Aug 19, 2010

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

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

It does not surprise me that Alzheimer's caregivers often find it difficult to determine if there are benefits or services that are available to persons with Alzheimer's disease. Like where to find free Respite Care. Or, if free Respite Care is available where they live.

I am talking specifically about help with healthcare costs and in-home services beyond Medicare.

One would think this would be simple to determine. Based on the recent comments and reactions it does not appear this is correct.

Follow along with me.

I called the national 800 number for the Alzheimer's Association. They suggested that I call my Local Area on Aging Office. OK, lets put Local Area on Aging in Google search. Uh oh. No direct hit.

This came up first in search -- The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging's. Definitely not want I wanted.

This came up second -- Definitely a site I need. The website does not vend correctly on my Chrome browser, so I have to go way down the page. Good thing I am determined because this website looks like gobbly- gook when I click in. Finally find what I want.

I put in my zip code and get this - Area Agency on Aging of Palm Beach/Treasure Coast, Inc.

Bingo, this is what I am looking for. All the information I need to call them, email them , or visit the website.

I go to the website. I see this button that says -- Transportation Options for Seniors in Palm Beach County on the home page. I already know a lot about this but I figure I can test this website by looking at the information. Great information. Good sign.

One problem. The information pops up as a PDF. This means if you are on a dial up it is going to make your life difficult. The page does look good. Maybe a little simpler to look at and navigate would be better. Most of the older elderly did not grow up using the Internet. (I stop here and ask myself -- am I elderly yet? I mean isn't the new 80 the old 67.5?)

Maybe this is not a problem. Here is the link. Hit it and see if it loads fast. Then tell me if you think the page is easy to read, or if you think a simpler version would be more effective. Don't be lazy, hit it and use the comments box and give us some feedback.

Ok, here is what we know so far. Call the Local Area Agency on Aging (Area Agency on Aging) and start asking your questions. To find the contact information you need go to and put in your zip code.

I should mention that Carole Larkin did suggest this in an article on the Alzheimer's Reading Room -- What to do when Alzheimer's Strikes.

I have one other question, why do they call this place Area Agency on Aging? How about naming it -- "Where to go when you are old, caring for someone that is old, and you don't have any more hair left to pull out".

Or, "We have all the answers if you are old and you don't know how to get help." At least put that right under the name at the top of the website. You know like a description.

Ok, this is the end of part one of a continuing series.

I am not close to done here. More as we go. But first I have to call them and see how it goes. And then, I will move on to my next suggestion.

If you call your local Area Agency on Aging, I want to hear about it in an article or in the comments box below.

Let's get to work.

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More About the Alzheimer's Reading Room
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.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room