Agency on Aging centers in Massachusetts offer programs for older adults, senior citizens, and the elderly. Services range from money management, health care/prescriptions, food, and include general advice and support.
The Massachusetts Meals on Wheels program can deliver food and/or a hot lunch to homebound, vulnerable disabled and seniors who are unable to provide for themselves. Special meals may be offered for people with dietary considerations or chronic health conditions. Food is offered for individuals over 60 years old who are unable to prepare their own food and who are homebound.
At the same time the meal is delivered, the senior will be checked up on, so it helps reduce isolation. Many Meals on Wheels programs will ask for a nominal fee for the food; however it may not be required.
Money Management will help seniors obtain financial security. The Area Agency on Aging program realizes that monthly bill paying and budgeting services can overwhelm the elderly.
The program will allow seniors to work with a trained volunteer two or more hours a month, and together they will ensure that bills are paid on time. They can help deal with and minimize debt collector calls and ensure people avoid shut-off notices for their utilities. Most of the volunteers that are part of these Massachusetts Money Management programs are also insured by AARP and the volunteer will work one on one with an eligible senior citizen.
Home Care can help Massachusetts residents remain in their own home. The program can provide them assistance with activities of daily living. Co-payments for services are based on a sliding fee scale set by the Agency on Aging.
An application process is in place to determine program eligibility. If you are enrolled, the family caregivers and the social worker will work together to create the care plan. The care provided to the senior plan may include Grocery Shopping; Adult Day Health Program; Meal Preparation; Meals on Wheels; Laundry Services; Medication; Transportation; Home Modification and General Housekeeping.
Senior Dining Centers are operated in many Massachusetts counties and towns. The centers can be at local churches, agency of aging offices, Salvation Army centers, or other non-profits. They allow places for people to gather and socialize over a nutritious meal. These will often require a small donation.
Nutrition Education and Counseling is also offered at senior centers or other community settings in Massachusetts. In addition, nutrition program clients can usually attend workshops in a center, receive individual nutritional counseling sessions or receive advice and support in their own home.
Free civil legal services may be offered for seniors age 60 or older. Most of the aid is offered from the Senior Citizen's Law Project (SCLP), which is a program created between Greater Boston Legal Services and funded in part by a grant from Minuteman Senior Services.
Qualified seniors can get free civil legal assistance (including education and training, legal representation, advice, referral) at no charge. Legal services staff will also make home, nursing home and hospital visits when necessary. Some of the free legal assistance offered can help the senior with Applying for Public Benefits (food stamps, Medicaid); Evictions from private, public, or subsidized housing; determine their eligibility for public and subsidized housing; information on Social Security and SSI Benefits.
Senior Community Service Employment Program can help people 55 years of age or older get a job. SCSEP places unemployed, low income, and otherwise qualified senior workers in part-time paid jobs where they can gain on-the-job training.
The job training, work experience, and job search skills that are gained will help the participant find longer term, full time employment, which is the overall goal. The state of Massachusetts agency on aging office works closely with the U.S. Department of Labor on this program.
Senior Homelessness Program is offered for elderly. The Agency on Aging works closely with local churches, shelters, government programs and community organizations in order to find shelter and housing for an individual. The case manager will provide information on resources and benefits that an individual may need to gain housing and stability. Get help finding permanent housing, accessing benefits, locating medical care, and finding employment opportunities.
Get information on addressing health care needs. The centers have details on state of Massachusetts clinics and community based organizations that can help seniors and adults with their medical needs.
Healthy Eating for Successful Living is a nutrition/health care resource facilitated by agency on aging offices. This program was designed for older adults who want to learn more about healthy food and nutrition and how small changes in preparing your meals or changing eating habits can promote better health.
Seniors and participants can learn to decipher food labels, plan appealing yet healthy menus and make better informed choices at the grocery store or supermarket.
Diabetes Self Management Program - Participants of these workshops will become more aware of the implications of the disease, and how to deal with it. Learn from professionals how it impacts your health. This program will enhance traditional medical care that is also provided by a primary care physician.
Medical Advocates can help escort senior citizens to medical and doctor appointments. They are highly trained, and not only can escort the senior, but also help by taking notes, providing information about the doctor’s visit, asking questions and ensure follow up treatment occurs. The service is free, but your area agency on aging office will appreciate donations.
Medical Transportation Services are also offered. Your local office of aging office will provide a Volunteer Driver to pick seniors up at home and drive someone to the hospital or doctor appointment. The transportation is free to qualified elderly individuals.
Senior Care Organizations is a health care plan for Massachusetts seniors that combines Mass Health benefits and Medicare benefits in order to provide in-home care and medical services to elder recipients enrolled in both programs. A Geriatric Support Services Coordination (GSSC) and a RN work together to insure the long term care needs of consumers and patients are met. Applicants need to be 65 years of age or older, be both a Mass Health and Medicare recipient, and live in a nursing home or at home.
Prescription Advantage Program is offered for all residents of Massachusetts who are age 65 or older. The disabled may also qualify, even if they are not 65. The Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs and the state created this resource. Call 1-800-AGE-INFO for information.
The Senior Medicare Patrol Program (SMP) is a program offered in Massachusetts and that is paid for by the federal Administration on Aging. The program serves underserved populations and limited English speaking elders across the state. They can gain culturally and linguistically appropriate health care and medical benefits. Get help navigating the complexities of the Medicaid health benefits program as well as Medicare. At risk members of the population, homeless individuals, and low income are provided one-on-one health benefits eligibility counseling.
Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders is a program known as SHINE. Disabled and senior citizens can receive free and confidential information on government health care/insurance such as Medicare and other public health care options.
Counselors that are part of SHINE are based at Massachusetts area on aging offices, and they are trained and certified by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs. Elderly and disabled can meet one on one with a counselor, or they can attend group workshop/sessions. In addition to Medicare, learn about programs and services such as retiree insurance plans, Medicaid, the Medicare appeals process, free or reduced health care programs, and locations of clinics in Massachusetts.
Seniors and older adults can better understand their health insurance options and what can be done to meet their needs. Have your present coverage reviewed, get comparisons of your benefits, and learn about other facts and information that can assist in your time of need. SHINE and area of aging counselors can help prepare health benefit claim forms and applications as well, or make referrals to other providers and government assistance programs when appropriate. A senior can stop by a community sites, or individuals can arrange an in home personal face to face visit to the homebound and handicapped.
To learn more, dial the aging help line at 1-800-243-4636.
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