The Eldercare Locator: Caring from a Distance

  • Gone are the days when three generations – or more – routinely lived their lives in the same location. We are mobile. Many jobs move employees often. A sunnier climate seduces some young adults, who then never return to live in the old home town.

    As long as the elders are spry, can travel and can keep in touch by phone, it works. But, for many, there comes a time when the elder become frail. The tables are turned, and the adult children begin to worry about the welfare of their parents. What if they fall? Are they getting to the doctor for appointments? Is Dad’s diabetes being managed?

    Where do we even start, so we know how to get help for them? The Eldercare Locator is one place. The toll-free phone number for this national agency is (800) 677-1116. A specialist will be available during business hours. You can also visit their Web site. From this site, you can find the Area Agency on Aging that serves your elder’s community. When you chat with the local agency, you will give them the information they need to assess your elder’s needs. They can then help you connect your elders to the right services.
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    Programs that serve most communities include home chores, Meals-On-Wheels, help with transportation, case management and advice on setting up an emergency response system.

    On the Eldercare Locator site, you will find a downloadable brochure packed with information to help you care for your elder at a distance. You may also want to talk with your siblings about an emergency plan, so everyone knows who the primary contact is, who the secondary contact is and on down the line. Some families have to depend on friends for backup. It is important that agencies know who to call.

    Long-distance care is a modern reality. Finding quality care for our elders is the challenge. Through the Eldercare Locator, you can find your local Area Agency on Aging – the key to getting the process started.

    Visit our caregiver center to learn more about caring for loved ones.

Published On: June 26, 2006