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Information and Health Resources
The first step toward getting help is often only a phone call away and may even be free! Helplines are generally answered by individuals who had some personal experience with the condition their organization focuses on, so they are sympathetic as well as informed. Many are volunteers who truly want to help others.
This toll-free number connects callers to a database of assistive and rehabilitation equipment such as powered wheelchairs and voice-activated products. Fees are charged for extensive searches, but an information specialist can answer simple requests and provide manufacturer referrals.
American Academy of Ophthalmology
American Association of Homes and Services
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
The nations largest nonprofit organization for men and women age 50 and older has more than 3,500 chapters and an extensive array of informational guides, educational programs, including "55 Alive," a refresher course for motorists, the grandparent information center, a directory of caregiver support groups in America. Members also get discounts on group insurance, travel and other services.
American Cancer Society
The hotline provides research and information about cancer for patients and their families in addition to local sources of related services and support.
American Chronic Pain Association (AACPA)
This self-help organization focuses on individuals suffering from pain that last six months or longer. To locate a local support group, call the national office listed above.
The American Dietetic Association
Call the free hotline to hear pre-recorded food and nutrition messages on topics that change each month. Registered dieticians are also available to answer individual questions about food and nutrition at a cost of $1.95 for the first minute and 95 cents for each additional minute. Call 1-900-225-5267, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays; Central time.
The American Parkinson Disease Association
Information about this progressive neurological disease and referrals to local support groups are available to callers nationwide.
American Pharmaceutical Association
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Call the toll-free number for information about arthritis, referrals to doctors and to find the location of the nearest educational meeting or exercise class. Brochures are available from a menu of choices.
Assisted Living Facilities Association of America
Assisted living is a combination of housing, support services and health care designed and coordinated to meet an individuals needs. For information and/or consumer checklist of services, contact the association at the address above.
Chief Postal Inspector
Children of Aging Parents (CAPS)
Focusing on care for the caregiver, this nonprofit, membership organization publishes a newsletter and other helpful material. Caregivers are put in touch with support groups in their area through a nationwide database.
Christmas in April* USA
A volunteer organization that, in partnership with communities, rehabilitates the houses of low-income homeowners, particularly the elderly and disabled. Call the number listed above for information about the application process and local programs.
Elderhostel combines education with informal, inexpensive lodging in a program designed exclusively for older adults. It consists of a network of colleges and universities, parks and museums, theaters and environmental centers offering courses throughout the US and internationally. The average age of participants is 71. About two-thirds are women. Write to the address above for a catalog of programs, or access their web site.
Family Service America (FSA)
An organization with agencies in 41 states, FSA supports public policy on behalf of families and operates an information hotline for questions on such related topics as eldercare and family economics.
The Federal Trade Commission
The FTC together with several other agencies has published a booklet titled "Who Cares," which contains telephone numbers in order to obtain accurate information on health care services and products. Everything from hearing aids to nursing homes and fraud schemes are covered. Telephone numbers for the 10 FTC regional offices are included in the booklet.
The Food and Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
This organization has a unique, new focus on the growing social phenomenon of grandparents raising children. Through public advocacy, it strives to be a catalyst for community programs that improve the quality of life for these and other inter-generational families.
The Lighthouse Inc.
A phone call to the information and resources center puts you in touch with a data bank of facts about eye disease, low vision and where to find vision services and products.
International Parish Nurse Resource Center
Medicare Rights Center
MRC, a non-profit public education and counseling organization, helps ensure that seniors and those with disabilities on Medicare have access to quality, affordable health care.
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)
Elder law is a growing specialty that focuses on the needs of aging and disabled adults. This is an association of these professionals. A list of elder law attorneys around the country may be obtained at a cost of $25.
National Alzheimers Association
Helpful answers are provided about this debilitating disease that afflicts more than 4 million Americans. Also referrals to chapter support groups where families can share solutions and offer solace.
National Association for Home Care (NAHC)
NAHC represents home care providers, including hospices aides and agencies that provide services. Two free consumer guides are available. To obtain "How To Choose a Home Care Provider" or "Information About Hospice," send a self-addressed stamped envelope to NAHC, Consumer Guide, PO Box 15241, Washington, DC 20003.
National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (GMC)
A geriatric care manager is a professional who specialized in assisting older people and their families with coordinating long-term care arrangements. A national directory of geriatric care managers may be obtained at a cost of $35.
National Cancer Institute
National Center for Vision and Aging
National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform
National Eye Institute
National Family Caregivers Association
The NFCA is a not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to improve the quaity of life of family caregivers (including those who care for children, ill spouses and aging parents) through education, support and validation. It publishes an informational newsletter, refers callers to service agencies in their areas and runs a greeting card program whereby caregivers recieve upbeat messages in the mail three times a year. Individual memberships are $20 annually. Call the number listed above to receive an information packet.
National Hospice Organization
Hospice refers to a special kind of care for people who are terminally ill. Its mission is to enable patients to spend their days with peace and dignity in the comfort of their own homes or in facilities with home-like settings. Care is aimed at pain relief, symptom control and respite for family caregivers, provided by a team of specially-trained doctors, nurses, counselors and volunteers. For general information or local referrals, call the number listed above.
National Institute on Aging Information Center
National Institute On Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
National Meals on Wheels Foundation
A national service delivering nutritionally-sound meals to the homes of those who are unable to get out to purchase groceries or prepare meals. Low cost or free.
National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF)
The NOF is a national resource for the latest information on this bone-weakening disease. A packet of information on osteoporosis prevention and treatment is available from the address listed above. To locate a local support group, call Liz Stone at 312-464-5110.
National Society to Prevent Blindness
Prevent Blindness America
Shepherds Centers of America
Inspired by religious values, this national network of interfaith centers offer respite and life enrichment programs, such as "handyhand," (linking retired craftspersons with older homeowners) and "adventures in learning" (classes taught by retirees).
Stroke Connection is an information and referral hotline to local support groups. Phone lines are answered by volunteers who have personal experience with stroke.
U.S. Administration on Aging
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Well Spouses Foundation
Focusing on the often-overlooked needs of spouses of the ill and disabled, this foundation sponsors local support meetings and round-robin, letter-writing groups. Members receive a bi-monthly newsletter.
If you think youve been misled or decieved by an advertisment for a health care product or a medical procedure, contact your state Attorney General, or the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, DC or at one of these 10 FTC regional offices:
1718 Peachtree Street, NW, Suite 1000
101 Merrimac Street, Suite 810
55 East Monroe Street, Suite 1860
668 Euclid Avenue, Suite 520-A
1999 Bryan Street, Suite 2150
1961 Stout Street, Suite 1523
11000 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 13209
150 William Stret, Suite 1300
901 Market Street, Suite 570
2806 Federal Building
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