> Our Structure and Affiliations
Elder Services is fortunate to have both federal and state designations related to aging services and programs. This allows our mission to be broad and services and programs to be comprehensive. We have forged many partnerships with healthcare, housing and other service organizations to better serve consumers. Included in that list are the following partnerships.
Area Agency on Aging
Elder Services is designated as a federal Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for 28 communities in the Merrimack Valley and North Shore. As an a AAA, Elder Services determines what identifies unmet needs are within the community requiring attention; and helps develop the mechanisms and funding to address those needs. Examples of AAA activities include: funding community meal sites, health clinics, volunteer transportation services, and family caregiver support and assistance.
In our role as an AAA, every four years we develop an Area Plan on Aging, and it is approved by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs. The plan addresses the needs of older adults, adults with disabilities and their caregivers and shares program initiatives and expansion possibilities, providing a vision and plan for strengthening programs that support people as they age. The Plan highlights our agency’s work to develop, coordinate, and provide a range of services to encourage individuals to make a plan for achieving and sustaining quality of life goals, including aging in place with dignity, financial well-being, and healthy aging. It also includes a focus on the work we do to address economic security, promote healthy aging and healthy choices, and reduce the incidence of isolated elders.
Aging Service Access Point
Elder Services is also designated as an Aging Service Access Point (ASAP) by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As an ASAP, Elder Services coordinates and delivers community based long term care services to elders who meet state eligibility requirements. Services include information and referral, care management, service coordination and delivery, nursing home screening, benefits coordination, protective services and crisis intervention services, housing programs, caregiver respite services, and personal care services.
Healthy Living Center of Excellence
In 2000, Elder Services and Hebrew Senior Life, a health care organization and senior living center affiliated with Harvard Medical School, established a partnership to implement and establish Healthy Living programs to consumers. In 2008 the Healthy Living Center of Excellence was created. The Healthy Living Center of Excellence provides evidence-based health programs in both English and Spanish to help individuals manage a chronic disease or other health concerns. Workshops are free for participants.
The topics include: Nutrition, Balance, Depression, Diabetes, and Chronic Disease Management
The Center has received National awards for innovation in creating a partnership between a health care provider and community organizations. It provides educational programs that help individuals learn to be good health care consumers and better manage their chronic health conditions.
Aging and Disability Resource Consortium
This consortium combines the strength of two agencies, Elder Services and Northeast Independent Living Program (NILP) to provide integrated services and assistance to elders, disabled adults, families, and caregivers. Services and programs support individual efforts to manage long term care needs and continue to live in the community. This collaboration creates a “no wrong door” access for people who need assistance. The ADRC also serves as a community resource for information and advocacy on issues related to aging and living with a disability. Activities include the publication of the Green Book, an extensive resource guide published in English and Spanish. Over 20,000 Green Books are distributed free of charge.