Unknown Local Organizations that Offer Seniors Support
Aging Matters

When knee-deep in caring for a loved one, city residents may not know where to turn for help. That's regrettable since the government gives out more free services than ever and the overall dollars going out to help those in need increases.

The problem is that you are unaware of programs. You may reach out to an organization but not receive the kind of help you need and then stop looking. It takes work to find it. So, don't try one time and give up. To assist you in the search for local help, I asked the Aging Council at Seniorcare.com for tips and advice.

We believe people don't know about the county Veterans' Service offices, designed to help vets navigate benefits. Many work directly with the VA with little success until we connect them with this service. Aging Wisely.

Extra assistance to help seniors most are not the typical ones. We wrote a post about this recently, "Five (Not Just Senior) Services to Make Life Better as You Age." It refers to things like transportation services (Lyft and Uber), meal prep, grocery delivery, health apps and more. EasyLivingFl.

Churches. Our local church offers a four-hour weekly respite program for caregivers that could grow into an adult day center over time. It began in our community's dementia friendly Committee, an all-volunteer group. So don't discount the social networks' significance. The Aging Experience.

Death Cafe - deathcafe.com it aims to "increase awareness about death and help people make the most of their lives." The gatherings are open discussions and provide resources to help people make decisions on their terms. LifeAssist www.lat.care.

A favorite hot spot for supporting elderly residents is the local high school; students learn the value of helping others; elders gain increased social interaction, and teachers never run out of projects -- there are always lawns to mow, fences to paint, and leaves to rake. I know a high-school student who practices her piano at the home of her elderly neighbor, filling the home with music. The Elder Industry.

Utilize Adult Day Programs: They take care of older adults so the caregiver can work, run errands, or just get a break. Participants stay for a few hours, a full day, every day or even one day a week. Most provide nursing services, transportation, social activities, meals, and supervision. Some program receive State funds to keep membership fees minimal. Focus on Aging.

Two groups rarely used: Geriatricians (internists, family medicine) with specialized training in the needs of seniors (memory loss, dementia, multiple medications, fall prevention, etc. And Geriatric Care Managers (typically a nurse or social worker) who help determine types of health and social services needed and monitor the elder's health status. Rein Tideiksaar

It's unlikely that you'll find an exact match immediately, but what is likely is that you'll deal with bureaucratic obstacles first. Know that support services exist, millions of Americans take advantage of them all the time. Moreover, you've paid for them if you pay taxes.

Carol Marak is the editor at SeniorCare.com. She's earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from the University of CA, Davis. Contact Carol at Carol@SeniorCare.com.

Part of the Aging Matters Weekly Syndicated Column

Aging Matters is a weekly column tackling everyday challenges that our growing elderly population and their loved ones face. It is also published in a variety of syndication partners including newspapers all over the country.

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