North Carolina has one of the fastest-growing senior populations in the nation. Nearly 1.3 million people over the age of 65 live in North Carolina, a 31% increase over the 2000 figures. The North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) is working hard to provide program and services to make sure the burgeoning population lives a long and healthy life. Those services include:
-- Adult Protective Services: Working with local authorities, help for seniors who are victims of abuse, neglect or exploitation.
-- Family Caregiver Support: Recognizing that family caregivers provide the vast majority of assistance to seniors, Arizona has programs to help caregivers meet the needs of their family members.
-- Home and Community-Based Services: Help with daily activities, including adult day care, personal care and transportation.
-- Hospice Care: Supportive care and counseling for terminally ill seniors and their families.
-- Legal Services Assistance: Legal advice, assistance and advocacy for people over the age of 60.
-- Long-Term Care Ombudsman: Protecting the rights of seniors living in long-term care facilities.
-- Nutrition Program: Home delivery of healthy meals or meals served in a group setting.
-- Respite Care: A day off for caregivers.
-- Senior Community Service Employment Program: Work and volunteer opportunities.
-- State Health Insurance Assistance Program: Better known as SHIP, it provides free counseling and advice about the often confusing Medicare system.
-- Transportation: Providing transportation to and from senior centers on established transit systems, such as buses, private cabs and Reserve-A-Ride services.
Since the goal of DAAS is to keep seniors living independently for as long as possible, then a medical alert system should be part of the plan for all seniors. Such a system could allow seniors to live in their own homes longer, since there is always someone monitoring them. It can take the place of living in a nursing home, an assisted living facility or moving in with their children.
Most health experts agree that a medical alert system should be part of the long-term plan for every senior. Not only does such a system provide back-up in case anything terrible happens, it can also extend the amount of time a senior can remain living alone or with a spouse in their own home. Most seniors see moving to a nursing home as a last resort; a medical alert system can help seniors keep their independence.
Medical alert providers are national, so they operate in all 50 states, including North Carolina. Shopping for medical alert system can be a bit confusing, since it seems that every company does the same thing. However, that is not the case; there are subtle differences in services and pricing. You can compare the offerings from more than a dozen providers here.
The stated mission of the DAAS is to “work to promote the independence and enhance the dignity of North Carolina's older adults, persons with disabilities, and their families through a community-based system of opportunities, services, benefits, and protections; to ready younger generations to enjoy their later years; and to help society and government plan and prepare for the changing demographics.”
The goal is to keep seniors in their own homes for as long as possible, and many of the services are geared towards that lofty goal.
DAAS provides programs through 17 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA).
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Medical Alert Systems > North Carolina Medical Alert Systems and Senior Resources in North Carolina