Sometimes in my travels, I hear, “Oh, I’ve heard of your agency. Just what do you do exactly?” Well, we do a lot. And good thing, since 660 people turn 65 every month in Maine.
Eastern Area Agency on Aging covers Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock and Washington counties. Here’s the short list of what EAAA does for seniors, adults with disabilities and caregivers.
Meals on Wheels provides homebound seniors with nutritious lunches delivered right to their doors.
Community Cafes are hopping with activities and good conversations as delicious meals are served. These cafes bring seniors together where they share town news, meet with friends and enjoy a good meal. Many of these cafes operated by dedicated volunteers of which EAAA is always in need.
3D Catering is available to anyone of any age. Such a deal. For the low cost of $20, you can get a five-pack of highly nutritious and delicious meals, five rolls with margarine pats, five desserts and a quart of milk. There are no age requirements for these meals. You can pick up the meals or delivery may be available depending on your location.
EZ Fix is the minor home repair program that is volunteer driven and helps seniors stay safely in their homes as long as possible. Examples of the program’s work include fixing rotten steps and leaky pipes, replacing broken windows and yard work. EZ Fix also has a free comprehensive home safety checklist that seniors can use to gauge the safety of their homes.
The Community Services department has specialists who assist seniors with filling out forms, options counseling, health and wellness education and support, among other services. These specialists work tirelessly to EAAA’s consultants work to improve the quality of life for seniors, and their caregivers.
Some programs that fall under the Community Services umbrella include: Information and Assistance, known as I & A, is usually the first stop in the EAAA chain after speaking with the receptionist. This department assists people with a variety of issues and or directs them to the appropriate program or agency for further help, if necessary.
Health and wellness programs include Matter of Balance, a successful program that reduces the risk of falling, Living Well which helps people manage their chronic illnesses, and Growing Stronger that helps seniors build up their muscle mass by using weights.
The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) helps seniors and people living with disabilities people understand their Medicare benefits and other health insurances. If you have questions about health insurance, this is the program for you.
The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) will help you sort through your Medicare statements and help you if you suspect errors or possibly fraud, which costs the Medicare program billions of dollars a year.
Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit, can help seniors pay for their medications. EAAA staff can provides assistance and education is to people on Medicare who need help deciding on a drug plan. EAAA will be holding Medicare D clinics in many locations. Med D open enrollment begins Oct. 15.
The Family Caregiver program helps caregivers of aging adults with referrals, resources, support and education. Caregiving can be a difficult endeavor and we encourage people call us before they become completely stressed out.
As always, EAAA has a vast selection of volunteer opportunities.
This is but a sampling of the services and programs that EAAA offers but there are many others so if you want more information on what we can do for you, call us at 1-800-432-7812, log on EAAA.org or find us on Facebook.
Carol Higgins Taylor is director of communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. Email Higgins Taylor at email@example.com. For information on EAAA, call 941-2865, toll-free 800-432-7812, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.EAAA.org. TTY 992-0150.