Support is available for older residents in Orange County as well as the disabled. The non-profit known as Area Agency on Aging of Central Florida - Senior Resource Alliance is the leading organization in the region. With the increasing number of senior citizens in the Orlando area, many of whom live on a limited, fixed income, the demand for help is very high.
Examples of the services include home-delivered meals as well as the Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program for paying utility bills. Health needs can be met by SHINE, and there are many other resources that can be used.
The Supportive Services Program (Title IIIB) provides for a number of resources. All of the aid is used to promote and maintain independent living for Orange County residents who are over the age of sixty. Some other examples of the available programs and resources offered by the agency ensure access to programming targeted to older adults, address functional limitations, help them maintain health and independence, and promote socialization.
Topics covered include Alzheimer’s Day Care, In-Home Respite, Registry Services, Case Management, and Personal Care. Those with the greatest economic and/or social needs in Orange County Florida are given priority.
Another resources from Area Agency on Aging of Central Florida - Senior Resource Alliance that is made possible through a federally grant is the SRA home-delivered and group meals program. These are used to ensure that residents over the age of 60 have access to low cost or free meals providing at least one-third of the daily recommended allowance of nutrients for their age group.
In most cases, the program charges nothing for the food, although donations are encouraged and accepted. There are no income requirements in Orange county, but the intent is to provide services to those with the greatest economic or social needs.
Congregate Meals are served at various locations. The Senior Resource Alliance will help prepare hot, nutritious meals throughout the community. In addition to the food, the sites offer an opportunity to meet new friends and socialize with peers and to participate in activities.
People can listen to speakers, or enjoy entertainment. Also, diet counseling, nutritional screening and assessments, educational information, and referral to other community service programs may be available at certain Area Agency on Aging of Central Florida meal sites.
Meals on Wheels will be delivered by volunteers to the residence of seniors who are unable to leave their homes to visit a site. Please contact SRA to answer some basic questions, learn more and complete a telephone interview and assessment. A home visit by a social worker may be scheduled for the purpose of determining whether additional services would be appropriate.
The Area Agency on Aging of Central Florida - Senior Resource Alliance Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program provides up to $600 to help clients in crisis with home utility bill payments. To qualify for this grant, an applicant must be at least 60 years of age. They also need to meet program income requirements and have received a past-due notice or a disconnect notification from the utility provider.
Eligibility for utility bill help in Orange County is assessed and determined by SRA, and assistance is available once per season, per qualifying household. The non-profit SRA works only with community caseworkers on the application process and all information is kept confidential.
SRA’s Income Management Service assists households with budgeting, improving credit and managing their money. The program also offers free income tax preparation assistance that includes access in each office to a computer and printer for those wishing to prepare their tax returns.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance is a component of that. This Area Agency on Aging of Central Florida initiative provides free income tax preparation and filing for low-income working families. The program’s focus is on ensuring that residents of Orange County receive all tax credits to which they are entitled. This includes the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Care CCTC and others.
For those that don't know, EITC is a refundable Federal Income Tax Credit for low-income individuals or families. It will help those who have earned income during the year and it will in effect lowers the owed federal government tax amount and may increase a tax refund due to them.
Senior Resource Alliance Information Services educate the public in regard to care giving. There are many resources available related to care-giving, including available services from agencies such as the Family Caregiver Support Program. Another key partner is the programs run by the Community Education on Caregiving services, which are designed to educate the region.
SHINE, or Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders, provides unbiased counseling and outreach services to help seniors in Orange County make informed decisions about medial care. People can learn how to access public or private health care coverage and resolve insurance problems.
SHINE services are provided free of charge by Florida Department of Elder Affairs volunteers as well as staff from Area Agency on Aging of Central Florida - Senior Resource Alliance. Or those involved are prepared to answer questions about Medicare, Medicare Supplements, billing fraud, Advantage Plans (HMO’s), Medicaid Prescription Assistance, as well as long-term care insurance.
SRA is a service that provides a personal medication review conducted by a registered nurse. It is typically provided during a home visit with the patient. During this session the nurse conducts a free medication assessment and develops an easy-to-use record, which is then given to the participant. Additional copies of the information can be made available to physicians and family members at the participant's request.
Senior Resource Alliance offers in-home Homemaker and Respite Care Services to those in need of help with light housekeeping duties. There is support for the disabled as well as elderly. It will offer individuals limited meal preparation, and running errands to purchase medicines or groceries or pay bills.
There are highly trained and qualified staff members that take part. They will all be insured and bonded under the agency umbrella. This service has been expanded to serve the needs of those in our communities who may not otherwise qualify.
Whether someone is disabled or a senior, help may be offered from the Area Agency on Aging of Central Florida – Senior Resource Alliance. The main office is at 988 Woodcock Rd., Orlando, FL 32803. Call 407-514-1800.
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