Helpful Resources for Older Adults
Alzheimer’s and Dementia
More than 5 million Americans now have Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, there are services to help victims and families cope and obtain the resources needed to care for a loved one. Visit the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the world leader in Alzheimer research and support and the first and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to finding prevention methods, treatments and an eventual cure for Alzheimer’s.
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
With more than 39 million members, AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people age 50 and older. AARP is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all as they age through information, advocacy and service.
Area Agencies on Aging
Pennsylvania’s 52 Area Agencies on Aging are a great source of information for issues and concerns affecting older people and their caregivers. Specific services at each agency vary throughout the state, but each agency offers a wide array of programs to help seniors get the help and information they need.
LIFE (Living Independence for the Elderly)
An option that allows the elderly to live independently on their own while receiving services and supports that meet the health and personal needs of the individual. Living Independence for the Elderly (LIFE) is a managed care program that provides a comprehensive all-inclusive package of medical and supportive services. The program is known nationally as the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). All of the PACE providers in Pennsylvania have the name ‘LIFE’ in their name. The first programs were implemented in Pennsylvania in 1998.
Medicaid Requirements for Long-Term Care in PA
Trying to pay for long-term care can be a challenge. Navigating the complex system of eligibility requirements can be frustrating. You can also apply for and renew your benefits from the comfort of your home using COMPASS, an online application for Pennsylvanians to apply for many health and human service programs including long-term care. You can also get help by calling the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ Helpline at 1-800-692-7462 for assistance with Medicaid eligibility determinations. Before you call, learn more about eligibility requirements here:
Mental Health and Developmental Services (MH/DS)
These services are administered through county Mental Health and Developmental Services (MH/DS) program offices. Most actual mental health services are delivered by local provider agencies under contract with county MH/DS offices.
Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
The ombudsman is the chief advocate for the elderly in Pennsylvania, helping to resolve issues made by or on behalf of older individuals who are consumers of long-term care. The ombudsman is available by calling 717-783-7247.
Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Nursing Home Care
The state Department of Health (DoH) offers useful information about long-term care in Pennsylvania nursing homes including a facility finder, inspection information and how to resolve a problem with a nursing home. On its website, DoH offers a complete list of all the skilled nursing facilities regulated by the Division of Nursing Care Facilities, including their most recent survey results.
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL)
Pennsylvania is home to 35 licensed assisted living residences and more than 1,200 licensed personal care homes that serve more than 51,000 residents, including the elderly and disabled individuals who require assistance with day to day life but who do not need hospitalization or nursing home care. The state Department of Human Services’ Bureau of Human Services Licensing offers useful information about personal care homes, a facility finder, frequently asked questions and how to resolve an issue with an assisted living residence or a personal care home.
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ Office of Long-Term Living
The majority of people will need assistance with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing and meal preparation, at some point in their lives, whether due to aging, injury, illness or disability. Knowing what types of services are needed, available and how to obtain them is not easy. Whether you need help now or are exploring future options for yourself or a loved one, services and supports available through the Pennsylvania Office of Long-Term Living can help.
Pennsylvania Department of Insurance
The state Department of Insurance offers information about approved long-term care insurance policies in Pennsylvania. Long-term care insurance can be a great way to protect your assets and achieve peace of mind about the future — but it’s not right for everyone. Do your research.
Pennsylvania Homecare Association
Get connected to homecare resources through the Pennsylvania Homecare Association. The PA Homecare Association is a membership organization for the commonwealth’s homecare industry, including visiting nurse associations, home health agencies, hospices and private duty agencies.
Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration’s Web site contains information about Social Security benefits (including disability benefits), Medicaid, Medicare, taking care of someone who is unable to manage their money, and other useful information.