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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Alzheimer's Caregiver Help -- Dial 2-1-1 (Part Two of Series)


In many states, dialing “211” provides individuals and families in need with a shortcut through what may be a bewildering maze of health and human service agencies’ phone numbers. By simply dialing 211, those in need of assistance are referred, and sometimes connected, to appropriate agencies and community organizations.
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Earlier today I posted -- Alzheimer's Caregiver Help -- Local Area Agency on Aging (Part One of Series)

Thanks to those of you that took the time to call your Local Area Agency on Aging. The comments and feedback are below the article cited above.

I have not yet had the time to call our local agency --Area Agency on Aging of Palm Beach/Treasure Coast. I will do that as soon as I can and write about my experience.


Here is another idea that some of you might try if it is available in your location.

Dial 2-1-1. Like 9-1-1 but with the 2.

Maybe some of you can dial 2-1-1 if you have the time and let us know if the service is valuable in your area. I would be interested in learning more about the service.

Here is what I wrote in a previous article on Dial 2-1-1.

I know from personal experience the overwhelming feeling of stress that comes with a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's. Never having experienced dementia, in any way, I just didn't know where to turn or what to do. To make matters worse, my mother lived more than 1000 miles away from me. It took me almost a year to get my feet on the ground.

Here is the link to discover if 211 is available to you. Go here and put in your zip code or city to determine if the service is available to you.

In many states, dialing “211” provides individuals and families in need with a shortcut through what may be a bewildering maze of health and human service agencies’ phone numbers. By simply dialing 211, those in need of assistance are referred, and sometimes connected, to appropriate agencies and community organizations.

The 211 center’s referral specialists will ask questions to determine needs and possible sources of help.
  • Specialists can access databases of resources available from private and public health and human service agencies
  • Match the callers’ needs to available resources
  • Link or refer callers directly to an agency or organization that can help.

211 can be dialed in any health or family emergency. Much like 911, 211 can be an emergency service resource.

Available services vary widely by city and county. There may be services in your area that are very difficult to identify and find. I learned that sometimes a foundation will fund a program for seniors in a single zipcode. Services like these often help with things like cleaning, bathing, food preparation or meals, or offer relief so you can go to the store or bank. Often they provide this service free of charge. You really need to dig deep to find these services. After a year of digging and looking I identified an unknown sevice that was less than a mile away.

Once you start looking for help, dig deep, you will be wonderfully surprised when that very special person "pops-up" and gives you more information or help than you could every imagine.

When the overwhelming feelings come remember one thing -- you are not alone. I had to learn this on my own but I now know it is true.



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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,690 articles with more than 70,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room