Starting in May older adults can call a new information and assistance line at (707) 565-INFO (565-4636) for answers to questions about a host of aging issues and get referrals to helpful community and government services from Sonoma County Adult & Aging Division social workers. The free phone assistance is offered Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in English and Spanish. (Interpretation in other languages or communication accommodations can be arranged on request.)
“As we age, we need support to live well and safely,” says Sonoma County Human Services Adult and Aging Division Director Paul Dunaway. “Navigating for the future can be a complex task, and no one should have to figure out how to do that alone. Connecting our older adult residents with trained social workers can make it easier.”
Callers learn about local programs and benefits, such as Meals on Wheels, specialized medical support and other services that can help them have a better quality of life or get through an illness or injury more comfortably. For some residents, engaging recommended services can mean the difference between continuing to live safely in their own homes and having to move to a nursing or residential facility.
Talking with a social worker who understands issues faced by older adults can also uncover health or safety concerns and solutions that a caller hasn’t yet considered.
“A caller may ask us about finding a trained caregiver and during the conversation, other concerns come out,” says Dunaway. “Perhaps a parent is getting injured due to falling at home, or is showing signs of dementia or depression. We then help them find strength and balance classes, adult day care or specialized medical support.”
At the end of the first call, social workers offer to schedule follow-up phone conversation to discuss whether the referrals were useful and how to overcome any barriers to getting the help they need.
The 565-INFO line is funded by the Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging, which is part of the Sonoma County Human Services Department Adult and Aging Division. For more information about the program, visit sonomacounty.ca.gov/Human-Services/Adult-and-Aging/ or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Adult and Aging Division offers a variety of services and programs for older adults, people with disabilities, veterans, their families and caregivers. Learn more at sonomacounty.ca.gov/Human-Services/Adult-and-Aging or call (707) 565-5900.