The Whitworths of Arizona, bringing science to you in everyday language.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Area Agency on Aging: Your Go-to for Resources

We talk a lot about how caregiving can be tiring and overwhelming. But it can also be expensive. We recently received a flier warning us that the Arizona state home improvement grant for caregivers ends after 2020. This reminded me that, with life in even a good care facility so isolating during this difficult time, many of you are likely looking for ways to keep your loved one home. 

If you don’t live in Arizona, you can check with your local Area Agency on Aging to see if something similar is available in your state. Also check to see if there are any Covid-related funds for caregivers. In fact, make your local Area Agency on Aging your go-to resource center for senior care. Visit the national Area Agency on Aging (AAA) website to find out where to go in your community and for lots of other valuable information. 

 The AAA article, Free and Discounted Services for Seniors and Their Caregivers is a great resource all by itself, offering sources and a small amount of information for each service. Do go to the article, but for now, here are many of the sources: 
  • Benefit Counseling.This what I mentioned earlier. The AAA is your starting point whenever you want to get answers about benefits for seniors. Call your local office or  visit to search for local, state and federal benefit programs.
  • Adult Day Care: Get lists of local centers at your local AAA or go online and use their Adult Day Care Directory. When inquiring about Day Care services, provide as much information about your ability to pay and your loved one’s capabilities as you can to get the best match for your situation.
  • Medicaid-Covered Dental Care: Contact your state’s department of health or visit the American Dental Association’s Find-A-Dentist web site.
  • Free Dentures: Contact your state’s dental association and any nearby dental colleges. Also contact AAA to see if they have any other suggestions.
  • Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs: Go to State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs to find out if you live in a state that offers help with Pharms and if so, what kind.
  •  Prescription Drug Discounts: Use the Medicine Assistance Tool to find discounts from pharm companies.
  • National Family Caregiver Support Program: The NFCSP provides funding to states for the support of informal caregivers.
  • Discounted Phone or Internet Services: Visit to see if you qualify for support and if there are any participating companies in your area. Some companies such as Comcast and Cox ma offer their own as well.
  • Retail Store Discounts: Visit Retail Store Discounts to find out about stores that offer regular discounts to seniors. Also ask staff at your regular store about extra discounts.
  •  Free Phone for Hearing Impaired Individuals:  CaptionCall provides free captioned telephones to those with hearing loss. For iPhone and iPad owners, there is also a free app.
  • Supplemental Nutritional Assistance: Managed by states. visit the USDA SNAP website for a list of national and state websites.
  • Other Free Food Services: Check with local AAA about local food banks, meal programs. Also visit
  • Free Hearing Aids: Local Lions Club. Contact manufacturers about clinical trials on new aids.
  • Free Legal Help: Legal Services Corporation, AAA, local law schools, local and state bar associations, local senior centers. Veterans: Google legal help for veterans for a list of related websites.
  •  Medical Alert Systems: AARP members, veterans, and seniors with certain insurance carriers may be able to enjoy discounts on medical alert systems from certain providers. Some states may also have grants. Do read the AAA article before choosing a system.
  • Discounted Mobility Aids: Look for used items in thrift stores. Some non-profit organizations have them to lend. Also ask hospitals and nursing homes about used equipment. Ask your local AAA about local sources.
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program: The LIHEAP provides energy bill assistance to low-income owners and renters. The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) can help with installation or repair of HVAC systems, and seal doors and windows. 
  • Long-Term Care Ombudsman Services: Contact your state ombudsman if you feel your loved one is being neglected, abused or exploited in a LTC facility. Contact information should be prominently displayed in the facility or you can find it on the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care website.
  • Residential Repair Services: Check to see if your local AAA runs a repair service for minor upgrades and aging-in-place adaptions. You pay for supplies but labor is volunteered. Also ask about state grants like the one mentioned at the first of this blog.

Next week is Thanksgiving and we are taking the week off. Everyone enjoy a safe and happy holiday. The next blog, on December 4th, will be about more web resources for care partners.

For more information about Lewy body disorders, read our books:
A Caregivers’ Guide to Lewy Body Dementia
Managing Cognitive Issues in Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia
Responsive Dementia Care: Fewer Behaviors Fewer Drugs
Lewy Body Dementia: A Manual for Staff

Helen and James Whitworth are not doctors, lawyers or social workers. As informed caregivers, they share the information here for educational purposes only. It should never be used instead of a professional's advice.

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