Many older people and senior citizens in Tennessee are struggling with paying their bills and accessing care. One of the leading organizations to call for assistance is the Agency on Aging, and there are several offices and centers across Tennessee. Case managers will provide support including access to legal aid, medications, information and referral services.
Medical supplies and equipment is offered for individuals with a serious or chronic health care condition. This program was created to provide critical medical supplies (such as walkers, crutches, adult diapers, etc.) and necessary prescription medication to the needy. Aid is often provided following a surgery or serious illness.
Legal services help people seniors who are age 60 and over. Free or low cost legal advice and representation is organized by Agency on Aging centers working with law firms across Tennessee. A focus is on helping the seniors and people who are most at risk secure and maintain public government benefits and assistance programs. Lawyers can help resolve consumer problems and other civil situations. Two examples of firms that work with the state include Legal Aid Society of Middle TN and The Cumberlands (Legal Aid), and bilingual services, workshops, and one on one sessions are provided. Dial 928-8311.
Senior citizens can get connected to human service programs, health care and access other needs. The agency on aging centers provide Information & Assistance, and this is done in partnership with the National Association of State Units on Aging and the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems.
Each location will have on staff Certified Information and Assistance Specialists who can help individuals by using their resource database. Get information on services or assistance programs to help callers get the case management or financial assistance they need. Get information, referrals, and more by dial 1-866-836-6678.
Home Delivered Meals are offered for the frail elderly and homebound. The meals provide 1/3 of the Required Dietary Allowance that a senior requires, and the items are delivered five days a week. The program works closely with discharge planners from nursing homes and hospitals across Tennessee, and the medical professionals may order temporary meals or food for up to one month for the sick and elderly. In addition to the fresh daily meals, frozen weekend meals are available on a limited basis as resources allow. No qualified senior will be denied a free meal based just on their ability to pay for it, and volunteers and your area agency on aging office will try to assist everyone.
Home Visitations and Case Management will help older people remain in their home. In general senior citizens want to live in their current apartment or home as long as possible, but they may need some assistance with completing basic household tasks. Workers or volunteers will make home visits to the homebound, frail elderly, and seniors and also assess the individual's needs. They will then create a plan of care for the individual, which will enable that person to remain living at home. Follow up services will be provided too, as well as have six month reassessments to determine continued need. The agency office in Tennessee will also provide weekly monitoring, family counseling, and other support.
Minor Home Updates, Repair and Modifications will help make a home safe to live in. Get help with activities such as replacing door or window screens, repairing a broken step, building a wheel chair ramp, or addressing safety issues. These are just some examples of the kinds of minor repairs done which enable a frail elderly or senior person to remain at home.
People caring for an older family member can get help from the Family Caregiver Support Program. Some of the services that can be coordinated by your area agency on aging office include assistance in gaining access to services, counseling sessions, information about the availability of support services, minor home modifications, personal care, transportation and meals.
Nutrition Program includes supplements as well as meals from senior centers in Tennessee. Senior Food Supplements are an effective way to improve the nutritional health of the consumer. Food supplements include items such as vitamins, Ensure, Boost, and much more. Congregate Meals are offered at senior centers and non-profits. Every meal served provides 1/3 of the Required Dietary Allowance that a senior needs, and while a contribution is appreciated, the meal is technically free.
Personal Care and Homemaker support is offered by specialists known as homemakers. These individuals will help the homebound elderly in Tennessee with addressing routine tasks such as laundry, meal preparation, and housecleaning. Volunteers and donations for the homemaker program are sought for providing and paying for transportation, grocery shopping and errands.
State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP, is offered in Tennessee by your agency on aging office. Specialists and counselors provide free and objective counseling to seniors. Get information about Medicare, prescription assistance and related health insurance issues. Local SHIP counselors, most of which are volunteers, will help Medicare recipients understand their benefits, help them deal with medical bills, and really support them with health care decisions. Learn about programs such as Medicare Supplement Insurance - Medigaps, Original Medicare Parts A and B, Fraud Prevention, Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, Preventive and Wellness Benefits, and Extra Help to pay for your medications.
A similar program is Tennessee Senior Medicare Patrol. Well trained volunteers from Agency on Aging offices will help seniors detect medical billing errors, scams, and fraud. Use this free resource so you too can learn to detect potential errors, Medicare fraud and abuse, protect yourself from billing and Medicare errors, and learn where to go to report the issue.
Classes and workshops offer Medication Management Program. This will provide participants, mostly seniors, with access to staff members, pharmacists, and volunteer nurses. They can learn about drug reactions and interactions as well as the latest prescription medications on the market.
Seniors can receive transportation to senior centers (see below) and other critical stops. Get a ride to drug stores, doctor appointment, or even grocery store from this service.
Senior Centers are located in most Tennessee towns and counties. Staff and volunteers at the centers will help enhance the quality of life for older people and the elderly. Examples of activities and services provided include free meals, Telephone Reassurance, Health Education and Screenings, holiday and Christmas assistance and get together, Physical Fitness, Recreation, and Information and Assistance.
First Tennessee AAAD, 3211 North Roan St, Johnson City, TN 37601-1213, phone 423-928-3258. This center helps seniors in Carter, Greene, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington County.
East TN Human Resource Agency, 9111 Cross Park Drive, Suite D100, Knoxville, Tennessee 37923-4517. Call 865-691-2551. Counties covered by this aging office include Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier, and Union.
Southeast Tennessee Development District covers the counties of Bledsoe, Bradley, Grundy, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie. Address is 1000 Riverfront Parkway, Chattanooga, TN 37402. Dial 423-266-5781
Upper Cumberland Agency on Aging supports the counties of Cannon, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith, Van Buren, Warren, and White. The location of the office is 1225 South Willow Avenue, Cookeville, TN 38506-4194. Telephone 931-432-4111
Greater Nashville Regional Council, 501 Union Street, 6th Floor, Nashville, TN 37219-1705, dial 615-862-8828. Parts of the state are Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Stewart, Sumner, Trousdale, Williamson, and Wilson County.
South Central Tennessee Development District is located at 101 Sam Watkins Road, Mount Pleasant, Tennessee 38474-4024. Call 931-379-2929. Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Giles, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Moore, Perry, and Wayne County.
Northwest Dev. District, 124 Weldon Drive, PO Box 963, Martin, TN 38237-0963. Main number is 731-587-4213. Senior citizens in Benton, Carroll, Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion, and Weakley should call this center.
Southwest District includes the counties of Chester, Decatur, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, McNairy and Madison. Address is 102 East College Street, Jackson, TN 38301-6202. Phone 731-668-6403.
Aging Commission of the Mid-South is based at 2670 Union Avenue Extended, Suite 1000, Memphis, Tennessee 38112-4428. Call 901-222-4100 to reach a counselor. Programs are offered for the City of Memphis, and Shelby, Fayette, Lauderdale and Tipton Counties Tennessee.
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