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Choosing the right facility for one's Golden Years

Senior citizens how have a wide spectrum of living arrangements and care facilities to choose from in their Golden Years.

The Eldercare Locator is a nationwide service that connects older Americans and their caregivers with trustworthy local support resources. The Eldercare Locator links those who need assistance with state and local agencies on aging, as well as community-based organizations that serve older adults and their caregivers. Whether help is needed with services such as meals, home care or transportation, or a caregiver needs training and education or a well-deserved break from caregiving responsibilities, the Eldercare Locator is there to point that person in the right direction.

The Eldercare Locator is a public service of the Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the U.S. Administration for Community Living.

According to, a safe and comfortable place to live is a top priority at any age. Finding the right housing and home environment can be a concern for older adults. There are many questions to consider. Will it be affordable? Will it be accessible? What are the options? Is it best to live alone, in assisted living or with family?

No matter where you decide to call home, the Eldercare Locator can help you to understand housing choices and make informed decisions. To learn about housing options available in your community, contact your local Area Agency on Aging by entering your ZIP code or city and state in the search bar at the top of this page or speak with an information specialist at the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116.

The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) website provides a description of the various options one can choose depending on one’s needs

Assisted LivingAssisted living communities specialize in providing care and supervision. They frequently offer services like planned activities, housekeeping and laundry, transportation, meals, exercise and wellness programs. Assisted living communities sometimes offer limited medical assistance, but not skilled nursing.

Independent Living

Sometimes referred to as retirement communities, independent living communities offer older adults with limited care needs a simplified lifestyle. They often take the form of apartment complexes with amenities like fitness programs, housekeeping, communal meals and other services to enrich and simplify life for older adults looking to downsize.

Memory Care CommunitiesMemory care communities specialize in providing care to aging adults with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive issues. Staff members are trained to help with communication and to help residents manage dementia symptoms like sundown syndrome, wandering, or combativeness.

Continuing Care CommunitiesContinuing care communities usually consist of a campus-like setting (or an urban high-rise) offering a variety of housing options that support various stages of life. Spanning independent living, assisted living, or skilled nursing care, they enable residents to age in a single community without having to relocate as their needs evolve.

Nursing HomesNursing homes, also called skilled nursing facilities, provide care to those with illnesses or mental conditions requiring full-time monitoring and medical care. Most skilled nursing residents live in semi-private rooms, and meals are generally provided.

In-Home CareIn-home care is a service that provides caregivers who will come into the home to assist with activities of daily living, including light housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and grooming. Some provide additional services related to help with personal care for toileting and bathing. Caregivers can come as many times as you would like, but they generally do not provide medical care. Caregivers who provide these services are also referred to as personal care assistants.

Home Health AgenciesHome health agencies provide medical care in your home. Doctors prescribe home healthcare when someone needs help recovering from surgery, an accident, or a serious illness. Home healthcare is an option when your loved one is not ill enough to be in a hospital but is not yet well enough to be home alone. Home healthcare agencies are licensed by the state and must also adhere to federal regulations.

The Alzheimer’s Association offers a comprehensive listing of programs, services and housing options to help you make an informed choice about what type of community or service is right for you or your loved one. Begin your search with the organization’s Community Resource Finder tool. The U.S. Administration on Aging provides additional tools and resources at

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CCAAA hosts bus tours for seniors

Many seniors around the area don’t particularly travel very much. But through the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, seniors can take trips throughout the year to places they wouldn’t normally see.

CCAAA Programs Operating Specialist Alice Pollock said they do special bus tours through its Center Without Walls program, stating it is important for seniors to “see new things.”

About four to five times a year, Pollock said they take one to two buses full of people on a trip that they might not experience otherwise.

“We went to Shanksville and Quecreek and they loved that,” Pollock said of those on the trip.

People that sign up are usually a mixed bag when it comes to whether they regularly travel or not.

“We get people that have never traveled or left (the area),” Pollock said. “Then we get experienced travelers that want to go with us.”

Pollock said the trips can take place year-round and depend on certain events. For instance, Pollock said last year they went to a Christmas show in Lancaster and this year, they did an experience at Turkey Hill where seniors were able to make their own ice cream.

“We try to mix (the trips) throughout the year, depending on what is available,” Pollock said.

They also take suggestions from folks on where to go, while also making the experience educational.

“I look for (trips) that are accessible to seniors and that are interesting for seniors,” Pollock said. “When we set up a tour, we try and set up something that they may not see — maybe a play or a special event ... That’s what I look for. I look for something to stimulate, something to broaden their spectrum, something that’s a memory of a lifetime.”

Pollock said they typically advertise through various outlets after they decide on a trip and that the tours are open to all Clearfield County residents ages 55 and up. They are also announced at senior centers. As far trips in the immediate future, there are none scheduled at the moment. However, Pollock said they are currently looking at what their next trip would be.

“It’s a fun day for them,” Pollock said.