One resource that may be overlooked when considering the well-being of senior citizens is the use of community services. While estate planning tools, along with retirement planning and incapacitation planning, help with a senior citizen’s needs later in life, many seniors are unaware that there are also community services that can address issues of the elderly. For instance, in New York, each county government has an Office for the Aging which works to enrich the lives of those 60 and older, as well as their caregivers, by providing services that support independent living, promote dignity, and promote a positive quality of life.
Some of the services provided by a county’s Office for the Aging include:
- Recreational programs;
- Home visits and meal delivery by volunteers;
- Computer classes;
- Workshops for healthy cooking;
- Workshops to inform seniors of Medicaid benefits;
- Health insurance information; and most importantly,
- Providing seniors and their caregivers with current information on programs and services available and making referrals as needed.
Another aspect of the services they offer relate to safety and crime prevention. The SALT program, Seniors and Lawmen Together, hosts community events to raise awareness of scams in the community. In addition, they provide other safety programs for seniors, such as providing cell phones.
The Office for the Aging relies heavily on volunteers to provide some of the more personalized services for senior citizens. In fact, the Ontario County office has nearly 300 registered volunteers to assist them in meal delivery, transportation and visitations.
It’s important that senior citizens are aware of the community services available to them. Elder law and estate planning attorneys help plan for situations that seniors may encounter. Community services can also offer assistance for seniors, as well as a wonderful volunteer opportunity for those who are able to assist.