FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 3, 2009

CONTACT: Wayne Avery, 908-527-4742
Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419

 

Union County Division on Aging Ready to Help Seniors with Benefits Information

 

Many Union County adults age 60 and older may not know they are eligible for home heating assistance; reduced pharmaceutical costs; Food Stamps; and many other county, state and federal government programs. The Union County Department of Human Services, Division on Aging, wants to change that by reaching as many seniors as possible with information about all government services and programs.

In addition, the Division on Aging currently offers free legal assistance to seniors who do not have a basic Will, Power of Attorney or an Advanced Medical Directive.

“In today’s economy, people are finding it harder to pay their bills, buy food, and pay for their medicine”, said Alexander Mirabella, Chairman of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. “We suspect that many Union County seniors simply do not know that there are government programs in existence that may help them, and we are determined to convey this important information to our seniors and their caregivers”.

The Union County Department of Human Services, Division on Aging’s Outreach Team is a group of professionals that do a 30-minute presentation to educate senior citizens and/or their caregivers about federal, state and county programs and services available to them. Topics covered include Pharmaceutical Assistance/Lifeline; Senior Gold; Low Income Home Energy Assistance; the Universal Service Fund; and, changes to Medicare and the Medicare Part D prescription drug program; Caregiver Services, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) screening; transportation; legal services; nutrition; and all programs and services administered through the Division on Aging.

The Division on Aging currently has an attorney on staff that will help seniors complete documents such as Power of Attorney, Advanced Medical Directives, and simple wills if they do not have them. This legal service offers low-income seniors the opportunity to save money on the preparation of these important personal documents.

The Division on Aging regularly visits Union County’s senior centers, senior housing, clubs, churches, and synagogues, and publishes a schedule of events, through the County Office of Public Information, in local newspapers to maximize participation by local seniors at these events.

Clubs may schedule a private presentation specifically for their club members. The presentations allow time for questions and answers from the audience, and the Division on Aging’s “Resource Directories for Older Adults” is distributed to those in attendance. The resource directory is available in both English and Spanish, and the Division has bi-lingual staff.

For more information on the Division on Aging’s outreach services, or to schedule a presentation for your group, call Donna Farrell at 908.527.4858 or via e-mail at dfarrell@ucnj.org. For complete details about Union County government services and programs, visit www.ucnj.org.