The mission statement on Elder Options’ website calls for communities where elders are respected for their wisdom, informed and supported in their choices and live with health, security and dignity. To that end, the agency offers a variety of programs and serves as a link to other agencies, organizations and programs that exist to achieve these goals.
In these pages we often promote one Elder Options program regularly, Savvy Caregiver – a training program to help caregivers improve levels of care for their family member or friend.
A number of health and wellness programs are offered through Elder Options. In addition to the Savvy Caregiver training, elders can reap the benefits of Tai Chi, diabetes self-management, chronic disease self-management and A Matter of Balance, which focuses on reducing fear of falling and setting realistic goals for activities.
Through the Care Transitions program, Elder Options also provides help for those who were just released from UF Health or North Florida Regional Medical Center. Care Transitions can provide help with, delivering meals and other needed services for up to 30 days after release. This program can often prevent admission to a nursing home or readmission into the hospital. It is available to those who are on Medicare A and B and are being discharged from UF Health or North Florida Regional Medical Center.
SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) is another free program aimed at helping elders understand their rights and options when it comes to insurance so that they can make informed choices about Medicare. The Florida Department of Elder Affairs provides trained, unbiased counselors who volunteer their time to inform and counsel seniors about Medicare/Medicaid, long-term care insurance, supplemental insurance, prescription drug assistance and Medicare fraud.
Another critical program available to older adults, persons with disabilities, their caregivers, and family members is the Elder Helpline, a service of Florida’s Aging and Disability Resource Center. Callers can also apply for in-home services by calling the Elder Helpline, (800) 96-Elder (963-5337) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. During off hours, you can leave a message that will be returned the next work day.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of programs and services at Elder Options. To learn more go to www.agingresources.org.
By Damaris Lopez