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Finding Post-Disaster Resources for Seniors

The call has gone out across the country to help the millions of people currently displaced by recent disasters. As with many natural disasters, finding stability and starting the rebuilding process will take months, or even years.

For seniors displaced and affected by the disaster, finding people who can help with their particular needs – understanding how to use Medicare when displaced, applying for benefits programs, or even how to apply for long-term nutrition support – can make the process slightly less stressful.

Here are a few organizations and resources working in the affected areas that have extensive experience working with seniors:

BenefitsCheckUp® and NCOA Benefits Enrollment Centers

There are many benefit programs that expand or become available to people affected by declared natural disasters. You can find out about those programs online at NCOA’s BenefitsCheckUp®. These programs can help with shelter, nutrition, tax relief, and energy assistance, among others.

In addition, NCOA partners with several Benefits Enrollment Centers in the community, which can answer question and assist with benefit enrollment in person. These are our partners in the hurricane affected areas:

Area Agency on Aging of Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast, Inc.
4400 N Congress Ave.
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
561.684.6885
ElderSource
10688 Old St. Augustine Road
Jacksonville, FL 32257
904.391.6600
1.888.242.4464
Chinese Community Center
9800 Town Park
Houston, TX 77036
713.271.6100
Atlanta Community Food Bank
732 Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
404.892.9822

Eldercare Locator

This Eldercare Locator connects you to services for older adults and their families. Use this tool to find resources in the community that provide information and assistance on topics from legal services to aging services. Out-of-town loved ones can use this resource to help connect displaced family members with local assistance.

LGBT Seniors

The nonprofit elder LGBT organization SAGE has affiliates and partners available to help locate LGBT supportive services. These are their partners in the hurricane-affected areas:

SAGE Miami
Jewish Community Services of South Florida
735 NE 125th Street
North Miami, FL 33161
305.403.4409
SAGE Atlanta
The Phillip Rush Center
1530 Dekalb Ave, Suite A
Atlanta, GA 30307
404.688.2524
The Montrose Center
401 Branard Street
Houston, Texas 77006
713.529.3211
The Pride Center at Equity Park
2040 North Dixie Highway
Wilton Manors, FL 33305
954.463.9005

Hurricane Services for Seniors Hotline

The nonprofits LeadingAge and National Church Residences have set up a hotline for seniors and their families in hurricane-impacted regions to help coordinate housing and services. Calls to to the toll-free hotline at 844.259.4747 are answered from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday.

Seniors and People with Disabilities

The nonprofit Portlight Strategies works to connect people with disabilities affected by disasters with services and resources. Call 800.626.4959 for medical and disability assistance and other emergency needs.

Medicare Questions

If you live in an area that’s been declared an emergency or disaster, the usual rules for your medical care may change for a short time. Your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) can answer your questions about Medicare and help determine how to get replacement documents you may need. You can find their number online by entering your zip code. Additionally, you can find answers to some of the most-asked questions following a disaster on Medicare.gov.

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About Brandy Bauer

Brandy Bauer is Communications Manager for Economic Security at NCOA, where she educates both aging network professionals and consumers about Medicare and opportunities to improve seniors’ economic outlook, including through public benefits, community service employment, financial education, and using their home equity wisely.

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