By Don McGillivray

At one time or another, everyone is likely to want information about caring for aging family members or oneself. The best and most reliable source for this information is Oregon’s Aging and Disability Services (ADS) department.

Recently the ADS has added a user-friendly, comprehensive website to their range of resources. The Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) can help with the often overwhelming task of understanding options for long-term services and supports. This website provides the user with reliable, accurate information for those individuals who prefer to research such information on their own. It is well indexed and easy to use and will greatly assist those in need of one or more of the many services.

The ADRC website is a resource directory for Oregon families, caregivers and consumers seeking information about long-term support and services. In recent years Oregon has experienced dramatic increases in service requests due to the demographically-changing local population. As people live longer, many do not have adequate support systems to provide the care required for themselves and members of their family.

If you need help planning for a safe and healthy future, a skilled options counselor is available to help you assess your strengths, needs and challenges. The counselor will help you choose options to improve one’s quality of life by connecting you with locally-available resources. The counselor can help you resolve problems and help with short and long term planning.

EXPLORE your options

The information in this section of the website will help you understand the services and support available in Oregon. Find steps you can take now to prepare for future needs. The services of ADRC of Oregon’s are free and available to anyone.

Long-term services and support aren’t just for seniors. Long-term services and supports can be provided in your home or the community as well as in a facility. Finding the right fit for you can expand independence and options. Your needs for long-term services and support will often change over time. For example, early on you may need help once in awhile for a few activities of daily living and later the needs may increase.

Types of services available include:

Community-based services: adult day service, meals, senior centers, transportation, and chronic disease programs.

Home-based services: home health care, personal care, homemaker services, and home delivered meals.

Facility-based services: adult foster care, assisted living, residential care facilities, nursing facilities, and memory care communities.

Other resources and support: Alzheimer’s care, caregiver support, legal assistance, and preventing elder abuse.

SEARCH for resources

In this section you can search for resources in your local area by keywords or by need. If you do not know what services you require, use the needs assessment questionnaire. This assessment is designed to quickly evaluate care needs. It should take you between five and ten minutes to complete the assessment. It will ask about: the care required, the assistance needed, level of mobility, the symptoms, the current situation, health insurance, and medical conditions. When you finish, click the Submit button and recommended care options will appear. Then select and learn about each appropriate option.

CONNECT with your local ADRC

A map of all the counties in Oregon is shown. Simply click on the county where you need to find the needed resources and local information will appear.

To the right, is a reference to locating similar resources in another state. Click on the state shown on the United States map or the list of states below. Another list of the counties in that state will be shown. Click on the appropriate county and local contact information appear. Through this tool any user can search out resources in any location in the country. The information can be formatted for printing or viewing.

There is another way to obtain this information, called the Elder-care-Locator and it provides similar information by inputting a ZIP Code, City and State.

PLAN and prevent

It can seem overwhelming to plan for the possibly of needing long-term services and support in the future. Make a great start right here with the information, tools, and guidance from the Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) of Oregon. Sometimes you may need help with specific issues or perhaps your loved one is experiencing signs of memory loss. Maybe you are a caregiver and need extra support or you may need legal help to prevent elder abuse or to stand up for someone in a facility.

The ADRC of Oregon has offices throughout the state. An information and referral specialist can help you find resources to meet your needs. Options counselors talk about long-term care needs and local options. Call toll free at 855.673.2372 to get connected with ADRC. Reach the ADRC of Oregon through adrcoforegon.org