Older Americans Month is time to learn

Older Americans Month is time to learn Today's older Americans are living longer, more vital lives than ever before, but many also are facing difficult challenges.

The South Dakota Department of Social Services' Adult Services and Aging Program works with a network of organizations and service providers to make support available to older adults. Gov. Mike Rounds has proclaimed May as Older Americans Month � a time to find out more about programs and services in your community for older South Dakotans.

"Older South Dakotans face a complicated array of choices and decisions about a variety of issues such as health care, housing, financial management, nutrition and long-term care," said Adult Services and Aging (ASA) Administrator Gail Ferris. "Older adults and their caregivers often need help to know what services are available and whether they qualify."

ASA promotes in-home and community-based services to assist older adults so they can stay in their own homes for as long as possible. Through various programs, Ferris said ASA provides or purchases services for disabled adults and older persons who are determined to be eligible for the programs.

ASA staff at local offices provides assistance in identifying appropriate services and assistance for older adults, Ferris said. Services provided through ASA include: homemaker services, nursing services, personal care, respite care, case management, caregiver services, adult day care, medication assistance, senior meals, transportation, information and referral, and adult protective services.

This year's observance of Older American's month, "What We Do Makes a Difference," recognizes the important contributions of older adults and the network of services that support them.

For more information about services provided by the Adult Services and Aging Program, contact your local Department of Social Services office or ASA's toll-free number at 1-866-854-5465. You can also find out more information online at ASA's Web site: www.state.s

d.us/social/asa.

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