Some 600,000 people over the age of 65 live in Kentucky. Nearly 12% of them are living in poverty, one of the worst rates in the nation. The Kentucky Department of Aging and Independent Living is aiming to reduce that number.
The department’s mission is “to preserve individual dignity, self-respect and independence of Kentucky's elders and individuals with disabilities through leadership, education and delivery of programs and services.”
Those services include:
-- Adult Day Care: Supervision for parts of the day for frail seniors or those who are physically disabled.
-- Alzheimer’s Disease Respite: Giving temporary relief for the caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s or dementia-related illnesses.
-- Chronic Disease Self-Management Program: Helping seniors manage such chronic illnesses as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
-- Elder Abuse Prevention: Protecting seniors for abuse and neglect.
-- Friendly Visiting: Visits from volunteers to frail seniors who have trouble leaving their houses.
-- Guardianship: A court-appointed person to serve as a legal guardian for a disabled senior who cannot make decisions for themself.
-- Hart-Supported Living: Flexible funding for disabled seniors to remain at home instead of a nursing home.
-- Homecare: In-home services including personal care, home health aide, meals, repairs and help with household chores.
-- Nutrition Program for the Elderly: Home delivered meals and group meals at senior centers.
-- Personal Care Attendant Program: A subsidy to hire an attendant to perform functions that will enable a senior to remain in their own home.
-- Senior Community Service Employment Program: Training and job placement for seniors who still need to work.
-- Transportation: Getting seniors to and from medical appointments and shopping errands.
-- Traumatic Brain Injury Behavioral Program: Services for seniors who have suffered brain injuries.
Money is tight for many seniors in Kentucky, but experts agree that if you can swing it, you should really go out and get a medical alert system.
Such a system is invaluable because it can save your life some day in the event if an emergency. If you cannot get to a telephone to call for help, it can be days before someone finds you, and by that point, the damage can be permanent. With a medical alert system, all you have to do is press the alert button that is always with you, and help will be just minutes away.
All medical alert companies operate nationally, meaning they are available in Kentucky as well as the rest of the 50 states. To compare the services of more than a dozen top medical alert providers, click on this link.
The Department of Aging and Independent Living coordinates with 15 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) to get services directly to seniors. Not all programs are available in all areas.
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