The Minneapolis, or Metropolitan, Agency on Aging is one of the local organizations that is involved in caring for the senior population in Hennepin County. Much of what they do is in the form of referrals. The staff can often direct a client to resources such as Prescription Assistance or the Senior Community Service Employment Program. Additional advice will be given to the senior to help them apply for these services as well.
Referral as well as Enrollment Services help clients gain access to non-profit and government health-care programs such Medicare or local community clinics. Or there is also financial support from grant programs such as LIHEAP or home repairs and many others. There are dozens of referrals given out each month to clients.
In addition to above, the Agency on Aging that supports Hennepin County has information on local food pantries, rental assistance programs, and can give details on how to apply for food stamps. They also keep a current job list of hiring employers, and can help seniors apply for either disability or unemployment income in the state of Minnesota. Other referrals can be made to temporary shelter, continuing education, and various affordable or even free health and dental care agencies.
Discount prescriptions can be obtained. A program links clients with disease state foundations or pharmaceutical companies, both local and national organizations. Many of them offer some form of Prescription Assistance for the low income.
These programs provide low cost or even free medications, medical supplies, disease management education and other resources to the low income. There can also be assistance arranged by the Minneapolis Agency for the uninsured or under-insured. Each manufacturer or disease foundation has different eligibility criteria.
There will also be forms to be completed as well as documentation requirements. The process to apply can be confusing and complex, so Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging staff can help with the process. The Minneapolis Agency on Aging site and their advocacy center helps senior citizens who unable to navigate these particular systems or that are not aware of them.
Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging addresses medical as well as various dental care concerns of the elderly. The volunteers as well as case managers determine how the organization can meet their immediate needs to prevent further degradation of mental, physical or oral health. The program addresses needs such as applying for prescriptions as above, eye exams/eyeglasses, emergency dental care, housing for medical purposes, and hearing aids.
Hennepin County Area Agency on Aging sponsored Medicare and Medicaid counseling is available from staff that are highly trained to assist clients in successfully navigating these federal benefits. There are many ins and outs of Medicare and Medicaid, and counselors can also provide information. Clients can get help with advocacy, research, and enrollment as well.
SCSEP - Senior Community Service Employment Program is offered as part of the Older Americans Act. Staff will help older individuals that want to re-enter the job market find a position. There is assistance for those over the age of 55 and that are legally eligible to work in Hennepin County. Priority is for seniors that have a disability or that have limited English proficiency or low literacy skills, are homeless, or are veterans.
Seniors as well as the disabled can apply for Home Repairs. Many clients will be given a no interest loan for this, but in some cases some minor work may be done by Metropolitan Agency on Aging sponsored volunteers. It can help with roof work, installing disability ramps, and similar needs.
Congregate and home delivered meals are for both the home-bound and more mobile individuals. The Metropolitan Agency on Aging will try to arrange an environment where residents over the age of 60 may congregate to eat and socialize. Or if they can't make it to a site, then home delivery can be arranged. Other support includes Transportation, Homemaker Services, Nutrition Education, applications to Commodity Food Program and more. For any type of food program, small dollar amount donations are appreciated and encouraged according to what one can afford to give.
Financial aid is part of LIHEAP. Metropolitan, Agency on Aging can help families apply for this federally funded program that assists income eligible households whose heating or utility services are falling behind in payment. There are also emergency grants to pay utility bills for those whose power has been disconnected, in threat of disconnection, or have less than a ten-day supply of fuel. Senior citizens can apply for LIHEAP before the general population, providing there are funds available.
There has been an information number created for the Twin Cities region. For information on resources for seniors, dial 1-800-333-2433.
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