CTHelpNet.org

Connecting Connecticut's senior citizens to a network

of elder care and disability information and services

About Us

There are numerous state agencies, federal agencies and private organizations that provide information on elder care for Connecticut's senior citizens. Trying to find the appropriate agency or organization for a particular need may at times be difficult. CTHelpNet.org was created to help you navigate through the maze of information on elder care. In the table of contents below you will find elder care services that may be of interest to you. If you click on a particular item, you will be guided to a resource that may help you. If you are enrolling in Medicare soon, you may want to go directly to Help With Choosing Your Medicare Plan. CTHelpNet.org continually monitors the elder care field and updates this website as needed.
CTHelpNet.org does not profit in any way from your use of this site.
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Disclaimer
CTHelpNet.org information is not provided as legal or financial advice and creates no counselor-client relationship. Please consult your own legal and financial advisors. CTHelpNet.org cannot guarantee the reliability of the information a user receives from the websites CTHelpNet.org references. It is the users responsibility to determine the accuracy of any information that is found by using CTHelpNet.org. CTHelpNet.org is not responsible for any misinformation that a user may find.

copyright 2004-2014

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Table Of Contents

Adult Day Care

Affordable Housing

Aging in Place     The Village Movement

Aid for Medicare Premiums (Medicare Savings Programs)     Very Important

Aid for Veterans

Alzheimer's and Dementia Assistance

Area Agency on Aging     Very Important

Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma

Assisted Living

Audit Services for Medical Billing and Insurance Payments

Automobile Insurance Discount

Behavioral and Mental Health Services     New   2/8/14

Benefits You May be Entitled to

Can't Find What You're Looking For?

Caregiver Training

Compare Air Quality Nationwide     New 3/28/14

Compare Retirement Income Tax Rates For All Fifty States

Compare the Cost of Living for Different Locations Nationwide

Connecticut Emergency Alerting

Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders

Connecticut Partnership for Long-Term Care

Connecticut TRIAD Program-Keeping Seniors Safe

Contact Us

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Creating an Elder-Centered Community

Disability Services

Earn College Credit Tuition-Free

Elder Abuse

Elder and Family Mediation

Emergency Preparedness

Financial Abuse of the Elderly

Food Assistance

Free Cell Phone

Free Credit Monitoring and Credit Score Reporting

Free Eye Exams

Free Financial Education

Free Financial Management for Seniors     New   3/1/14

Free Homebound Delivery of Library Material for the Elderly

Free Legal Assistance

Geriatric Assessment

Geriatric Care Management

Health Insurance

Healthy Aging

Heating Assistance

Help With Choosing Your Medicare Plan     Very Important

Home Care

Home Care Monitoring

Hospice Care

Household Moving Assistance

Identifying Danger Signals in Seniors (The Gatekeeper Program)

Locator Devices

Long-Term Care

Long-Term Care Nursing Resources

Meals

Medicaid (Title 19)

Medicaid for the Employed Disabled

Medicare and Medicare Advantage

Medicare Denials     Very Important

Medicare Fraud

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage

Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance (Medigap)

Moving From a Nursing Facility to the Community

Municipal Agent On Aging

Nursing Home Care

Pension Search

Prescription Medication Assistance

Property Tax Relief

Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities

Protective Services for the Elderly

Real Estate and Mortgage Options for Seniors

Rehabilitation Services

Rent and Utility Bills Refunds

Reverse Mortgages

Senior Centers

Should an Elder Stop Driving?

Social Security

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Transportation

Adult Day Care

When selecting an Adult Day Care Service facility, you should do some research to find the facility that best suits your needs. The National Adult Day Services Association can help you select an appropriate adult day care center by providing you with some basic guidelines. To visit their website click here.

Connecticut's Aging Services Division has a list of adult day care centers on their website. You can view this list by clicking here.

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Affordable Housing

Cthousingsearch.org is a website which allows you to find affordable housing in Connecticut. To visit their site click here.

Your local housing authority provides income-based affordable housing for people who are capable of living independently and are sixty-two years of age or older, or under the age of sixty-two and certified as disabled. Each housing authority sets a maximum yearly income level that applicants must not exceed for admission. There is generally a waiting list. For information on maximum income levels and waiting list guidelines, contact your local housing authority.

The State of Connecticut has a complete list of Connecticut housing authorities on their website. To visit their site click here.

Your Municipal Agent on Aging will be able to help you locate a housing authority near you. To contact your Municipal Agent on Aging, call your town hall.

If you are a homeowner having financial difficulty maintaining your home or a person looking for affordable housing, Project Home Share may help you. Project Home Share matches up a homeowner with a person seeking affordable housing. The homeowner gains a tenant to ease the financial burden of home ownership, and the tenant benefits from an affordable living arrangement. To learn about this program and the requirements and compensation, contact your Area Agency on Aging. To locate the Agency that serves your town click here or call 1-800-994-9422.

The Federal Government's Housing and Urban Development website has a search tool which allows you to find housing authorities nationwide. To access this search tool click here.

The Federal Government's Housing and Urban Development website also has a search tool which allows you to find subsidized housing for seniors in Connecticut and all other states. To access this search tool click here.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (section 8) provides rent subsidies to families with low incomes. To learn about this program and its qualifications, visit the Connecticut Housing Choice Voucher Program by clicking here.

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Aging in Place The Village Movement

The village movement began in 2001 and is gaining momentum nationwide. A village is a membership organization that provides support and services to seniors, allowing them to stay in their homes as long as possible rather than move to a retirement community. Some villages provide wellness services. The village movement provides the opportunity to connect with others in the community and to give and receive help.

There are a number of villages in Connecticut. The village to village network has a village map on their website that shows the location of existing villages and villages that are being developed. They also have information on helping villages get started. To visit their website click here.

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Aid for Medicare Premiums (Medicare Savings Programs)     Very Important

The Medicare Savings Programs assist eligible individuals with the payment of their Medicare premiums. To learn about Medicare Savings Programs, visit Connecticut's Department of Social Services website by clicking here.

If you would like help understanding the Medicare Savings Programs, call a Medicare counselor at your Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-994-9422.

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Aid for Veterans

If you are a veteran or veteran's spouse and need help paying for care in your home, a nursing facility or an assisted living facility, the Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit may help you. To learn about this little known benefit, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs' website by clicking here.

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Alzheimer's and Dementia Assistance

Currently more than 4 million Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The Alzheimer's Association of Connecticut provides information on Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia. They also provide information about support groups, adult day care, respite care, hospice care, legal resources and the signs of stress. To visit their website click here.

The National Institute on Aging has a caregiver guide for people caring for a family member with Alzheimer's Disease. You will find the guide on their website by clicking here.

A Place For Mom provides excellent information on Alzheimer's, dementia and memory care. They can also help you locate treatment facilities. To visit their website, click here.

The Connecticut Statewide Respite Care Program offers help to stressed caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease or related dementias. To learn about this program click here.

      Locator Devices

Individuals with dementia wander off all to frequently. There are locator devices that can be worn by dementia patients that can locate them if they ever wander off. These devices provide the care giver with peace off mind and safety for the person with dementia. To learn about these devices, visit our section on Locator Devices

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Area Agency on Aging     Very Important

Your Area Agency on Aging is one of the most important resources for Connecticut's senior citizens. Their trained counselors can provide you with information on home care programs, housing options, senior centers, transportation, support for family caregivers, medical insurance, Medicare prescription drug plans, Medicaid, long term care insurance programs, etc. Their expertise is especially important for those who are trying to choose the best Medicare coverage. There are five Area Agencies on Aging in Connecticut. To locate the Agency that serves your town click here or call 1-800-994-9422.

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Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cancer primarily caused by asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma mainly affects Seniors because of its long latency period. Mesothelioma symptoms may not appear for 30 or more years after exposure to asbestos. If you would like information on mesothelioma, visit the Meso Foundation website by clicking here.

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Assisted Living

If an individual can no longer live independently at home but does not need nursing home care, an assisted living facility might be an option. Assisted living facilities are loosely regulated by the government and there are many horror stories about the treatment of assisted living facility residents; therefore, much care must be taken when choosing a good assisted living facility.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services has an assisted living fact sheet posted on their website which covers: what is assisted living; what services are provided; how to choose a facility; what is the cost for assisted living. To visit their website, click here.

A Place For Mom is an excellent resource to help you find senior housing. To visit their webpage on Tips for Choosing an Assisted Living Facility, click here.

To search for Connecticut Assisted Living Facilities, visit the Connecticut Assisted Living Association by clicking here.

All Continuing Care Retirement Communities have assisted living facilities. To learn about Continuing Care Retirement Communities, go to our Continuing Care Retirement Community section by clicking here.

The Federal Government's Long-Term Care Insurance website can give you an idea of the average cost of an assisted living facility in any state. To visit their website, click here.

Your local Area Agency on Aging will be able to help locate an assisted living facility that suits one's needs. To find the Area Agency on Aging that serves your town click here or call 1-800-994-9422.

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Audit Services for Medical Billing and Insurance Payments

Medical billing specialists offer assistance with auditing your healthcare bills and insurance reimbursements. These professional advocates help by reviewing your medical costs and health insurance payments and by questioning and challenging over-billing and duplicate charges as well as underpayments. Advocates typically charge a fee based on the percentage of the amount billed. Medical Billing Advocates of America offers a searchable database on its website. To learn more about healthcare advocacy and to find a professional advocate in your area, visit their website by clicking here.

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Automobile Insurance Discount

If you are 62 or older and have successfully completed an accident prevention course, you may be eligible for an auto insurance discount. For more information, visit the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles' website by clicking here.

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Behavioral and Mental Health Services     New   2/8/14

The Connecticut Network of Care is an extensive resource that helps you find information on Behavioral and Mental Health services. To visit the website click here.

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Benefits You May be Entitled to

The National Council on Aging has created a great screening tool to help seniors determine the benefits for which they may qualify. The expenses you may get help with include: Medications, Utilities, Legal, Health Care, Housing, In-Home Services, Taxes, Transportation, and Employment Training. To visit the benefits checkup website, click here.

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Can't Find What You're Looking For?

If you are having difficulty locating the information you need, try the INFO LINE website by clicking here or call INFO LINE toll free at 211. INFO LINE is supported by the State of Connecticut and Connecticut United Ways.

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Caregiver Training

Many people are taking on the role of caregiver by helping an aging parent or relative maintain their health and independence. Caregiving is a complex and daunting task. Borrow My Glasses is an excellent resource that can help you understand and manage caregiving situations. They offer classes for family caregivers and professional caregivers in various Connecticut communities. To visit the Borrow My Glasses website, click here.

Connecticut's Aging Services Division has developed an online training video that helps you understand the role of a caregiver and the resources and services that are available for caregivers. To view this very helpful informational video, visit their website by clicking here.

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Compare Air Quality Nationwide     New 3/28/14

If you are planning on retiring to another part of the country, you may want to check on its air quality. You can do so at the American Lung Association website by clicking here.

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Compare Retirement Income Tax Rates For All Fifty States

The CCHGroup, a leading provider of tax information and a division of Wolters Kluwer, has a taxation chart of retirement income and social security benefits for each state on its website. To visit their site click here.

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Compare the Cost of Living for Different Locations Nationwide

If you are planning on retiring to another part of the country, you can use a cost of living compare tool to determine your new living expenses. The BestPlaces' website has a very good cost of living comparison tool you can use by clicking here.

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Connecticut Emergency Alerting

You can now register to receive emergency alerts through the Connecticut Emergency Alerting and Notification System. To learn about this new service and to register to receive emergency alerts, visit the Connecticut Emergency Alerting website by clicking here.

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Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders

The Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders is State and Federally funded and helps people aged 65 or older remain at home rather than go to a nursing facility. The program offers help with chores such as cleaning and cooking. It can also help provide visiting nurses and home health aides. To learn if you qualify for the Connecticut Home Care Program and for application information, visit the Department of Social Services' website by clicking here.

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Connecticut Partnership for Long-Term Care

The Connecticut Partnership for Long-Term Care is a joint effort by the State of Connecticut and a select group of insurance companies to provide Connecticut residents with affordable Long-Term Care insurance while protecting the insured's assets. Insurance companies that are not part of The Connecticut Partnership for Long-Term Care do not offer asset protection. The Connecticut Partnership for Long-Term Care started in 1992 and was the first in the nation. To learn about this innovative Long-Term Care Insurance, visit The Connecticut Partnership's website by clicking here.

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Connecticut TRIAD Program

The Triad Program is a collaborative effort of senior citizens, community organizations and law enforcement to ensure the safety of the elderly and protect them from crime. There are over 50 communities in Connecticut that have established a Triad. To learn more about this important program, visit the AARP website by clicking here.

Connecticut's Aging Services has information about the Triad Program on their website. To visit it click here.

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Contact Us

E-mail: cthelpnet@cthelpnet.org

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Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Continuing Care Retirement Communities, also known as Life Care Facilities, offer independent living, assisted living care and skilled nursing care all on one campus. When you buy into a Continuing Care Retirement Community, it can be with the understanding that you will have the necessary care as you age. You may move from independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing care, depending on your needs. To gain a thorough understanding of how Continuing Care Retirement Communities are structured, visit caring.com by clicking here .

When selecting a Continuing Care Retirement Community, careful attention must be given to the CCRC's contract. There is usually a large deposit required and you should be aware of its disposition if you decide to move to another facility. You should also determine the financial health of a CCRC. Some Continuing Care Retirement Communities have filed for bankruptcy. Request a financial statement from the CCRC and have it evaluated by an accountant or an attorney.

Below you will find the Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Connecticut. If you click on the name of the facility, you will reach its website.

The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities is a highly respected, not-for-profit organization that has developed a set of high standards that facilities must meet in order to receive accreditation. CARF's website has a search tool to locate the Continuing Care Retirement Communities that meet their standards. To use their search tool click here.

Arbors Manchester

Ashlar Village Wallingford

Covenant Village of Cromwell Cromwell

Duncaster Bloomfield

East Hill Woods Southbury

Edgehill Stamford

Elim Park Cheshire

Essex Meadows Essex

Evergreen Woods North Branford

Meadow Ridge Redding

McAuley Retirement Community West Hartford

Pomperaug Woods Southbury

Seabury Bloomfield

StoneRidge Mystic

3030 Park Bridgeport

Whitney Center Hamden

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Creating an Elder-Centered Community

Creating Elder-Centered Communities is the goal of Eden Alternative. The core principle of Eden Alternative is promoting person-directed care and eliminating loneliness, helplessness and boredom in the elder-care environment. To learn more about Eden Alternative, visit their website by clicking here.

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Disability Services

The Connecticut Department of Social Services provides assistance to people with disabilities to help them maintain an independent life within their own home. For detailed information on available help, visit their website by clicking here.

Additionally, the non-profit Independent Living Centers in Connecticut provide programs for people with disabilities to help them reach their full potential. They also work to help communities develop better ways to fully integrate people with disabilities. The services they offer are advocacy, information, referral, peer counseling and skills training. The locations of the Independent Living Centers in Connecticut are:

Connecticut Association of Centers for Independent Living (CACIL)
151 New Park Avenue - Box 18
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 656-0430 or (800) 261-3769
TTY: none
FAX: (860) 656-0496
Gary Waterhouse, Executive Director

Center for Disability Rights
Marc Anthony Gallucci
764-A Campbell Avenue
West Haven, CT 06516
(203) 934-7077
TTY: none
FAX: (203) 934-7078
EMAIL: info@cdr-ct.org

Disability Network of Eastern Connecticut (DNEC)
Catherine Ferry
19 Ohio Avenue
Norwich, CT 06360
(860) 823-1898
TTY: none
FAX: (860) 886-2316
EMAIL: hdunn@dnec.org

Disability Resource Center of Fairfield County, Inc.
Anthony LaCava
80 Ferry Blvd., Suite 210
Stratford, CT 06615
(203) 378-6977
TTY: none
FAX: (203) 375-2748
EMAIL: info@drcfc.org

Independence Northwest
Eileen Healy
1183 New Haven Road, Suite 200
Naugatuck, CT 06770
(203) 729-3299
TTY: (203) 729-1281
FAX: (203) 729-2839
EMAIL: info@independencenorthwest.org

Independence Unlimited
Candace Low
151 New Park Avenue, Suite D
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 523-5021
TTY: (860) 523-5021
FAX: (860) 523-5603
EMAIL: contactus@independenceunlimited.org

The Connecticut Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society provides information and assistance to help people with MS attain the highest quality of life. They provide physical health programs, emotional health programs, family support programs, accessibility-independent living programs and long-term care services. For detailed information on these programs visit their website by clicking here.

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Earn College Credit Tuition-Free

If you are 62 or older, you may take courses at Connecticut's universities and community colleges tuition free. To learn about this great program, visit a senior citizens guide for college by clicking here.

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Elder Abuse

Abuse of the elderly can be very insidious. An elder may not realize that he or she is being abused until much suffering has been endured. It is very important for elders and those close to elders to be aware of the signs of abuse. Helpguide's website has information on the warning signs of elder abuse. To visit their site click here.

If you suspect someone of being abused, visit our section on Protective Services for the Elderly.

If the suspected abuse involves someone with a disability, visit our section on Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities.

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Elder and Family Mediation

Very often conflict will develop in a family caring for an aging family member. Family members may argue about how to provide the best elder care. Frequently this leads to ill feelings, expensive legal counsel and court proceedings. The field of elder and family mediation is a relatively new service that can help family members overcome their differences and resolve disputes concerning elder care. To learn about elder and family mediation, the National Care Planning Council has detailed information about elder and family mediation services on their long-term care website. To visit their website click here.

To find a professional elder and family mediator, the National Care Planning Council has a search tool on its long-term care website that allows you to find a professional mediator. To use their search tool click here.

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Emergency Preparedness

Being prepared for any type of emergency or natural disaster is extremely important, especially for the elderly and disabled who live on their own. There are several resources that can help you with emergency preparedness. One is the Connecticut Community Care website. To visit it click here. Another is the Ready.gov website. To visit it click here. Connecticut's Aging Services Division has emergency preparedness information on their website. To visit it click here.

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Financial Abuse of the Elderly

The financial abuse of the elderly is an extremely serious crime that is underreported and on the increase. The estimated financial loss from this crime is well above 2 billion dollars annually. The Mature Market Institute of Met Life has detailed information about this devastating crime and ways to prevent it on their website. To visit their website click here .

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Food Assistance

Connecticut's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps individuals with low incomes purchase food at grocery stores and farmers' markets. To learn about this program, visit Connecticut's Department of Social Services' website by clicking here.

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Free Cell Phone

A government funded program may provide you with a free cell phone and air time. To learn if you qualify for this program, there are three websites you can visit: For Assurance Wireless click here; For Safelink Wireless click here; For Qlink Wireless click here.

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Free Credit Monitoring and Credit Score Reporting

Managing an elder's finances should include safeguarding the individiual's good credit. The errosion of good credit is often the first sign of elder financial abuse, fraud or lapses in managing one's own finances. There are multiple services that offer to monitor credit, for a fee. CreditSesame offers this service free. You may sign up for confidential free credit monitoring at the CreditSesame website by clicking here.

There are three credit-reporting organizations that provide credit score reporting. These organizations are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You may request a credit report at any time, for a fee. You may also request a free credit report annually. Your single request results in reports from each of the three reporting agencies. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com every year to request your free, confidenital credit report. To reach AnnualCreditReport click here.

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Free Eye Exams

Some Medicare plans do not currently cover the costs of routine eye care. If you are 65 years or greater, you may be eligible for a free eye examination and up to a year of care. Ophthalmologists volunteer to perform these valuable services through Eye Care America, a not-for-profit service organization. Search for an MD eye specialist in your area at the Eye Care America website by clicking here.

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Free Financial Education

The Connecticut Money School offers free financial instruction to adults on topics such as: Debt, Saving, Credit, Loans, Home Ownership and Senior Issues. They will also be offering classes on Health Care and State Benefits. All instructors are volunteer professionals. To learn about this new program, visit the Connecticut Money School website by clicking here.

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Free Financial Management for Seniors     New   1/1/14

The National Council on Aging provides a free service that helps Seniors achieve greater economic security. Their Economic Checkup service can help you with: Money management & budgeting, Housing, Health, Employment & training, Debt & credit management, etc. To visit the Economic Checkup website, click here.

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Free Homebound Delivery of Library Material for the Elderly

Some Connecticut libraries will deliver library material to the elderly without charge. Call your local library to inquire if they provide this free homebound delivery service.

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Free Legal Assistance

The Connecticut Network for Legal Aid has a self-help website created for people with limited income to find help for their legal issues. They have a section on self-help guides for senior citizens. To visit The Connecticut Network for Legal Aid website click here.

Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut offers callers help with non-criminal legal problems. To visit their website click here.

The Center for Medicare Advocacy provides free legal advice and representation to those on Medicare who are denied medical coverage. Visit their website by clicking here or call 1-800-262-4414 or 1-860-456-7790.

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Geriatric Assessment

If an elder appears to be having difficulty with the routine of daily living and needs assistance, a geriatric assessment should be considered to maximize the elder's quality of life. A geriatric assessment is generally conducted by a team of elder care specialists to determine the condition and specific needs of an elder. A care plan is then formulated to address those needs. The care plan is generally implemented by a geriatric care manager.

The Dorothy Adler Geriatric Assessment Center at Yale-New Haven Hospital has one of the oldest assessment programs in the country. To visit their website click here.

The UConn Center on Aging at the University of Connecticut Health Center has a team of geriatric specialists that perform geriatric assessments and establish care plans. To visit their website click here.

Your physician may be able to help you set up a geriatric assessment. A professional geriatric care manager may also help you with the geriatric assessment process. The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers has a search tool on its website allowing you to find a professional geriatric care manager near you. To use their search tool click here.

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Geriatric Care Management

If you are setting up a healthcare environment for an elder, a credentialed, professional geriatric care manager could be a valuable resource. A professional geriatric care manager is multi-disciplined in the elder care field. They will evaluate an elder's condition, identify specific needs and prescribe and help establish a supportive environment. The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers has detailed information about care managers on their website. To visit their website click here.

The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers has a search tool on its website that allows you to find a professional geriatric care manager near you. To use their search tool click here.

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Health Insurance

If you are under 65 and looking for health insurance, visit Connecticut's official health insurance marketplace by clicking here.

If you are caring for a child under 19 years of age, you may qualify for the State's Husky Health Insurance Program. To learn about this program, visit the Husky website by clicking here. For further detailed information, call toll free 1-877-284-8759 to speak with a Husky representative.

To learn about Medicare Insurance, visit our section on Medicare by clicking here.

To learn about Medicaid Insurance, visit our section on Medicaid by clicking here.

If you need help understanding health insurance options for seniors, your local Area Agency on Aging has trained counselors who can help you. To find your local Area Agency on Aging, click Here or call 1-800-994-9422.

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Healthy Aging

To reach the age of 90 and beyond is becoming common place. It is important that we work to maintain our good health in order to enjoy a vital life style in our later years. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information on healthy aging that we can all benefit from. The National Institutes of Health website has information on how to stay healthy, get good healthcare and manage lifestyle changes as we age. To visit their website, click here. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a guide to healthy living, current health news, personal health tools and locator services on their healthfinder.gov website. To visit it click here. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has health information for women on their womenshealth.gov website. To visit the site click here. The Medical Coding website has an extensive resource webpage on senior health issues. To reach it's Medical Guide to Senior Health click here.

The UConn Center on Aging at the University of Connecticut Health Center has a team of geriatric specialists that help elders develop strategies for healthy aging. To visit their website click here.

The Yale-New Haven Geriatric Services/Northeast Medical Group works to maintain and improve the quality of life of elders. To visit their website click here.

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Heating Assistance

Thousands of Connecticut homeowners and renters are eligible for heating assistance for the winter season. The heating assistance program helps eligible households pay for heating sources like oil, natural gas, electricity, propane, kerosene, coal and wood. There are two components to the heating assistance program: the regular Connecticut Energy Assistance Program; and for homeowners and renters who are in a higher income level, the Contingency Heating Assistance Program. To determine whether you qualify and for application information, visit the Winter Heating Assistance Website.

The Citizens Energy Oil Heat Program offers a one-time free delivery of 100 gallons of oil during the heating season. To contact the Citizens Energy Oil Heat Program click here.

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Help With Choosing Your Medicare Plan     Very Important

If you are about to enroll in Medicare and need help understanding your Medicare options, the first thing you should do is read the official U.S. Government Medicare handbook "Medicare & You 2014" to learn about your Medicare choices and possible late enrollment penalties. There are two ways to get your Medicare coverage: Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. You should have a clear understanding of the differences between the two before you choose your Medicare coverage. You can order the handbook from Medicare's website by clicking here.

Another must read publication is "Understanding Medicare Enrollment Periods". It explains when and how to enroll in Medicare and what premium penalties you will be liable for if you do not enroll in a timely manner. The penalties can be significant and could last for the duration of Medicare. To order "Understanding Medicare Enrollment Periods" click here.

After reading the publications, and you feel that you need further guidance in choosing the right Medicare coverage, help is available. There are five Area Agencies on Aging in Connecticut that have counselors who have been trained in the complexities of Medicare. They will be able to help you understand your Medicare choices. There is no fee for their service. To contact your Area Agency on Aging, call 1-800-994-9422.

Fee For Counseling

The following companies offer Medicare counseling for a fee. If you click on their name, you will reach their website.

Allsup Medicare Advisor. Corporate office, Belleville, Illinois.

American Medicare Counselors. Corporate office, St. Louis, Missouri.

Healthcare Navigation. Corporate office, Shelton, Connecticut.

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Home Care

If you are considering establishing a home care environment for someone, a comprehensive geriatric assessment of that person is a good place to start. The geriatric assessment will determine a person's specific care needs. Visit our section on Geriatric Assessment.

There are two approaches to establishing a supportive home care environment. One is to work with a professional geriatric care manager who will be able to evaluate your situation, identify any problems and find a solution for your home care needs. The other is to learn about the resources that are available to you by doing your own research.

If you would like to work with a professional geriatric care manager, visit our section on Geriatric Care Management.

If you would like to establish a homecare environment without the help of a professional care manager, it is important that you do some research before selecting a licensed, quality agency or individual. The following information may help you learn about the home care options that are available.

The Caring website is an excellent source of information on what you should know before hiring a home care agency or private caregiver. To visit their website, click here.

The Foundation for Health in Aging of the American Geriatrics Society has published a book entitled Eldercare at Home. The book gives advice and guidance to individuals caring for a loved one at home and can be viewed at their website by clicking here.

The National Institute on Aging has a caregiver guide for people caring for a family member with Alzheimer's Disease. You will find the guide on their website by clicking here.

The National Caregivers Library has extensive information and tools to help caregivers. To visit their website, click here.

To find a Home Care Agency, visit the Home Health Care Agencies' website by clicking here.

Compare Home Care Agencies. The Medicare website has a tool that allows you to compare the home care agencies you are considering. To use the compare tool, visit their website by clicking here.

If you are caring for a terminally ill family member at home, go to our section on Hospice Care by clicking here.

To give you an idea of the costs of home care services, Connecticut's Office of Policy and Management has posted service rates on their website. To visit the site, click here.

The Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders is State and Federally funded and helps people aged 65 or older remain at home rather than go to a nursing facility. The program offers help with chores such as cleaning and cooking. It can also help provide visiting nurses and home health aides. To learn if you qualify for the Connecticut Home Care Program and for application information, visit Connecticut's Department of Social Services Website by clicking here.

The Administration on Aging has developed the National Family Caregiver Support Program to help individuals deal with the complexities of caring for a family member. The program offers training, counselling, support and respite care. To learn about this important program and its eligibility requirements, click here.

Your local Area Agency on Aging has trained counselors who can help you understand your home care options. To find your local Area Agency on Aging, click here or call 1-800-994-9422.

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Home Care Monitoring

Advancements in home care technology now allow for the monitoring of an individual living alone at home. There are a variety of systems on the market that use web cams and sensors in conjunction with computers and cell phones that enable you to keep track of a loved one's activities in their home from a distance. Below are listed some companies that supply these systems. Click on the name of the company to visit their website.

CaregiverTech

GrandCare

HealthSense

Care Innovations

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Hospice Care

End of life care is an especially difficult time for families. Care must be given to both the physical and emotional aspects of the passing of a life. The physical needs of the patient and the emotional needs of the family become intertwined. Because of their training, Hospice Care personnel are especially suited to deliver such inclusive care.

Connecticut Hospice, established in 1974, was the first Hospice in the country. They are a leader in the Hospice Care field and provide both inpatient care and home care for the terminally ill. For specific information on how they might help you, visit their website by clicking here.

Most hospitals provide hospice care.

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Household Moving Assistance

If you plan to relocate your household and would like assistance with the planning and coordination of your move, a senior move manager may be able to help you. A senior move manager is especially trained to help older adults move. The National Association of Senior Move Managers has information on their website that details the work of a senior move manager. To visit their website click here.

If you would like to get in touch with a senior move manager, The National Association of Senior Move Managers has a search tool that allows you to locate a senior move manager near you. To use their search tool, visit the National Association of Senior Move Managers' website by clicking here.

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Identifying Danger Signals in Seniors (The Gatekeeper Program)

The Gatekeeper Program trains people to look for specific changed behavior in senior citizens that might threaten their safety and well being. The Gatekeeper Program also provides solutions to address the changed behavior. St. Luke's Eldercare Services in Middletown was the first to offer the Gatekeeper Program in Connecticut. To learn about the Gatekeeper Program, visit St. Luke's Eldercare Services' website by clicking here. The Gatekeeper Program will be offered in other locations within Connecticut. To learn where the locations are, or will be, contact your local Area Agency on Aging. To locate the Agency that serves your town click here or call 1-800-994-9422.

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Locator Devices

The Alzheimer's Association Comfort Zone is a new location management service that uses GPS technology for a location-based mapping service that can keep track of individuals with dementia. To learn about the Comfort Zone management service, visit the Alzheimer's Association website by clicking here.

GPS tracking shoes have been developed by Aetrex Worldwide and GTX corp for Alzheimer's patients. To learn about tracking shoes, click here.

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Long-Term Care

Since people are living longer, it is inevitable that more of us will need some kind of Long-Term Care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has developed the National Clearing House for Long-Term Care Information which can also help you prepare for any possible Long-Term Care need. To visit their website, click here.

Another excellent resource is the State of Connecticut's website on Long-Term Care. To visit the site, click here.

The non-profit 3in4 Association has a guide for long term care planning. To get "The Essentials for Long Term Care Planning", visit their website by clicking here.

Connecticut's Office of Policy and Management has a list of rates for nursing home care, home health services and home and community based services on their website. To access the site, click here.

If you are interested in Long-Term Care rates in other states, you can find the information on the Federal Government's Long-Term Care Insurance website by clicking here.

The Connecticut Partnership for Long-Term Care is a joint effort of the State of Connecticut and a select group of insurance companies to provide Connecticut residents with affordable Long-Term Care insurance while protecting the insured's assets. Insurance companies that are not part of The Connecticut Partnership for Long-Term Care do not offer asset protection. The Connecticut Partnership for Long-Term Care started in 1992 and was the first in the nation. To learn about this innovative Long-Term Care Insurance, visit The Connecticut Partnership's website by clicking here.

If you are in your sixties or older and find that Long-Term Care insurance is costly, a Continuing Care Retirement Community might be an option for your Long-Term Care needs. Continuing Care Retirement Communities offer different fee schedules depending on the care you anticipate needing. To learn about this Long-Term Care option, go to our section on Continuing Care Retirement Communities by clicking here.

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Long-Term Care Nursing Resources

For an extensive list of resources that cover in-home care, adult day care, assisted living, Alzheimer’s care, skilled nursing care, and nursing home care, visit the pulseuniform website by clicking here.

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Meals

The Elderly Nutrition Project, funded by Connecticut's Aging Services Division, provides meals to individuals 60 years of age and older and their spouses at about 200 community cafe sites. Meals can also be delivered to the homebound who are eligible. To locate a community cafe site near you, visit Connecticut's Aging Services Division's website by clicking here.

The Connecticut Food Bank distributes food to numerous sites throughout Connecticut. To learn how they might help you clicking here.

A food pantry, which is generally operated by a church or community, provides food support for families in need. To locate a food pantry that serves your area, visit AmpleHarvest.org by clicking here.

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Medicaid (Title 19)

Medicaid, also known as Title 19, is a safety net that can be used by the elderly and the disabled with lower incomes to help pay for their medical expenses and long-term care. To acquire Medicaid coverage, there are certain eligibility requirements that must be meet.

To learn about the Medicaid program in Connecticut, visit the Medicaid.gov website by clicking here.

Your local Area Agency on Aging has trained counselors to help you understand Medicaid. To find your local Area Agency on Aging, click here or call 1-800-994-9942.

If a person on Medicaid is residing in a nursing facility and would prefer to be cared for at home, there is a program called "Money Follows the Person" which might allow that person to move back to the community. To learn about this program, visit the Assisted Living Services website by clicking here.

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Medicaid for the Employed Disabled

Medicaid for the Employed Disabled allows people with disabilities to work at a living wage without jeopardising their Medicaid coverage. For information on this vital program for the disabled, visit the Medicaid for the Employed Disabled Website by the clicking here.

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Medicare and Medicare Advantage

There are two ways to get Medicare coverage: Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Original Medicare began in the mid 1960s to insure that retirees would be provided with adequate medical coverage. Original Medicare is government funded and government administered. The Medicare Advantage component began in the mid 1980s. Medicare Advantage consists of private health plans which are government funded and administered by private insurance companies. The main difference between original Medicare and Medicare Advantage is the rule of choice. With Medicare Advantage you are generally restricted to using medical providers that are within a defined network. With original Medicare you have unlimited choice of medical providers who accept Medicare. Also, your out-of-pocket costs could be signicantly higher with Medicare Advantage. Choosing between original Medicare and Medicare Advantage can be confusing because of differing care and cost guidelines. Before signing up for Medicare coverage, it is imperative that you have a thorough understanding of what the differences are between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Only then can you decide which option is best for you.

The official government handbook on Medicare "Medicare & You 2014" is a must read publication. You can order the handbook from Medicare's website by clicking here. Another must read publication is "Understanding Medicare Enrollment Periods". It explains when and how to enroll in Medicare and what premium penalties you will be liable for if you do not enroll in a timely manner. The penalties can be significant and could last for the duration of Medicare. To order "Understanding Medicare Enrollment Periods" click here.

      Original Medicare

When enrolled in original Medicare, it is important to purchase a supplemental health insurance policy (Medigap) to help pay the deductibles and coinsurance costs not covered by original Medicare. When enrolled in Medicare Advantage, it is not necessary to purchase supplemental health insurance.

To compare Medigap policies and pricing, go to Medicare's Medigap Policy Search webpage by clicking here.

When enrolled in original Medicare, it is also important to purchase a Medicare Part D drug plan to help pay for prescription drugs.

To compare Medicare Part D drug plans visit the Medicare Plan Finder webpage and click on Find Formularies In Your Area. To visit Medicare's Plan Finder webpage click here.

To get help understanding original Medicare, it might be wise to speak with someone trained in the complexities of the Medicare system. Your local Area Agency on Aging has trained counselors to help you understand your Medicare choices. To locate the Area Agency on Aging that serves your town click here or call 1-800-994-9942.

      Medicare Advantage

An excellent resource for understanding Medicare Advantage is The Center for Medicare Advocacy. Pay special attention to their GUIDELINES FOR CONSIDERING OPTIONS. To visit their website click here. The Center for Medicare Advocacy also provides free legal advice and representation to those on Medicare who are denied medical coverage.

To compare Medicare Advantage plans visit Medicare's Plan Finder webpage by clicking here.

To get help understanding Medicare Advantage, it might be wise to speak with someone trained in the complexities of the Medicare system. Your local Area Agency on Aging has trained counselors to help you understand your Medicare choices. To locate the Area Agency on Aging that serves your town click here or call 1-800-994-9942.

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Medicare Denials      Very Important

If you have been denied medical coverage under the Medicare system and have been unable to resolve the denial, there is an excellent resource available to Connecticut residents that can help you. The Center for Medicare Advocacy, located in Willimantic, Connecticut, has expertise in appealing Medicare denials. Their staff of highly qualified attorneys can provide you with free legal help to resolve a denial of Medicare services. To reach the Center for Medicare Advocacy call 1-800-262-4414 or 1-860-456-7790.

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Medicare Fraud

Medicare fraud is a huge problem costing the Medicare system and consumers billions of dollars a year. To learn how to detect Medicare fraud and what you can do to combat it, visit Connecticut's Aging Services' website by clicking here.

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Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage

When you become enrolled in original Medicare, you do not automatically receive prescription drug coverage. You have to pro-actively choose a Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage plan. If you do not enroll in a Part D plan in a timely manner, you will be subject to a premium penalty. It would be wise to spend some time researching Medicare prescription drug coverage so you can select the best plan for your needs. To gain a thorough understanding of Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage and to learn about the guidelines for choosing a plan, visit the Center for Medicare Advocacy's website by clicking here.

To compare Medicare Part D drug plans visit the Medicare Plan Finder webpage by clicking here.

If you have low income, you may get "Extra Help" paying for your prescription drugs. To learn about this program, visit Medicare's website by clicking here.

Your local Area Agency on Aging has trained counselors to help you understand your Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage choices and the "Extra Help" program. To locate the Area Agency on Aging that serves your town click here or call 1-800-994-9942.

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Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance (Medigap)

When enrolled in original Medicare, it is important to purchase a supplemental health insurance policy (Medigap) to help pay the deductibles and coinsurance costs not covered by original Medicare. An excellent source of information on Medigap is the Center for Medicare Advocacy. To visit their website click here.

To compare Medigap policies and pricing, go to Medicare's Medigap Policy Search webpage by clicking here.

Your local Area Agency on Aging has trained counselors to help you understand your Medigap options. To locate the Area Agency on Aging that serves your town click here or call 1-800-994-9942.

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Moving from a Nursing Facility to the Community

Moving from a nursing facility back to the community can be a difficult task. "My Community Choices" is a program that is funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is managed by the CT Association of Centers for Independent Living. The program helps people prepare for a move back into the community. For information on options for moving from a nursing facility back to the community, visit the My Community Choices Website.

If a person residing in a nursing facility is on Medicaid and would prefer to be cared for at home, there is a program called "Money Follows the Person" which might allow that person to move back to the community. To learn about this program, visit the Assisted Living Services website by clicking here.

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Municipal Agent On Aging

Every Connecticut municipalty is required by federal law to have a Municipal Agent on Aging. The agent's job is to inform residents age 60-plus about elder care issues, and to help locate elder services and apply for benefits. To reach a town's Municipal Agent on Aging, contact the town hall.

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Nursing Home Care

There are two types of nursing home care: intermediate nursing care and skilled nursing care. Intermediate nursing home care provides round-the-clock 24-hour-a-day supportive care with the goal of rehabilitation for return to a home setting or assisted living facility. Skilled nursing home care provides round-the-clock 24-hour-a-day comprehensive care for individuals with chronic conditions who need constant supervision and for individuals who are in the convalescent stage of a serious illness or injury.

To compare nursing homes, Medicare's website has comparison data that shows if a nursing home is for-profit or not-for-profit, the number of beds they have, whether they are part of a continuing care retirement community, plus more. To obtain this information click here.

Connecticut's Office of Policy and Management has posted average Connecticut nursing home fees on their website. To view these fees, click here.

To view the fees charged by nursing home in other states, visit the federal government's Long-Term Care Insurance website by clicking here.

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Pension Search

The US government maintains a pension clearing house, the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Their website helps citizens search for unclaimed pensions. To reach their website, click here.

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Prescription Medication Assistance

The Partnership for Prescription Assistance has a website to guide Connecticut residents who need assistance paying for prescription medication. For information on the many programs available, visit their website by clicking here or call 1-888-477-2669 from 8 AM to 10 PM.

RxHope helps patients obtain needed medications. To visit their website, click here.

Many pharmaceutical companies have set up programs that provide free and subsidized medication to people who cannot afford their medicine. To learn more, visit the Patient Assistance Program Center RxAssist website by clicking here.

Medicare recipients who have limited income may be eligible for financial assistance with medication purchases. To learn about eligibility guidelines for these funds, visit the Benefits Checkup website by clicking here.

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Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities

The Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities is an investigative, referral and advocacy service for people with disabilities. They can provide help for those who are discriminated against because of a disability, and for those disabled individuals who experience abuse and neglect. To visit their website click here.

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Protective Services for the Elderly

The Connecticut Department of Social Services has a program to help people age 60 and older who are the victims of abuse, neglect and exploitation. An abused victim's needs are assessed, and resultant services are provided. For detailed information on this program, visit the Protective Services website by clicking here .

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Property Tax Relief

Connecticut allows for property tax relief for homeowners age 65 and older and for totally disabled homeowners of any age. Additionally, some towns have established their own property tax relief program to augment the State's program. For income and eligibility guidelines for property tax relief and for application information, contact the municipal assessor at the town hall where the applicant resides.

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Real Estate and Mortgage Options for Seniors

When seniors begin planning for their future housing needs, there are many things to consider. It is wise for seniors to educate themselves regarding all the options that are available to them. A good place to start is the MortgageLoan website. They have a guide that will help you understand your options regarding owning a home, down sizing, paying a mortgage, taking out a reverse mortgage, and selling property. To visit their housing and mortgage guide for seniors, click here.

If you are considering a reverse mortgage, visit our section on Reverse Mortgages.

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Rehabilitation Services

The Bureau of Rehabilitation Services provides opportunities for people with disabilities to attain a life of independent living. The three main services the Bureau provides are: The Vocational Rehabilitation Program, Disability Determination Services and the Independent Living Program. For detailed information on these programs, visit their website by clicking here.

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Rent and Utility Bills Refunds

Connecticut allows for a "Partial state refund of rent and utility bills paid by certain renters aged 65 and older or renters under the age of 65 with permanent total disability." Income guidelines for this program and application information may be obtained by contacting the municipal assessor at the town hall where the applicant resides.

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Reverse Mortgages

A reverse mortgage allows senior citizens to draw upon the equity in their home to help with the expenses of later life. Reverse mortgages can be useful; however, they are not for everyone. Because a reverse mortgage is often the solution of last resort, a common concern is how to time the mortgage so that the funds last as long as the senior will benefit. When considering a reverse mortgage, be certain to thoroughly understand its structure and the fees involved before committing to its use.

For detailed information on reverse mortgages, visit the following websites.

To visit the HUD reverse mortgage webpage, click here.

To visit the Federal Trade Commission reverse mortgage webpage, click here.

The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) has established a reverse annuity mortgage program for the elderly with limited incomes and long-term care needs. To learn about this program, visit their website by clicking here.

For help making a decision about a reverse mortgage, it may be wise to speak with an attorney who specializes in this area.

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Senior Centers

Senior centers can be an excellent resource for older adults. It is a place to socialize and establish a sense of community with fellow seniors. Many centers host group-travel opportunities in addition to various activities. Senior centers may provide information and education on maintaining one's health and independence. To locate CT senior centers, visit Connecticut's Aging Services' website by clicking here.

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Should an Elder Stop Driving?

Giving up driving is often a difficult process for the elderly. Caring.com provides information to help evaluate the driving ability of an elder and to help manage the decision to stop driving. To visit their web site click here.

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Social Security

The Social Security Administration's website is an excellent tool to help address Social Security issues. Future Social Security recipients who have not yet started receiving retirement benefits and who would like to review their monthly benefits options can use the online calculator to estimate future retirement benefits. Additionally, a screening tool determines which Social Security programs an applicant may be eligible for. First-time applicants may complete the application process online. To reach the Social Security website click here.

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Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

This is a federally funded program that provides income for the basics of food, clothing and shelter. An applicant must be age 65 or older and have limited income and resources. Adults under age 65 who are certified as blind or disabled may also qualify for SSI. To learn more about SSI's eligibility requirements, benefits and how to apply, visit Social Security's Supplemental Security Income webpage by clicking here.

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Transportation

Rely on the following services to find transportation: local senior centers; municipal agents on aging; and local area agencies on aging.

To locate senior centers, visit Connecticut's Aging Services' website by clicking here.

To locate municipal agents on aging, contact the local town hall.

To find area agencies on aging, click here.

The American Cancer Society has a "Road to Recovery" program which provides free transportation for a cancer patient's visit to a doctor or treatment facility. A request for transportation must be made 72 hours before the appointment. For more information, call the American Cancer Society at 800-227-2345.

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