Opinion

Where do I go for help?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Everyone knows I work at Aging Matters, but many people do not know what exactly Aging Matters is or what we do. So for this month I am going to highlight some of our programs and how we help our seniors.

Aging Matters is the Southeast Missouri Area Agency on Aging. We were established by the Older Americans Act of 1973. There are over 600 Agencies on Aging in the United States. AAA’s were established to provide a place for Americans 60 or older to go for information, help and assistance staying in their homes and communities as long as safely possible. Aging Matters serves 18 counties in the Southeast Missouri Area.

Most people probably know of us because of our amazing senior nutrition centers that provide food in the centers and also to the homebound, but we are much more than that.

The Long-term Care Ombudsman Program helps to work out complaints or other problems within a long-term care facility. The ombudsmen are trained volunteers that provide free and confidential services. They visit the facility they are assigned to each week and take the time to meet and listen to the residents and their families concerns. The ombudsmen listen to any issue there may be and work to reach a solution that is fair to everyone involved. If you have concerns or questions about a resident’s care, charges for care or how to obtain services from resources outside the facility or options on nursing home placement please feel free to speak with an ombudsman.

Aging Matters also has In Home Services; this program helps those who qualify stay in their home safely for as long as possible. The in home program will vary for each person but is available to those 60 or older who have a physical need for help. Services could include homemaker chore services, which is light housekeeping and assistance with tasks people are unable to do. It also could include personal care which would help with bathing and other special needs.

The Family Caregiver Program helps those who are caring for someone who is 60 or older. Care giving is a very difficult and sometimes lonely job. The Family Caregiver Program helps with education programs, support groups and individual information and assistance; it also provides limited respite and limited supplies assistance.

Information and Assistance at Aging Matters offers many services including Medicare and Medicaid counseling and assistance, Medicare Bootcamps, Scamborees, paperwork assistance and connections to many other services in the community. We provide programs and community presentations to any group wanting information.

For more information on any of these programs, please feel free to call Aging Matters, 573-335-3331 or 1-800-392-8771.

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