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Area Agency on Aging Provides Resources to Caregivers

Thursday, November 8, 2012
by Gwynn Stewart

The Area Agency on Aging 8 (AAA8) can help connect the aging and their caregivers to home and community-based resources. One Belpre couple takes advantage of the services available from the Caregiver Advocacy Program.

“They help us with a few hours a month,” said Rosalie McDonald, caregiver for her husband, Charlie.
“I use the time to run errands, get my hair done and sometimes go to the O’Neill Center or to see my friends and play bridge. While I’m away I know he is taken well care of.”

[Shown at left: The McDonalds, a Belpre couple, take advantage of the services available from the Area Agency on Aging 8 and its Caregiver Advocacy Program]

Charlie has Alzheimer’s disease and has a tendency to wander, so AAA8 recommended the Project Lifesaver program to the couple. Because time is of the essence, every minute someone is lost increases the risk of a tragic outcome.  Working hand in hand with trained public safety agencies such as the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Project Lifesaver is designed as a rapid response search and rescue service, using state of the art technologies and strategies to prevent or reduce the potential of harm to individuals.

“I have had to call for assistance twice and both times the Sheriff’s Office has helped me find Charlie,” added Rosalie. “He just loves to be outside. Since these times, we have installed different locks to help as well – but I’m glad we have Project Lifesaver.”

To help caregivers and their families with challenges and to provide essential resources, the Area Agency on Aging is available to help. Certified staff specialists in aging information and assistance are ready to connect individuals to services. In addition, AAA8 helps maintain a web resource – The Network of Care website that empowers seniors and people with disabilities, caregivers and service providers with comprehensive long-term care services, information and education available in the eight-county region. Click here access The Southeast Ohio version or it may also be accessed from the AAA8 web site at www.areaagency8.org.

According to AARP, nine out of 10 people surveyed prefer to receive long-term care services in their own home or community. Caregivers are a huge key to the success of home and community based services. AAA8 is part of a statewide network that for nearly 40 years has offered unbiased information, lower-cost alternatives for care, effective care management and expertise.

Those interested in learning more should request a free in-home consultation by calling AAA8 at 1-800-331-2644. You can also find AAA8 on Facebook. AAA8 serves Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry and Washington Counties.

Aging in place – growing old in one’s own longtime home and remaining engaged in the community – has broad appeal to many as they age.  But, while most older Ohioans prefer to live independently in their own homes, in their communities surrounded by family and friends for as long as they can, many need some help doing so.


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A Program of Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District