As the silver tsunami gains size and speed, the U.S. government is ramping up its infrastructure to handle the flood of Americans needing assistance finding care giving resources. Last week, Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee celebrated the opening of an updated and enhanced call center that will serve as a link to information and services for older adults and caregivers across the United States. As part of the preparation for the aging Baby Boomer population, the 20 year old Eldercare Locator has invested in upgrading its call center systems to provide answers about long-term care alternatives, transportation options, caregiver issues and government benefits eligibility in both English, Spanish and a variety of other languages.
“In January, the first baby boomers will turn 65; this will mark the beginning of a dramatic increase of older adults in the United States. By 2030, there will be an estimated 72 million persons 65+, more than twice the number than in 2000,” said Greenlee. “It is essential that these older adults and their caregivers are aware of what resources are available to them in their community. Calling the Eldercare Locator is an important step to learning about aging resources.”
The call center and website will redirect inquiries where necessary to their local Area on Aging chapter that can provide additional information and resources.
“Area Agencies on Aging, ARDCs and Title VI programs are tremendous resources for older adults and caregivers,” said Sandy Markwood, CEO of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), the organization that administers the Eldercare Locator. “Regardless of whether an older adult is looking for a ride to the doctor, a home-delivered meal, in-home services or other information or assistance, these agencies can help.”