More than 850,000 people over the age of 65 call Missouri home, an increase of 13% since 2000. That population growth is expected to accelerate over the next few decades, so the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has the difficult job of providing services and programs to ensure that the increasingly long lives of seniors remains healthy and happy.
-- Adult Day Care: Daily care and supervision for seniors with disabilities.
-- Alzheimer’s Safe Return Program: A service to help find Alzheimer’s and dementia patients who have wandered away or have medical emergencies.
-- Food Programs: Meals delivered directly to the home or served in a group setting at a community center.
-- Missourians Stopping Adult Financial Exploitation (MOSAFE): Educating seniors and financial institutions in combating exploitation of seniors.
-- Missouri Rx Plan: Helping eligible seniors pay for prescription drugs.
-- Nursing Homes and Other Care Options: Helping seniors and their families when the time comes to enter a long-term care facility.
-- Ombudsman Program: Volunteers serving residents of nursing homes and residential care facilities regarding abuse, neglect and exploitation.
-- Senior Employment: Helping seniors who still want to work obtain jobs.
-- Wellness and Prevention: Educating seniors on how to live healthier lives.
If you are a senior who lives alone or with a spouse, then it is crucial that you at least consider getting a medical alert system. Such a system can help you keep your independence since you will always be monitored, and in the event of an emergency, help is just the press of a button away.
Medical alert companies are national, meaning they operate in all 50 states, including Missouri. It appears each company offers the same service, but there are differences. You can compare the services from more than a dozen top companies here.
It is estimated that a third of all seniors will suffer a serious fall every year. Well in Missouri, the rate of falling is 31% higher than the national average. The state is doing something about it.
The Show Me Falls Free Missouri is a program aimed at reducing the number of falls among senior Missourians. A voluntary group of more than 50 organizations throughout the state are spreading the word about falls and increasing the awareness of how serious they can be.
You can contact the state to schedule someone to speak to your senior group.
Missouri has an interesting program called Silver Haired Legislation. Better known as SHL, it is a formally elected body of citizens aged 60 or older who promote legislative advocacy for seniors in the state.
Each of the 10 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) elects three “senators” and 12 “representatives.” The 30 senators and 120 representatives meet for two days every fall to debate and vote on a docket of bills concerning seniors.
The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services offers programs through its 10 AAAs throughout the state.
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