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Information Services

Elder Affairs Information and Resource Unit (I&R)

The Older Americans Act requires that all older persons and their caregivers have reasonable convenient, direct access to free or very low cost information and referral services that are available to help them identify, understand and effectively use the programs that comprise the human service delivery system. It is the role of the Information & Resources specialists to help people understand their problem and make informed decisions about possible solutions. They may advocate on behalf of those who need special support and reinforce the individuals capacity for self-reliance and self-determination through education, affirmation, collaborative planning and problem solving. I&R Specialists are able to assist elders and families  with getting the information they need, whether looking for health insurance counseling, caregiver services, service complaints, or finding a nursing facility or rest home.

If you have any questions please call the Executive Office of Elder Affairs at (617) 727-7750, (800) AGE-INFO (or 800-243-4636) or TTY/TTD (800) 872-0166.

Options Counseling Program

When an older person, or an adult of any age with a disability, faces the need for supportive services to help with basic activities such as personal care, transportation, nutrition or medication management, locating and evaluating options for care can be an overwhelming task for the individual or their family member or caretaker. The process can be made more manageable with the support of knowledgeable, caring counselor who provides unbiased information about the range of community and institutional services and how to access them, and who supports the individual during the decision-making process by helping to determine a plan and the steps to achieve it.  This may be accomplished in a single session or over several sessions.

This free short-term planning service is available to seniors age 60 and above, and persons with a disability, age 14 and over, of any income. The service can be provided at home, at an agency or at a health care facility, including a hospital, rehabilitation center or a nursing facility. Currently, the service is available in 3 regions of the state including: Northeast Massachusetts and Merrimack Valley, Greater North Shore, and the Metrowest area. Beginning in September of 2010 this program will be available statewide.