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Seniors: Where do you go for important information?

The mission of the Douglas County Public Health Senior office is to serve as the leading source of information, advocacy and program development and coordination for the seniors of Douglas County.

We provide information and referral services to all seniors in the county. We have information on advance directives, frauds and scams, safe driving tips for older adults, and how to avoid investment scams and frauds.

We provide a 13-page senior resource guide to anyone who either calls in or stops by. This guide has all available services to seniors in Douglas County, along with a description of the services and phone numbers available.

We can make referrals on your behalf if you wish. We also have a senior housing guide available to help seniors who are either thinking about a move or ready to move into a smaller setting with or without services.

We have excellent resources on senior legal rights and probate and planning. We have senior companions who can help you get to medical appointments, go shopping and run errands for you, help you read or go through your mail, help you with correspondence or give your caregiver some much needed respite.

We have classes in the spring and fall on such topics as long term care partnership, advance directives, Medicare, senior nutrition and other issues of importance to seniors.

We provide senior housing tours twice a year as well. On these tours we have the opportunity to visit many of the group housing facilities in the area.

This gives seniors the opportunity to make some decisions before the need arises.

We are active in the Let's Go Fishing with Seniors program as well as the local TRIAD committee. Douglas County TRIAD will be sponsoring another Live Life to the Fullest day for seniors on June 30. Watch for details in upcoming newspapers.

We also have a caregiver support group that meets monthly at First Lutheran Church on the second Tuesday of the month from 2 to 4 p.m.

We are also involved in a program sponsored by the Minnesota Board on Aging/Department of Human Services called Live Well at Home.

This program targets high-risk older adults and their families who are near eligibility, but not yet eligible for Medical Assistance programs.

The goal is to provide these individuals with cost effective risk management strategies to help them avoid or delay spend down to Medical Assistance.

The program will help these people and their families connect to self-directed service options in the community. Live Well At Home works with older adults who want to develop a plan to remain in their own homes longer. As a part of this program, people will be able to use some evidence-based programs such as Matter of Balance and Caregiver Coaching.

We have a fulltime on-site health insurance counselor to help with all your insurance questions. She is an expert on Medicare Parts A, B, C and D. She will help with Medical Assistance, health insurance benefit plans, understanding bills from health care providers and also reimbursements from health care providers. She will assist you with insurance information and claims resolution.

Call Mary at (320) 762-3047 or Deb at (320) 762-2974 if we can be of any assistance to you or your family members.