The White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA), held July 13, 2015, brought together 200 experts and advocates from around the country. These professionals and volunteers from many related fields were challenged to examine the problems and opportunities we, as a country with an enormous number of caregivers and aging boomers, face.
The conference also served as a way to mark 2015 as the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security.
A year of fact finding and opinion polling about aging issues went into this conference which covered topics from overall health maintenance to long-term health care and on to financial planning and elder abuse.
In Part 1 of this post, I’ll focus on an enormously helpful new tool for caregivers and aging adults. In Part 2, I’ll give you a taste of some of the other issues related to caregiving that were discussed at the conference.
Health and Human Services Launches Aging.gov
A major frustration for a person who is asked to provide information on elder care from people around the country has, until now, been the lack of a central website that can lead their readers to local resources. The conference was the official launching pad for the U.S. Health and Human Services’ recently launched aging.gov. Aging.gov provides seniors and their caregivers with a streamlined way to access vital information pertinent to their unique location.
While Aging.gov is packed with information, it’s fairly intuitive for the user. Most caregivers will quickly head to the square labeled “State Resources.” Click on that square and you can easily find your state. Click on your state and it leads you to a full list of resources including how to apply for health insurance and how to report abuse. The most used links on my state website will likely be “Services and Help” and “Direct Service Locations.”
Under “Services and Help” I clicked “Adults and Aging” which led me directly to many resources that my readers want to know about.
- Assisted Living Services
- Family Caregiver Support Program
- Federally funded under the Older Americans Act, this program offers help to caregivers
- Home and Community-Based Care
- Service Payments for the Elderly and Disabled Program
- Expanded Service Payments for the Elderly and Disabled Program (Ex-SPED)
- Medicaid Waiver for Home and Community Based Services
- Older Americans Act Services
- Information and Assistance - Aging and Disability Resource-LINK
- The Department of Human Services operates an Aging and Disability Resource-LINK
- Long Term Care Ombudsman Program
- Qualified Service Providers – find a Qualified Service Provider (database)
- Vulnerable Adult Protective Services
- Aging Services Division Contact Information
Explore your own state’s links and see what you find. The more you know now, the easier your problem solving will be in the future.
Aging.gov also offers help for many other issues including healthy aging, long-term care, retirement planning, elder justice and more. I can almost guarantee that you’ll love this new tool. I’m gratified that it will help me more effectively help others.
For a complete list of topics go to the White House Conference of Aging Fact Sheet.
Carol is a newspaper columnist and the author of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. She runs award winning websites at _ www.mindingourelders.com and_www.mindingoureldersblogs.com. On Twitter, f_ollow Carol @mindingourelder and on Facebook:_ Minding Our Elders
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Carol Bradley Bursack is a veteran family caregiver who spent more than two decades caring for a total of seven elders. She is a newspaper columnist and the author of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. Bradley Bursack is also a contributor to several books on caregiving and dementia, and is passionate about preserving the dignity of elders. Her website is www.mindingourelders.com. Follow Carol on Twitter @mindingourelder and on Facebook at Minding Our Elders.