Caring for an older adult with a disability? The best way to help is to recognize that it is not all up to you. Ask for help! Montgomery County’s Aging and Disability Services, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, has a variety of resources available to support seniors, residents of long term care facilities and those who care for them.
“Too often people feel alone as they face the challenges that aging can bring,” said Odile Saddi, director of the County’s Area Agency on Aging. “There are services to help support seniors and individuals with disabilities and their families.”
The Aging and Disability Services Resource Line (240-777-3000) provides trained staff to give guidance and information about services that can support seniors and people with disabilities and their families. Connecting to experienced professionals can reassure people facing important healthcare decisions or other crises. The Resource Line is open Monday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
If a situation seems particularly difficult to handle, residents can call Montgomery County’s 24-hour Crisis Center (240-777-4000). The Crisis Center provides immediate response to crisis situations for all Montgomery County residents. The center provides goal-oriented crisis intervention, brief crisis stabilization and help in obtaining services for individuals and families with a mental health crisis or other crisis situations.
The Montgomery County Mental Health Association operates the Montgomery County Hotline (301-738-2255). The hotline is a free, 24-hour service staffed by volunteers that offers crisis and suicide intervention/prevention, information and referral and supportive listening.
For individuals living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, Family Councils and Resident Councils are often available to address concerns and improve the quality of care and life for the resident. If none is available, the Montgomery County Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (240-777-3369) is available for assistance. An ombudsman is an advocate whose goal is to resolve problems encountered by residents of long term care and promote the highest possible quality of life and care for these individuals.
For more information about services for seniors and caregivers in Montgomery County, go to www.montgomerycountymd.gov/senior.
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