Your Connection to the Aging Services Network
Persons over sixty years of age, and family members who care for them, are eligible to receive free assistance in finding elder care programs and services through the national aging network, overseen by the federal Administration on Aging. It includes a State Unit on Aging in every state and over 600 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) serving every community in the nation. Trained AAA staff, called information and referral specialists, maintain extensive listings of local programs and services. They can, for example, tell you whether the older person is eligible to receive an in-home assessment of his or her condition through a publicly-funded case management program. To find your local AAA, contact the national Elder Care Locator:
Geriatric Care Managers:
A geriatric care manager is a professional, usually a social worker or nurse, who specializes in assisting older people and their families in making long-term care arrangements. Starting with an in-home visit, he or she can evaluate the elder’s situation, recommend a plan of action, and even arrange and monitor services. Ask for proof of certification. Fees are usually paid privately. In some areas, publicly-funded care management may be available, depending on the elder’s finances (see Elder Care Locator, above).
Call: 1-520-881-8008 for the Aging Lifecare Association which maintains a listing of geriatric care managers throughout the U.S.
Online resources to assist caregivers abound. These include chat rooms on caregiving topics, searchable databases of programs and services, tips on caregiving techniques and technologies, and other information.
Some good websites to start your search:
- Caregiver Action Network (CAN) is a non-profit consumer group dedicated to improving the lives of caregivers: caregiveraction.org or call (800) 896-3650
- Caregiver Support Services: caregiversupportservices.com
- National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), caregiving.org or call (301) 718-8444. The NAC website includes the Family Care Resource Connection, a comprehensive listing, with reviews of books, magazines, websites, and fact sheets related to family caregiving.
- The Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) at caregiver.org or call (800) 445-8106. FCA offers online support groups for caregivers and much more.
- Today’s Caregiver magazine provides insights and useful links at caregiver.com.