Next month, our nation will be celebrating Older Americans Month and the theme for 2014 is Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow. Last spring, we published an article listing websites which contain a wealth of information about topics related to aging and the care of the elderly. It is fitting with this year’s theme to reprint some of those websites, as well as add some new ones, for the benefit of individuals and families who are looking for assistance now or are planning for the future.
County-specific services for seniors:
Adams County: www.adamscounty.us
Cumberland County: www.ccpa.net
Dauphin County: www.dauphincounty.org
Franklin County: www.franklincountypa.gov
Perry County: www.perryco.org
York County: www.yorkcountypa.gov
www.aging.state.pa.us: PA Department of Aging. Resources and services for seniors.
www.dpw.state.pa.us: PA Department of Public Welfare. Listings of personal care homes are available by county, as well as DPW’s inspection reports of these homes. Information is also available about PA’s new Long Term Care Commission, and how to submit comments or suggestions about improving long-term care in our state. Written comments will be accepted through 6/27/14.
www.health.state.pa.us: PA Department of Health. Listings of Medicare-certified Home Health agencies (skilled care), Home Care agencies (unskilled care), and nursing homes are available, as well as the department’s inspection reports for each provider.
www.medicare.gov: How Medicare programs work and location-specific listings of insurance companies that provide Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D (prescription coverage), and Medigap policies.
www.gmhfonline.org: Geriatric Mental Health Foundation. Seeks to raise awareness of mental health and psychiatric disorders of the elderly, promote healthy aging strategies, and improve access to mental health care for the elderly.
www.eldercare.gov: Department of Health and Human Services. Local resources and services for seniors.
www.learningcenter.pahomecare.org: Free video training courses on how to care for the elderly.
www.pabar.org: PA Bar Association. A legal guide for seniors is available. From the home page, click “Law Related Public Education,” then “Law Related Information for Consumers,” then “Legal Guide for Senior Citizens.”
www.keystoneelderlaw.com: Keystone Elder Law. Legal and care coordination services specifically for seniors.
www.alz.org: Alzheimer’s Association. Information about Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.
www.caregiver.org: Family Caregiver Alliance. Resources for caregivers.
www.longtermcarelink.net: National Care Planning Council. Resources for consumers of senior services.
www.legacyproject.org: Across Generations Program shares ideas for strengthening the connections between the elderly and their world, including an extensive list of activities related to topics such as literacy, art, science, games, food, and family.
Safety and improved health begin with knowledge. Utilize the free information available on these websites to assist you with getting organized, identifying needs, and locating professionals who can help. You’ll have more options the sooner you start, and you may be able to avoid a senior care crisis, or at least make it easier to manage. Get started now being Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow.
Karen Kaslow, RN
Care Coordinator, Keystone Elder Law