3 Community Resources to Help Seniors Remain at Home

By Clare Absher RN, BSN  
Updated: 01/07/2019  
  Need help finding care?

  Need help finding care?

Social worker in her office on telephone Photo by rj lerich on Bigstock

Are there senior resources in your parent's community to help them remain at home? If so, you may be wondering what they are, how do you pay for them, and when can they start. Senior resources vary a lot from one area to another and while some are locally funded, others are state and federally subsidized. Many seniors' limited budgets renders in-home care unaffordable, hence it is key to explore all possible channels of aide that are available to your parents. Your folks might be lucky enough to have organizations in their town that supply reasonably priced in-home caregivers, deliver economical meals, and provide essential transportation. Explore what's out there to support your aging parents through accessing a few of the following practical avenues.

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Health & Social Services Dept.

Try calling your local health / social services department when family budgets are limited to learn more about accessing financial help with caregiving. County health and social services departments are sometimes tasked with the staffing of in-home caregivers and homemakers. More often, county social workers provide families counseling and support groups, training, and respite care to give family caregivers a break.

Established in 2000, the government subsidized "Family Caregiver Support Program" provides compensation to family caregivers to care for loved ones in their own homes.1 The resources for this program vary by state and municipality. Reach out to your local resources to find out how to utilize this program to benefit your aging loved one and their family caregiver.

Check our U.S. Department of Health / Senior Services contact list.

Area Agency on Aging (AAA)

The Area Agency on Aging is an expansive network of 622 local AAAs. They support a wide range of aging services and programs (over 250!) to benefit aging adults.2 Services provided using national Administration on Aging funds include, but are not limited to: transportation, adult day care, caregiver supports, and health promotion programs. Your local Area Agency on Aging oversees and coordinates these community services targeted to best assist seniors to live with dignity and choices in their homes in their specific locale. Additional senior services that AAA supports are Meals on Wheels for home-delivered meals and in-home homemaker/chore service helpers.

Contact your knowledgeable local Area Agency on Aging for possible referrals to some of these useful services.

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Senior Centers

Senior centers are another useful local resource to turn to. Among other services, many provide volunteers to assist families with transportation to doctor appointments and home meal delivery. The National Council on Aging estimates there are almost 10,000 senior centers in the US serving over 1 million older adults daily! Growing in popularity are senior center sponsored, affordable adult day care programs. These wonderful programs offer supervision along with social activities that give respite to busy family caregivers.

Community health and social service departments, your local Area Agency on Aging, and senior centers make up a powerful aging network for home care assistance. Other community offerings may include senior services through active church groups, rotary clubs, and local fraternal service organizations.

Sources:

  1. "National Caregiver Family Support Program." Administration for Community Living, www. acl.gov/programs/support-caregivers/national-family-caregiver-support-program. Accessed 15 November 2018.
  2. National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, www.n4a.org/about. Accessed 15 November 2018.
  3. "Senior Center Facts." National Council on Aging, www.ncoa.org/news/resources-for-reporters/get-the-facts/senior-center-facts. Accessed 15 November 2018.
Clare Absher RN BSN
 

About the Author

Clare Absher is a Registered Nurse with 39 years of experience. Most of her experience is in home health serving as a caregiver, educator, patient advocate, and liaison between families and community resources. She has also worked in acute care, assisted living, and retirement settings. She is passionate about helping families care for their elderly loved ones at home.



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