national AAA’s website (https://www.n4a.org) to find a local branch that serves you.
Established in early 1970s as a result of the passage of the Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965, AAA’s goal is to serve the elderly population (60+) in its geographic region. There is a network of approximately 620 organizations located throughout the United States. Funding comes directly from the OAA and other county and state resources.
Numerous resources are available including: free meals delivered at home or served at community centers; adult day care; senior centers; transportation; assistance from home health aides; help around the home; free dental care; ombudsman for seniors in long-term care; legal assistance; counseling, and respite care. Some of the benefits available to seniors are:
Food and Nutrition. Free nutritious meals are served to eligible seniors at various locations such as community centers and churches located throughout your area. In addition, Meals on Wheels America provides a nutritious lunch to homebound seniors in their home. Volunteers not only deliver a hot meal every weekday but also provide a friendly visit and safety check. Visit the program’s website https://www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org for more information.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This is a federal program that provides monthly financial assistance to eligible individuals, including the elderly and disabled, who need help paying for food because of low income and limited assets. SNAP is administered at the state level so contact your state’s Agency on Aging to apply for this program.
Support Services. The OAA’s goal is to enable all older individuals to maintain their well-being through a local network of community-based services:
- Personal Care, Homemaker, and Chore programs provide assistance for individuals who otherwise could not remain in their homes.
- Adult Day Care/Adult Day Health offers social and recreational activity in a supervised, protective, congregate setting during some portion of a 24 hour day.
- Case Management provides for an individual to conduct a comprehensive assessment of a frail older adult’s needs and arrange for in-home services.
- Assisted Transportation is door-to-door transport, which may include escort services for those who cannot use the public transportation system.
- Transportation includes vouchers for reduced rates on public transit, van transport to congregate meals, medical appointments, etc.
- Legal Assistance includes legal advice, counseling, and representation by an attorney or legal staff.
- Information & Assistance services assist with identification of appropriate resources to meet the specific needs of individuals.
- Outreach initiates contacts with potential clients to encourage their use of existing services.
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