I was ready to do a column explaining the processes O3A/Senior I & A use to deliver services, but a recent discussion brought to mind a question: Who is the typical client for a triple A (Area Agency on Aging)?
Generally, the client would be an over 60 or under 60 adult, with a disability/disabilities, who has/hasn't some family support. A man/woman who is Medicaid/non-Medicaid eligible, who lives alone/with someone. He/she is a thin/overweight/ average person who has had a rough/pleasant personal life and comes from a big/small family. She/he retired as a professional/was forced to retire due to health.
She/he has consistent medical care/rarely sees a doctor. He/she has dementia/is mentally clear and is actively involved in the community/reclusive. She/he is a neighbor, friend, acquaintance, relative, stranger, who is new to the community/has lived here always.
Does that help? So does a triple A provide case management for Medicaid clients, or does it provide information and assistance for non-Medicaid seniors? Yes!
Area Agency on Aging/Senior Information & Assistance provides case management for folks who are eligible for Medicaid and in-home assistance. We also provide services for non-Medicaid folks who are over 60. Some reduced in-home care services, (the SCSA program), the Respite program for family caregivers; information and referrals to other agencies; assistance with resources regarding supplemental medicare insurances; transportation, etc.
Our goal is to assist seniors to remain as independent as possible, while assisting them in their choices. It may be something as simple as mailing out a Senior Citizen Resource Directory, or finding a telephone number. It may be discussing what options are out there for folks who find themselves in a place where there are new physical needs, or giving information on how to access various resources. It may be case management for a new Medicaid individual on an in-home care program - which involves assessments, coordinating/authorizing services and ongoing support.
In short, a triple A is an agency designed to offer support and service, not to exist for its own sake. As I've said many times to many folks: "We may not have all the answers, but we can usually find out who does."
Senior Information & Assistance
Ilwaco: 642-3634/(888) 571-6558
Raymond: 942-2177/(888) 571-6557