63,556 Reach out to Elder Helpline for Information and Assistance in 2017

Long-term care, utility payment assistance, health insurance assistance among most requested services in Southwest Florida
By: Area Agency on Aging
The AAASWFL Helpline assists seniors & adults with disabilities (stock photo)
The AAASWFL Helpline assists seniors & adults with disabilities (stock photo)
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* Elderly
* Florida
* Aging

* Non-profit

* North Fort Myers - Florida - US

* Surveys

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. - Jan. 23, 2018 - PRLog -- The Southwest Florida Elder Helpline received more than 63,000 calls in 2017, an increase of 3.4% from 2016.  The Helpline is an information and referral service provided by the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL).  The Agency's Helpline assists older adults, caregivers, and people with disabilities in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee, and Sarasota Counties.

Locally, the Helpline can be accessed by calling (866) 413-5337 (41-ELDER) between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. weekdays (excluding holidays). Assistance is available in more than 200 languages.

"The Helpline is designed to assist seniors and people with disabilities as they try to find government-funded and private-pay services," explains Autumn Rosa, AAASWFL's director of client services.  "It also gives us and the aging network a snapshot of what services are needed in each county and service area."

Across AAASWFL's seven-county region, the most frequently requested service was long-term care, with 72% of callers expressing interest.  Also frequently requested were assistance with utility payments (24%), health insurance issues (23%), meals and nutrition (15%), and housing (11%).  The average Helpline caller expressed needs for 2.8 different services.

While the top needs were relatively consistent across Southwest Florida, some regional differences were noted.  Immediate needs, like home-delivered meals, utility payment assistance, and homemaking were more commonly reported in the region's more rural inland counties. While long-term care was the top need requested in most of Southwest Florida, Hendry County callers requested utility payment assistance more than any other need.  In Lee County, callers requested transportation assistance more frequently than in Southwest Florida's other counties.

In addition to utilizing the helpline, older adults, adults with disabilities, and caregivers can also look up services through the Area Agency on Aging's online resource directory: http://aaaswfl.org/about-aaaswfl/i-need-help/.  In 2017, 4,457 people searched for local elder and disability services on the site, including visitors from 48 states and the District of Columbia.

"We often have callers and website visitors from outside the area who are trying to find help for a family member," explains Rosa.  "People also call because they are considering retirement in Southwest Florida and want to know what kind of services are available once they come down here."

The AAASWFL Helpline is a vital part of the Aging Network, a well-established system of federal, state, and local agencies and organizations that help older Americans live with dignity and independence in their homes and communities. The Helpline is funded through the U.S. Older Americans Act, Title IIIB.

The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida is a nonprofit organization serving Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee, and Sarasota Counties.  AAASWFL is the state's designated Aging and Disability Resource Center for Southwest Florida.  The organization is committed to helping adults ages 60 and over and people with disabilities to live with independence and dignity in their own homes and communities.  More information is available at http://www.aaaswfl.org or by calling the toll-free Helpline at 866-413-5337 (866-41-ELDER).
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Tags:Elderly, Florida, Aging
Location:North Fort Myers - Florida - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Jan 02, 2019
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