Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Free Help Just a Phone Call Away!

I love the information-laden Internet. But when it comes to receiving comfort, or clarifying meaning, or asking questions, there's nothing like picking up a phone and hearing a live voice. Especially when we need information ASAP to help our parents.

Fortunately, thanks to a nationwide program called Eldercare Locator, help is just one toll-free phone call away. Dial 1-800-677-1116, and you'll reach a trained counselor from your local area who will listen and problem solve, offering resources from a database of more than 1000 services. Some of the topics covered are meals, home care, transportation, adult day health, health maintenance, legal services, housing and assisted living and more.

The program is a public service of the National Aging Information Center. Its goal is to help keep people living safely and independently for as long as possible.

I can enthusiastically recommend the program. Clients have walked into my office in crisis with immediate needs that I couldn't solve. I'd dial the number and put the "phone social worker" on speaker phone. Within minutes, the "next step" was clear. The clients went away lighter.

There's also an online version of the program. Whichever you choose, I'm guessing you'll like it. It's something to keep in your arsenal of information.

Do you have other sources of free information you'd like to share?

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