Finding the Right Senior Resource Information for You

Posted on

Mar 04, 2016

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Find the Right Seniors Resources for You.
Getting connected to the right information at the right time can be challenging when a major life event happens.

Many people do not know where to begin. Some ask family members, a friend, or clergy. Others find it hard to admit they need help. Some people do not use computers. There are additional challenges. Each person has unique needs. Every community is different. Information must be tailored to each person and community.
Where to begin? 2-1-1 and Elder Helpline services offer free, confidential community resource information and referral. Calls are answered by trained specialists that know what types of non-emergency local help is available and can access comprehensive resource databases.
What is 2-1-1? It is a 3-digit local number that connects callers to information about social services that people of all ages may need in the county they live. For example, food, housing, affordable child or parent care, or short-term help for paying bills. 2-1-1 specialists offer information and referral to services a caller may not normally be aware of. Callers are responsible for making their own contacts with potential service providers. 2-1-1 services in SWFL are available 24 hours, daily to assist with non-emergency needs. Some 2-1-1 calls cannot be reached by mobile, pay or hotel phone lines. In this event, dial the alternate number provided.
Lee County 2-1-1: Call 2-1-1 or (239) 433-3900. For Hendry and Glades County, call (800) 887-9234. United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties.

Collier County 2-1-1: Call 2-1-1 or (239) 263-4211. The provider is United Way of Collier County.

How is Elder Helpline different? It provides information and referral about community resources for people age 60 and above and adults with disabilities. Certified specialists can direct callers to public and private community resources of their choice that are most capable of meeting their needs.

Call (866) 413-5337 for Elder Helpline Services of the Area Agency of SWFL.
Call (800) 963-5337 to access the Statewide Florida Elder Helpline.

Editors Note: Dale Adler, MA, MSW is a gerontologist, program developer and consultant. She can be reached at or (239) 466-7812.

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