Amputee Coalition Fact Sheet

Resources for Older Adults and their Caregivers

Web Development Fact Sheet

Updated: 10/2015 | Download PDF

Are you looking for information on services and resources and don’t know where to begin? Knowing how to locate community and educational resources is an invaluable tool as a caregiver or an older adult with limb loss. This fact sheet will outline general community resources and educational Web sites for frequently requested resources.

If you are looking for a service that is not listed, please contact the Limb Loss Resource Center at 888/267-5669 or complete the Ask an Information Specialist form at amputee-coalition.org.

Community Resources

Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC)
An ADRC serves older adults, individuals with a disability, caregivers, veterans and family members. This is a “no wrong door” and a “one-stop shop” system where you can obtain information on available long-term services and benefits, regardless of your income.

Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)
Your local Office on Aging is an excellent resource for in-home and community-based services. Services provided by an Office on Aging vary from benefits screenings to home-delivered meals, transportation and senior centers. Typically, a social worker will work with you to assess your needs and offer referrals to appropriate and available services in your area. The benefit of working with an Office on Aging social worker is that they can stay in touch with you long-term and address your needs as they arise. It is not a service that ends after a certain period of time. Your local Office on Aging is a great first contact when looking for what types of services are available to help an older adult maintain independence and continue to live safely in his or her home.

Centers for Independent Living (CIL)
CIL agencies are community-based, cross-disability, nonprofit organizations that are designed and operated by individuals with disabilities. They provide services such as peer support, information and referral, and individual and systems advocacy, as well as independent living skills training.

Eldercare Locator – Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS)
HCBS services include home-delivered meals, home healthcare, homemaker/chore services, transportation and caregiver support services, among others.

National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC)
The NAHC is a nonprofit organization representing home care and hospice organizations. The NAHC represents the interests of the chronically ill, disabled and dying Americans of all ages and the caregivers who provide them with in-home health and hospice services.

National Center on Senior Transportation (NCST)
The NCST strives to increase transportation options for older adults to support their ability to live independently in their homes. NCST provides a wealth of information about transportation and offers resources specifically for caregivers.

  • The NCST Web site focuses on education about transportation services and options. It also provides a link to search for transportation in your area: seniortransportation.net.

Benefits Assistance

BenefitsCheckUp
The National Council on Aging offers a free screening to individuals aged 55 and older who need help paying for prescriptions, food, healthcare, utilities and other basic needs.

Benefits.gov
The official benefits Web site of the U.S. government, benefits.gov educates citizens about available benefits and provides information on how to apply for assistance. Benefits.gov also offers a screening to determine eligibility for assistance.

  • To read more about available benefits and to participate in a free screening, visit: benefits.gov.

Disability.gov
A Web site for people living with a disability, their families, and caregivers to assist in locating helpful resources on topics such as how to apply for disability benefits, find a job, get healthcare or pay for accessible housing.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Social services, health insurance, prevention, and wellness are just some of the programs offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Every state and many local governments have a Department of Social Services, sometimes called Department of Health and Social (or Human) Services. The department offers information, referrals and assistance for seniors and helps them identify community resources that can help with their care, including transportation and nutrition services. It also assesses medical and supportive needs and coordinates a variety of services.

  • Visit the Health and Human Services Web site at hhs.gov.

Caregiver Support Resources

Administration for Community Living: Caregivers
The ACL is committed to the fundamental principle that people with disabilities and older adults should be able to live at home with the supports they need and be able to participate in their communities. The ACL is focused on increasing access to community supports while focusing attention and resources on the unique needs of older adults and individuals living with a disability.

Caregiver.com
Produces Today’s Caregiver magazine. Caregiver.com also publishes an e-newsletter that can be viewed on their Web site at: caregiver.com.

Caregiver Action Network (CAN)
The Caregiver Action Network is a family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease or the frailties of old age. CAN (formerly the National Family Caregivers Association) is a nonprofit organization providing education, peer support and resources to family caregivers across the country, free of charge.

Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA)
FCA is a nonprofit coalition of national organizations focusing on improving the quality of life.

Medicare.gov
Medicare has compiled resources for caregivers of an individual. The resources are designed to help caregivers address challenging issues and work effectively with Medicare to ensure their loved ones receive the best possible care.

National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC)
The NAC conducts research, policy analysis, develops best-practice programs, and strives to increase public awareness of family caregiving issues.

Well Spouse Association
The Well Spouse Association is a membership support organization for partners of people with disabilities.

  • For more information about how to get involved, call 800/838-0879 or visit: wellspouse.org.

Emergency Response and Medication Reminder Systems

Personal Emergency Response System (PERS)
A PERS is an electronic device that can be worn on the wrist or as a pendant. In an emergency, pushing a button on the device will send a signal to an emergency response service center that monitors the device, which will call the emergency contact or notify the appropriate emergency personnel (medical, fire or police). In addition, many PERS services will also remind subscribers when to take medications, when they have doctor appointments, etc. Many devices now provide fall detection as well.

Emergency response systems can vary widely in price and the services they offer. It is best to do your homework and identify what you need the service to do and how much you have budgeted for it. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging for guidance in choosing a provider.

The following article from the Federal Trade Commission is a great resource for understanding emergency response systems and key questions you should ask a provider:
consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0316-personal-emergency-response-systems-health-information-older-people.

Medication Reminder System
A Medication reminder system acts as an alarm to alert an older adult to take their medication. This service can take many forms. It can be as simple as an application on a cell phone or as complex as a dispenser that dispenses the exact dose at specified times. Before making a decision on the type of service that will work best for your loved one, consult with your local Area Agency on Aging for guidance.

Advance Care Planning

Advance Directives
One of the most difficult conversations to have is end-of-life decision-making. As an older adult, or the caregiver of an older adult, it is essential to have a plan surrounding the care you, or your loved one, wishes to receive at the end of life. Although you may find it an uncomfortable topic to bring up, it does not have to be. Remember that, in reviewing your desires with your family members, you will remove the stress of emergency decision-making that may not go along with your wishes. Review your options and consider meeting with an elder law attorney if you have questions regarding a living will or power of attorney document. You might also consider meeting with a social worker at your local Office on Aging.

Review the following resource, prepared by the National Institutes of Health for general information surrounding advance directives: nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/advancedirectives.html.

Also consider reviewing the National Institute on Aging’s overview of Advance Care Planning, which provides detailed definitions for what you should consider: nia.nih.gov/health/publication/advance-care-planning.

Additional Resources

Canine Companions for Independence (CCI)
CCI is a nonprofit organization that provides free assistance dogs for eligible people with disabilities.

Rebuilding Together
Rebuilding Together provides home rehabilitation and modification services to low-income homeowners across the country. The work is completed by volunteers and skilled tradespeople with the support of local business and corporate sponsors.

  • Search for a Rebuilding Together affiliate in your area at: rebuildingtogether.org.
  • If Rebuilding Together is not available in your area, contact the Limb Loss Resource Center, your local Office on Aging or City Hall for information on assistance programs in your area.

Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA)
RESNA is the premier professional organization dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of people with disabilities through increasing access to technology solutions.

  • For more information, call 703/524-6686 or visit: resna.org.

SeniorNet
SeniorNet is a nonprofit organization that offers education to older adults about computer technology, including the Internet, and how to access it.

The contents of these sites are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Amputee Coalition. The use of trade names is for identification only and does not constitute endorsement by the Amputee Coalition.


It is not the intention of the Amputee Coalition to provide specific medical or legal advice but rather to provide consumers with information to better understand their health and healthcare issues. The Amputee Coalition does not endorse any specific treatment, technology, company, service or device. Consumers are urged to consult with their healthcare providers for specific medical advice or before making any purchasing decisions involving their care.

National Limb Loss Resource Center, a program of the Amputee Coalition, located at 900 East Hill Ave., Suite 390, Knoxville, TN 37915 | 888/267-5669

© Amputee Coalition. Local reproduction for use by Amputee Coalition constituents is permitted as long as this copyright information is included. Organizations or individuals wishing to reprint this article in other publications, including other World Wide Web sites must contact the Amputee Coalition for permission to do so.