By Colleen Morrissey
Sometimes, you can’t answer a question with a quick call.
Our Aging Information Center at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) offers general information and guidance over the phone, but we also have an assortment of programs geared toward providing detailed explanations for common questions and even short-term assistance.
These free programs help us work with people on a wide range of topics, including the following:
Medicare Guidance We frequently receive calls from people who are turning 65 and are newly eligible for Medicare. They have questions about Medicare and their options. We can provide information through the Aging Information Center, but we usually offer intensive, one-on-one support through the Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone (SHINE) Program.
SHINE counselors can address pressures with Medicare costs, ensuring that people have the most cost-effective prescription drug plans, and that they are enrolled in MassHealth or savings programs, if they are eligible.
Family Caregiver Support We often hear from caregivers with questions about how to manage new behaviors, such as wandering or repetition. Our Family Caregiver Support Program provides a social worker who can provide resources, guidance, and support for caregivers.
Long-Term Care Options Counseling This consumer-driven program provides information on long-term care, supports, and housing.
Elder Care Advice This is a catchall program that assists people over the age of 60 with public benefits, community resources, and other short-term issues.
The overarching concept of these programs is providing intensive short-term assistance for those who are facing pressing issues. In the event a caller needs ongoing help, we are often able to refer them to additional programs.
Most of our programs are for Somerville and Cambridge residents, facilitated by clinical social workers and experts in health insurance, caregiving, and local resources. We can meet you at your home, in our office, at a coffee shop, or even provide ongoing phone consultations – whatever works best for you.
So if you’re grappling with aging-related questions, call our Aging Information Center and we’ll take it from there.
Colleen Morrissey is a Resource Specialist, who works at the Aging Information Center of Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services. The Aging Information Center is open during regular business hours, and can be reached by calling 617-628-2601.