There are many excellent resources available to help seniors, their caregivers and families. Ready Hands is constantly updating its database of such senior home care resources. Here are just a few of our favorites.
Local Providers of Services for the Elderly
Buckley’s for Seniors, LLC is an excellent local company that complements senior home care in Alexandria and surrounding areas by offering transportation, social outings, errands, home maintenance, bill paying and more. Buckley and her wonderfully talented staff do a great job. Serving Northern Virginia, D.C., suburban Maryland and the greater Baltimore area.
Geriatric Care Management
Personal Emergency Response Systems
If you are concerned about someone who may need assistance in an emergency, the MediPendant system can be a valuable solution. With its built-in two-way speaker, the device permits communication with an EMT-certified operator directly through the pendant.
Connect-A-Ride is an excellent free transportation help line offered by the Jewish Council for the Aging at (703) 323-6494. Certified Information Specialists provide personalized information and referrals to volunteer agencies, private fee-for-service providers and specialized programs.
Seniors-On-The-Go! is a Fairfax County program that provides discounted taxi coupons to seniors who meet income eligibility requirements (less than $40,000 per year for individuals or $50,000 for married couples).
MetroAccess is the Washington area curb-to-curb transportation program for people with functional limitations due to disability.
Fastran is the Fairfax County program that provides limited bus or taxi transportation to individuals who meet income or disability criteria.
Arlington County residents can avail themselves of several programs for seniors and those with disabilities offered by the Arlington County Department of Human Services.
The Fairfax County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) offers extensive information on Services for Older Adults available through the county. Many of their programs are available free or at reduced cost to individuals with limited means. The Arlington County AAA and the Prince William County AAA offer similar services. Contacting the local AAA should be every eldercare seeker’s first step.
For a directory of Area Agencies on Aging in other Virginia locations, click here.
For Maryland locations, click here.
District of Columbia residents should contact the Office on Aging
The Administration on Aging, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human services, was created in 1965 with passage of the Older Americans Act. It is the premier federal government agency dealing with aging issues.
The National Institute on Aging, (NIA) a division of the National Institutes of Health, is the chief federal research agency dedicated to aging-related topics. The NIA and the National Library of Medicine jointly sponsor NIHSeniorHealth.gov, a senior-friendly website that allows for enlarging the text and listening to all content as recorded speech.
The National Institutes of Health, of which the above-mentioned National Institute on Aging is but one division, includes such others as the National Cancer Institute, the National Eye Institute, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and many more. Go to their main site and click on Health Information for a huge selection of resources on scores of topics.
The Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center (ADEAR), a service of the National Institute on Aging, offers extensive educational materials on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is another of our pet sites. Check here for evidence- based information for both patients and professionals on the diagnosis and management of many medical disorders. (The AHRQ also operates the National Guideline Clearinghouse, a resource for health professionals seeking best medical practice recommendations on a variety of topics.)
Caregivers face unique demands and stresses. Even families who have professional in home care assistance can benefit from the support and advice of others who have faced the challenges currently before them.
The Well Spouse Association is a national membership organization which gives support to the wives, husbands and partners of the chronically ill or disabled. Local chapters offer regular support group meetings.
Another excellent organization for caregivers is the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA). The NCFA believes in a philosophy of self-advocacy and self-care for family members providing in home care assistance for a loved one.
Finally, we also recommend the Family Caregiver Alliance , an organization founded in 1977 to serve as a public voice for caregivers, a champion of their cause and source of extensive practical information about caring for a loved one.
Resources for the Visually Impaired
Visual impairment due to macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and many other diseases affect millions of Americans. Every year about 50,000 Americans become blind. About half of all blind individuals are over the age of 65.
Our favorite resource is the National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s largest and most influential organization dedicated to serving the visually impaired. The NFB offers extensive information and resources, including an excellent catalogue of reasonably-priced aids and appliances.
Fall Prevention and Home Safety
About one out every three seniors over 65 experiences at least one fall in any given year. Falling is a major cause of disability and even death in the elderly, and fear of falling cause many seniors to curtail physical and social activities. Fortunately, much can be done to reduce the risk of falling.
An excellent starting point to educate oneself in this area is the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, a division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Another good information source on falling is the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the professional organization representing the specialty of orthopedics.
Disease-Specific Non-Profit Organizations
Most people may already know about these, but if you or a family member have one of these disorders and you haven’t checked, all these organizations are excellent sources of help and information. Most have local chapters near your area.
For Alzheimer’s Disease, there is of course the Alzheimer’s Association , with its many programs and services for patients, caregivers and professionals.
Information on various forms of arthritis and related disorders can be found through the Arthritis Foundation.
The American Diabetes Association is a great resource for diabetics and one of our favorites. There is loads of patient information. Also take a peek at their section for health care professionals to see what clinical practice recommendations this highly respected body publicizes for doctors, dieticians and diabetes educators.
Most people know that one of the best educational resources for individuals with heart disease is the American Heart Association . However, many do not know that one of its divisions is the American Stroke Association , which offers similarly valuable resources for stroke victims and their families.
Finally, for cancer sufferers and those caring for them, the American Cancer Society ‘s services and programs are invaluable.