Where to Find the Best Senior Help in Your Community


By Bob Kohut

How about local search?  You know, enter “senior help in (your community name)” and see what you get.  After all, we do live in the Internet age so why use the telephone book?  The Internet is a good place to start but it may not be the best place to find the best senior help in your community.  Why not?

Senior care is now a multi-billion dollar industry and unfortunately there are some bad apples out there.  The Internet has locator sites where you enter some information and you’ll get a list of providers that meet the criteria you entered.  However, some of those sites are paid by the providers for inclusion, so you may not see everything that’s available.

Provider websites offer good information about the services offered and a comparison of their approaches against others, but you won’t find anything about senior abuse or other consumer complaints, even the ones who have been successfully resolved.

You can use the Internet as a place to learn about available options and what they offer.  The Internet is full of quality articles covering the advantages and disadvantages of retirement communities and assisted living centers and in-home senior care.  You can learn most of what you need to know but the issue of finding reputable providers remains.

Senior abuse and neglect in retirement and assisted living centers is becoming more of a concern as the industry expands.  One of the best places to go to find senior help you can trust is a local, not for profit, senior citizens center in your community.

These may be government sponsored or funded by non-profit groups but in either case they have no financial interest in promoting one service over another.  In addition, they offer free or low cost services on their own about which many local residents are completely unaware.  Transportation services, in-home and on-site medical care, legal and financial planning assistance, are all services offered at most local community senior citizens service centers.

In most cases, if local privately owned and operated senior help providers have had complaints filed against them, the local community senior citizen center will know about it.

Finally, the US Department of Health and Human Services maintains an Internet eldercare locator site where you can find senior citizen centers in your area by zip code or state, city, and county.  They also list the full range of senior help services you can expect to find at most of these centers.

The site is filled with resources of all sorts and may well be the only totally unbiased source on the Internet for information on all facets of senior help.

They have brief fact sheets online covering most senior help topics as well as more comprehensive booklets and brochures for downloading.  Finally, they have links to other sites for more specific caregiver resources as well as to national senior advocacy groups of many different types.

You can visit the site at: