April 21st, 2011 at 1:40 pm
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Medicare is reaching out to caregivers – Part 2 of 4

by Carol Bursack

Numerous individuals contact me because they are at a loss about how to help their parents who live in other cities or states. The adult children are unable, because of jobs and family responsibilities, to move closer to their aging parents, while the aging parents don’t want to move closer to their children because they are happy in their familiar community. However, problems can arise if the elder’s health starts to fail. Often, the adult children do not know who to contact in order to get their parents help. In situations like this, one of the resources I suggest is the Eldercare Locator.

The Eldercare Locator

Found on the home page of Medicare’s newly updated Ask Medicare site, the Eldercare Locator is an important tool for adult children and other caregivers. Created by the Administration on Aging, the Eldercare Locator connects caregivers and family members to services and service provider for older adults and their families. Searches can be conducted by Zip Code, City or State, which produces a list of services in the surrounding communities.

The Eldercare Locator also offers users the option to search by topic. Example topics include the following:

  1. Alzheimer’s disease
  2. Health insurance
  3. Housing options
  4. Transportation
  5. Elder abuse prevention

Other Eldercare Locator resources

In addition to its comprehensive list of eldercare resources, the Eldercare Locator also provides links to a variety of other options, tools and resources.

Check benefits. Users can locate benefits programs that can assist them in paying for utilities, rent, prescription drugs and more.

Factsheets. Users can find more information about eldercare topics, such as adult day care, assisted living, hospice care and more.

Brochures. Eldercare Locator also includes links to informational brochures on subjects such as housing options, preventing falls, employment tips for older workers, technology options and more.

Federal websites. Users may also access a number of related Federal websites, including the US Administration on Aging, the ADEAR Center, FDA for Older People, Disability.gov and more.

Information services. A one-stop resource, Eldercare Locator also provides a online chat and phone service for caregivers and family members. If they have questions, they can speak to an Information Specialist at (800) 677-1116 or start an online chat directly from the website.

Overall, I believe the Eldercare Locator can help you become educated in the different types of services available to elders, as well as information and resources for primary caregivers. In Part I of our Medicare series, we examined the updated Ask Medicare website. In Part III, we’ll discuss the BenefitsCheckUp website as well as some general care options presented by Ask Medicare.

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