More than 73,800 Reach out to Elder Helpline for Information and Assistance in 2018

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SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY JAN 5, 2019

More Southwest Florida seniors are in need of assistance than ever, based on the number of calls received last year by the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida’s Elder Helpline.  The Elder Helpline received 73,843 calls in 2018, an increase of 16.2% over the previous year, and the most the agency has ever received in a single year. The Helpline is an information and referral service provided by the Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL).  The Agency’s Helpline assists older adults, caregivers, and people with disabilities in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee, and Sarasota Counties. It is part of the national Eldercare Locator network and is funded through the federal Older Americans Act.

“Our Helpline specialists assist people trying to find services for themselves or their loved ones,” explains Carmen Torres-Ortiz, AAASWFL’s director of client services.  “There are many resources available for older people and adults with disabilities. The Elder Helpline is the first step in finding them the help they need, either through a government program, a local nonprofit, or even private pay services.

Locally, the Helpline can be accessed by calling (866) 413-5337 (41-ELDER) between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. weekdays, excluding state holidays. Assistance is available in more than 200 languages.

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