Living in New Jersey gives us access to a wide array of services for seniors, many of which are not available in other states. The trick is to know how to find them.
This Senior Moments provides some online sites where you can get help on a large number of topics.
A good place to start in finding out what is available is on the state web site, state.nj.us. There is a ton of information there, but there is a good search engine in the upper right to guide your search. If you are focused only on issues regarding people in their 60’s and older, go directly to the Division of Aging Services: state.nj.us/humanservices/doas/home. This gives access to links which provide information, forms, and further access (phone numbers, links …) in any number of issues.
For example the section labeled Staying Healthy connects you to information on the state and local programs which promote health and disease prevention, wellness in various specific topics, Medicare and volunteer opportunities. Under Medicare there are links to the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), which offers free, confidential and objective advice in Medicare, and to how a person can get assistance in paying for Medicare.
The information goes on and on. You can easily spend hours following the links to more and more detailed information. And there are telephone numbers to call to speak to a person.
While on the subject of Medicare, another resource is Medicare.gov. The site provides a wealth of information on Medicare, including what’s covered and what is not, access to a list of physicians and other providers who take Medicare and a password-protected MyMedicare.gov section which allows you to track your personal Medicare information. You can also look at what Medicare health and prescription drug plan options are in your area. There is even information on non-Medicare topics, such as long term care.
New Jersey counties and municipalities offer a variety of services to local residents. The easiest way to find them is to Google the county you are interested in and a keyword such as “seniors” or “senior services.” This will lead to either the relevant part of the county or municipal web site or a special web site for local senior services.
Finally there is information on a wide variety of topics in the archive section for Senior Moments on our diocesan web site. Go to dioceseofnewark.org and type “Senior Moments” in the search engine on the upper right. Our section of the diocesan web site (dioceseofnewark.org/seniors) also provides resources. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are many more places to find information. This article is only a start. Google, Bing and other search engines can help you find general and specific information, but be sure you understand the source of whatever information you get. For example, Medicare.gov is the official US government site for Medicare, Medicare.com is a site designed to sell health insurance.
Senior Moments is a regular column by Senior Ministries of the Diocese of Newark.