Guide to Government Resources
Government exists to serve people; and fortunately for families affected by Alzheimer’s disease, a multitude of governmental programs exist that are designed to help you. Understanding the differences and intersections of federal, state, and local programs can be tricky though, but it becomes easier with some background knowledge. Following is information about some of these programs, the services they provide, and how to connect with them.
This nationwide public service of the Administration on Aging connects older Americans and their caregivers with trustworthy local support resources. The Eldercare Locator can provide information about government insurance and benefit programs, transportation resources, housing, and elder rights.
• Visit eldercare.acl.gov or call 1-800-677-1116
(available 9 am to 8 pm ET, Monday-Friday).
MedlinePlus is a free, online health informational resource service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world’s largest medical library, and a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The MedlinePlus mission is to present high-quality, relevant health and wellness information that is trusted and easy to understand, in both English and Spanish. Users can learn about health conditions, medical tests, medications and supplements, and healthy recipes, as well as find health professionals, services, and facilities.
• Visit www.medlineplus.gov.
Medicare is health insurance for individuals ages 65+, and also offers tools for finding nursing homes, physicians, and certified home health care agencies, along with information on insurance plans and coverage. Medicare can also help you search for, and compare, nursing homes.
• Connect through www.medicare.gov (live chat available 24/7 excluding certain federal holidays) or 1-800-MEDICARE.
Medicaid delivers health coverage to millions of Americans, including income-eligible adults, elderly adults, and individuals with disabilities. It can include benefits as well, such as nursing home care, personal care services, and assistance paying for Medicare premiums and other costs. Medicaid is administered by states according to federal requirements. Eligibility criteria varies by state, as some have expanded coverage beyond the federal requirements.
• Find information about your state’s Medicaid program at www.medicaid.gov.
Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)
These government-designated agencies address the needs and concerns of older individuals and their caregivers in a specific region (i.e., city, county, or multi-county area). AAAs assist with services such as caregiver support, respite care, mobility assistance programs, home care, and meals on wheels.
• Locate your local Area Agency on Aging through the Eldercare Locator or the AFA Helpline at 866-232-8484.