Nearly two million seniors call Pennsylvania home, the fifth most of any state in the nation. They account for more than 15% of the state?s overall population, which is the fourth highest in the country. With numbers so grand, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging keeps itself busy by providing programs to keep its elder population safe and sound.
The department?s mission is ?Enhancing the quality of life of all older Pennsylvanians by empowering diverse communities, the family and the individual.? It does this by offering a wide array of services for seniors. They include:
Pennsylvania has one of the fastest-growing senior populations in the nation. Nearly 1.3 million people over the age of 65 live in Pennsylvania, a 31% increase over the 2000 figures. The Pennsylvania Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) is working hard to provide program and services to make sure the burgeoning population lives a long and healthy life. Those services include:
-- Abuse and Crime: Keeping seniors safe from neglect, as well as physical, financial or sexual abuse.
-- Adult Day Services: A safe and interactive environment for seniors living with dementia-related diseases, Parkinson’s disease or other organic brain syndrome.
-- Aging Waiver Program: A long-term program that offers help to seniors to live independently and stay out of nursing homes.
-- Attendant Care Program: In-home care for mentally alert, physically disabled seniors.
-- Employment Opportunities: Helping seniors who want to work or need to work find jobs.
-- Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services: Support for seniors who have mental health problems or substance addiction issues.
-- Nutrition Services: Healthy meals served at a senior center or delivered directly to the home.
-- Ombudsman Program: Advocating for residents of long-term care facilities.
-- Prescription Drug Assistance: Three programs
-- PACE, PACENET, PACE plus Medicare – offering low-cost prescription drugs to qualified seniors.
-- PrimeTime Health: Health promotion and disease prevention program.
-- Transportation Services: Helping seniors get around who can no longer drive themselves.
Many of Pennsylvania’s programs are designed for seniors to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Most medical experts agree that a medical alert device should be part of that plan for the future.
Seniors who live alone or with a spouse in their own homes are vulnerable to falls or other medical emergencies. Often times a senior is unable to call for help, but a medical alert device will make that call for you. It is essential for the safety and security of every senior.
All medical alert companies operate in all states, including Pennsylvania. Shopping for a system can be confusing. You can compare the services and products from all of the top companies here.
Health care and insurance is a huge concern among seniors; after all, it is inevitable that everyone’s health will decline, and seniors must be assured that treatment will not cost them their life’s savings.
The federal government provides Medicare, but often that is not enough. Pennsylvania offers Medicaid to low-income residents to help them pay for medical care.
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