It’s hard to believe, but some 660 people turn 65 each month in Maine. But Eastern Area Agency on Aging is ready. For this “new to Medicare” population, here’s the short list of what EAAA does — not only for seniors but also for adults with disabilities and caregivers.
Meals on Wheels is a program that delivers nutritious meals to the doors of homebound seniors. 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 are operated by dedicated volunteers, of which EAAA is always in need.
3D Catering is available to anyone of any age and is a great 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 offers minor home repair and cleaning services for a rate of $20 an hour. There is a sliding fee scale for low-income seniors. The program is available to all and uses a mix of volunteers and staff. Examples of the program’s work include fixing rotten steps and leaky pipes, replacing broken windows, yard work, and cleaning bathrooms, kitchens and laundry. 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 form completion, options counseling, health and wellness education and support, and critical referrals. These specialists work tirelessly 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, which 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.
• The Family Caregiver program helps caregivers of aging adults with referrals, resources, support, education, and an understanding ear. 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 small 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 800-432-7812, visit EAAA.org or find us on Facebook.
Carol Higgins Taylor is director of community education at Eastern Area Agency on Aging. For information on EAAA, call 941-2865, toll-free 800-432-7812, or visit www.eaaa.org.