Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Resources for Senior Citizens

Did you know that your local office of the Area Agency on Aging can be a wealth of information and help? The AAOA offers a number of helpful programs, including in-home care, home delivered meals, medical transportation and equipment and other services for qualified individuals, help with Medicare applications, caregiver support services, and a nursing home ombudsman who helps to protect resident rights and resolve issues with long term care facilities. They also offer information by telephone. In Summit County, call 1-800-421-7277.

Elder law attorneys are legal professionals who specialize in services for seniors. They can provide valuable advice and direction with regard to estate planning, advance directives, wills, trusts, and more. We have several excellent elder law attorneys practicing locally.  If your income is limited and consulting a lawyer is not in your budget, try the ProSeniors Legal Hotline at 800-488-6070. The Legal Hotline provides free legal information, advice, and referral for residents of Ohio age 60 and over regardless of income, resources, or location.

Don’t forget to ask your utility companies if you qualify for any senior utility discounts. For instance, Summit County Department of Environmental Services (D.O.E.S.) offers discounted sewer service to customers age 65 and over who meet certain income criteria.

Have a question about your Medicare coverage or other senior health insurance? The Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) offers a free hotline staffed by people with extensive knowledge about Medicare (all types) and many other programs. This summer, I will be attending a 20-hour training in order to become a certified OSHIIP volunteer counselor. Until then, call their hotline at 1-800-686-1578.

Questions about long term care? Try the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information at http://www.longtermcare.gov/.

Infoline of Summit County has a special Senior Infoline for residents 60 and over. Call 330-374-0333. You can also search the database of local resources online at http://www.211summit.org/ .

For wonderful publications to print, view online, or order at no cost, visit the National Institutes of Aging and Health on the web at: http://health.nih.gov/category/SeniorsHealth and http://www.nia.nih.gov/ .

As always, individuals who live, work, or worship in Hudson are also welcome to make an appointment with me for a free consultation regarding services for seniors, help with assessing eligibility and applying for benefits, and more.

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