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Information and referral (I&R) provides callers with answers to a large variety of questions about elder issues. I&R staff assess a callerís needs, and then with a large data base at their fingertips, help elder connect with the appropriate programs and services, and other agencies to meet their specific needs. The data base includes phone numbers, addresses, descriptions of programs, eligible requirements, fees and referral procedures.
I&R receives referrals from elders, relatives, and organizations in the community for specific services offered by Elder Services. I&R asks questions to determine to need of the caller and identifies the appropriate program or service. After the information is gathered, I&R routes the referral to the appropriate program within the agency.
If an elder needed assistance with cleaning, laundry and personal care, a referral would be made to our In Home Services program.
Should and elder need help with managing their finances, a referral would be made to our Money Management program.
If an elder is in need of transportation to medical appointments, a referral would be made to our Volunteer Department.
If an elder is having difficulty understanding their Medicare/Medicaid, a referral would be made to our SHINE program.
If an elder is no longer able to live alone, a referral would be made to our Adult Family Care program.
If an elder is being abused or financially exploited, a referral would be made to our Protective Programs Department.
If an elder is unable to prepare meals for her/himself, a referral would be made to our Home Delivered Meals program.
Thus, I&R provides both a comprehensive information bank on resources for seniors in Berkshire County, and an effective link to programs and services that can make a difference.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I need some help at home preparing my meals. Can I get some assistance?
A: I&R staff can explain the in-home services that may be available to you, such as homemaking, meals on wheels, personal care assistance, laundry and many other services.
Q: What day care options are available for seniors in Berkshire County?
A: I&R can provide you with telephone numbers, eligibility guidelines, and contact people for all the day care programs in the county.
Q: I am living on a fixed income and I need affordable housing. Can you help?
A: There are many housing options available including subsidized senior housing, Adult Family Care, assisted living and others. Call us and we will tell you whatís available.
Q: My landlord wants to evict me from apartment. What can I do?
A: I&R can refer you to legal services for help with eviction notices or any other legal problems.
Q: Iíve heard about the Health Care Proxy but donít know where to get more information about it. Can you help?
A: Our I&R experts have the Health Care Proxy forms as well as many other useful forms for elders. Just give us a call and weíll gladly send them out to you. Call Elder Services at (413) 499-0524.
Q: I live alone and Iím starting to fall a lot. Iím afraid of falling and thereís no one here to help me. What can I do?
A: Our I&R team can provide you with the names and phone numbers of Lifeline companies that service Berkshire County. Also, they can provide you with information on the Fall Prevention program.
Q: Are there any activity programs available for Seniors in Berkshire County?
A: I&R has information available on many Senior Centers throughout Berkshire County that have a wide variety of activities.