New government resource, senior alert system can help with eldercare

Alan Wu

October 21, 2010

The United States government recently launched a newly revised government resource for families who are looking for help caring for older loved ones. The ElderCare Locator is a national hotline that can connect a caller to someone who can help list different caregiving options, according to The New York Times.

While the project began in 1991, live operators were replaced by recordings in 2008. However, the government has chosen to reinstate the operators.

“My strong personal preference is that the best way to provide consumer assistance is in person – face to face, or on the phone,” Kathy Greenlee, assistant secretary for aging at the federal Department of Health and Human Services, told the news provider. “Talking to someone about a situation, providing direction – there’s no substitute.”

Operators can help callers with information regarding Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security, as well as services for caregiving, food delivery and transportation.

Those who feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities for an older parent or spouse, may want to use a senior alert system in a home, which is a medical alarm that allows older adults to live safely and independently and notify a caretaker or doctor in the case of an emergency.

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