For elderly individuals and their caregivers, finding the answers to questions on aging can be quite a daunting task. Senior Connection Center is a nonprofit that has been dedicated to helping people age at home with dignity for 40 years. If you live in one of the five counties, including Hillsborough, where Senior Connection Center operates, you can get its services for free.
Senior Connection Center can help with many issues and offers many services, including the Elder Helpline, where you can get valuable information and referral assistance on programs and services. This can include long-term care and other home-based services.
Its specially trained SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) volunteers can assist with Medicare, Medicaid, prescription drug and health insurance questions. They provide information, help compare policies and help with claims and appeals. No SHINE volunteer is allowed to be a licensed insurance agent as they do not endorse any plan, they just give the best advice they can.
Senior Connection Center also offers health and wellness courses so the elderly can stay healthy and strong. Its courses cover a wide variety of topics, such as Tai Chi, Matter of Balance, Living Healthy, Diabetes Self-Management and Living Healthy in Your Community. One of its most important classes is on fall prevention because falls are the number one type of accident that leads to emergency room visits among people over 65. A serious fall oftentimes means a lengthy hospital stay and may even require placement in a nursing home.
Senior Connection Center works directly with state and community partners to prevent the abuse, neglect and exploitation of seniors. To report elder abuse, please contact 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).
Helping the elderly and their caregivers navigate the maze of information and services available is always important, but it is especially important during a pandemic. At this time, due to the pandemic, Senior Connection Center staff members are working remotely and providing critical services either by phone, online or through other technology such as Zoom.
Patty Suarez, vice president of marketing and communications for Senior Connection Center, said, “When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Senior Connection Center responded quickly to ensure our clients remained safe while socially isolating. We sought out hard-to-find supplies, from masks to toilet paper to cleaning supplies, and shipped them to homebound seniors.”
For more information on Senior Connection Center, please visit www.seniorconnectioncenter.org or call 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337).