Where to get help
There are many community resources ready to help you. Some services are free. Some cost money. If you need lots of assistance or specific, independent recommendations, expect to pay a modest fee. To get started, browse the website, and then call (or contact by e-mail) for more specific information.
Web and Phone-Based Helplines
Helplines are a fast and easy way for distance caregivers to find support and services. They provide LOCAL information on everything from housing options and home health aides to legal and tax help. Some recommend appropriate services. Others provide crisis counseling and problem solving.
Distance caregivers who need information about the Washington, D.C. region should browse our on-line Service Directory for the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. This database is maintained by CFAD's community partner, the Rose Benté Lee Senior HelpLine of the Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington, D.C.
If you need more help, Call 301-255-4200 (M-F from 9-5 EST). HelpLine staff are certified Information and Referral consultants. For more complex problems, JCA offers fee-for-service consultations at $125.an hour.
For resources outside of the Washington, D.C. area, browse our growing network of phone, web, or email assistance providers in other US locations.
We also have a sample of caregiving links in other states and countries.
Local governments offer reliable information on community-based resources in their area. Some are Area Agencies on Aging, or Human Resource departments affiliated with the "211 Human Resource Network." Usually, these agencies list only public services, not the many private for-profit resources.
If you can't find the community service you need through our network, try the ElderCare Locator.
You can also call the Eldercare Locator number (1-800-677-1116). Or check your telephone book under headings for "Aging," "Human Services Organizations" or "Senior" in the "Community Services" section of the White or Blue Pages.
Employee Assistance Programs: Civilian and Military
Individualized information and personal consultation can provide both general information and referrals to specialized services. Your employer or union, or military services' family assistance programs may offer such support. Ask them for information.
The National Resource Directory (NRD) is an online tool for wounded, ill and injured Service Members, Veterans, their families, and those who support them. It provides access services and resources at the national, state and local levels that support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration. The VA Caregiver Support program (Hotline:1-855-260-3274) is a welcome addition for needed help.
Health Insurance Programs
Every state (plus Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia) offers state health insurance counseling programs, often called SHIPS. They can supply useful, impartial information on Medicare, Medigap supplemental plans, and the Part D drug benefit. Our Glossary can help you sort out the relevant terms and acronyms.
For more insurance information from the Federal Medicare web site, check out Compare Health Plan Options.
Medicare and Related Services
The Federal Government's comprehensive Medicare web site includes multiple search tools for comparing insurance plans, medical facilities and health-care services.
To learn more about the wide range of professional help you seek, you will find that Association-based directories are a helpful resource. They will help you locate and identify various specialists. For example, Geriatric Care Managers, Nursing Services and Financial Planners have call centers to help you identify local providers. See our Links to find eldercare lawyers, financial planners, home-care workers, nurses, money managers, or physicians.
To learn more about a particular facility you may be investigating, be it housing or medical, also refer to our Links where we provide directories of such information as accessible housing, adult day centers, hospice or nursing homes.