We’ve found seven more ways that your local Area Agency on Aging can help you. Seniors, you need to know about this!
A while ago, I showed you seven ways that your Area Agency on Aging can help you. These agencies are truly incredible and do a lot to help low income seniors across the country, so today we’re presenting seven more ways they can help.
What is the Area Agency on Aging?
The term “Area Agency on Aging” is a generic term that is used by the federal government to refer to this network of nonprofits and public organizations that help seniors. Each one serves a designated area (city, county, or even multiple counties).
Your local Area Agency on Aging may have a unique name and may offer different services. Whatever it is called, your local Area Agency on Aging is designed to help older adults remain healthy and independent.
Call 211 or ask your local Community Action Council for a referral to find your nearest Area Agency on Aging.
Your local AAA offers many helpful programs.
These programs vary by location so your local agency may not offer everything in this list… but these are seven programs we’ve found at many agencies across the United States!
Some Area Agencies on Aging offer financial assistance and resources that can help seniors save money. Financial assistance isn’t a blank check; it’s usually targeted assistance with a specific need, such as prescription assistance, home repair grants, or other specific needs.
Financial assistance programs can also include tax relief programs, financial counseling, budgeting classes, help with disability and benefit applications, referrals to other programs, and more. These services are not available everywhere, but many agencies have chosen to incorporate them.
Caregivers are so important, and they are such a valuable asset to the seniors they serve. Many Area Agencies on Aging offer caregiver support services and some may even help you find a caregiver that you can trust. AARP recommends contacting your local Area Agency on Aging for assistance when you need a caregiver.
Many agencies offer legal assistance for subjects that are unique to older adults. These include issues of guardianship, age discrimination, health, safety, long-term care, protective services, public benefit programs, elder abuse, and so much more. These services are often offered by local legal aid clinics or other providers who coordinate with the Agency to serve seniors in the area.
Many Area Agencies on Aging coordinate homemaker services for seniors that need them. These services provide light housekeeping to ensure that your space is safe and clean, so that you can continue to live independently as long and as comfortably as possible.
Some homemaker tasks include changing bed linens, assisting with laundry, cleaning bathrooms and kitchens, cleaning floors, dusting, taking out the trash and more.
Although each Agency sets their own rules for this service, many require participants to be age 60 or older and have a physical or cognitive issue that prevents them from being able to do these things themselves.
There is often a copay for this service as well, but it is usually more affordable than looking for help on your own.
Recreation and Community
Mental health matters, and being lonely can make you miserable really fast. Area Agencies on Aging often offer recreation and community-building opportunities for seniors.
Depending on where you live, this could look like classes, congregate meals, support groups and adult day programs.
These services often occur at local senior centers. These are great opportunities to connect with people, make new friends, and ease some of the loneliness that many people experience later in life.
If you are still working, or want to work, then the Area Agency on Aging may be able to help you. Many locations offer employment services, which can include job training and even job placement.
If you don’t want to work but still want to help out, many Area Agencies on Aging have volunteer programs for seniors.
For example, during the pandemic, many senior centers enlisted the help of volunteers to make “check in calls” to seniors in their communities. These calls provided reassurance and social support for seniors who were isolated in their homes.
Depending on where you are and what your local agency offers, volunteers may lead classes and activities, spend one-on-one time with seniors who have special needs, and more.
My personal favorite is the “Foster Grandparents” program that I’ve found at many agencies. Foster Grandparents spend hours every week giving one-on-one attention to children, such as holding babies or listening to little ones read stories. I still have a while before I can be a Foster Grandparent, but you’d better believe that’s going to be something I do in the future!
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We’ve found even more ways to get help for seniors!
I thought Part 2 would be the last of this series, but while I was researching this list I found even more ways that your local Area Agency on Aging can help seniors. Be sure to check back for Part 3!