By Jackie Dover
Welcome to Aging Matters
I often get questions about what Aging Matters is and what do we do, so I decided to answer some of those questions. Aging Matters is the Area Agency on Aging for Southeast Missouri. Our area covers 18 counties; Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Iron, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, St. Francis, Ste. Genevieve, Scott, Stoddard and Wayne. We are one of ten agencies in the state of Missouri. Area Agencies on Aging were established by the Older Americans Act of 1973 with the goal to provide services and programs for those 60 and older.
We are probably most known for our nutrition programs. We currently have 33 Senior Centers, also known as Nutrition Centers. These centers provide a nutritious noontime meal Monday through Friday; home delivered meals are also available for those 60 and older who are not physically able to go to a center. The senior centers also offer many support and recreational services such as bingo and other games, educational classes, dances, physical fitness programs and many opportunities to engage with others. For those who live outside the area the Senior Centers can deliver to, we offer a Distance Dining Program. This program sends frozen meals that can be heated in an oven or a microwave and gives the senior a warm, nutritious meal.
Aging Matters also has a Family Caregiver program that helps those who are caring for someone 60 and older. Caregiving is one of the hardest things you will ever do and our program attempts to help alleviate some of the stress and pressures that goes along with that. The Caregiver program can help by providing educational programs, support programs, some respite care and a limited supplies program.
For those who live in long-term care or those who have family in long-term care we have an Ombudsman Program that works directly with residents and families to ensure the residents have a voice and that voice is heard. They help ensure resident’s rights are up-held, they advocate for residents and offer education and information about long-term care facilities.
The In-Home Care program allows those who are 60 and over to get some help in their home. This program is limited on the hours available but can provide chore services to those physically unable to do those chores, things such as dishes, vacuuming and laundry. There is also personal care available that can help with bathing and other special needs.
Information and Assistance has trained specialists that are able to offer information on a variety of topics related to aging. If they don’t have an answer, they probably know who does. They are also trained to offer Medicare, Medicaid and extra help assistance and counseling and help with paperwork for those programs. They also offer programs to the public to inform them on services available, Medicare or Scams.
If you have questions about any of our programs or would like more information, please call Aging Matters 800-392-8771. Because Aging Matters.