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Frequently Asked Questions 


Available Programs/Services

Caregiver Support

In-Home Services

Senior Nutrition

Elder Protection

Employment Opportunities

Making a Referral/Requesting Help

Notice of Privacy Practices




Available Programs/Services

What kind of help is available?

Elder Services provides a variety of programs and services to assist seniors, their families, and other members of the community. Our goal is to help elders maintain their well-being and independence and to assist caregivers seeking information and support.

How do I know if I am eligible for any of your programs?

Different programs have different age, income, and need eligibility guidelines.  Our Information and Referral Specialists or individual program managers can help you to determine if you may be eligible for a specific service.  Some programs, such as Home Care, will have a care manager visit you in your home to conduct an assessment of your needs and eligibility. 

Is there a cost for services? 

Most of our programs are offered without cost or may only ask for a voluntary donation.  Our Home Care program does require a co-payment based on a sliding fee scale according to your income. 

I live with my family.  Can I still get help? 

Living with a family member does not prevent you from receiving our services as long as you meet the program’s eligibility guidelines.  Family members may also qualify for assistance through our Family Caregiver Support Program.

 [Click her for more information on Available Programs and Services]

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Caregiver Support

Who qualifies as a caregiver?

A caregiver is someone who provides on-going physical, emotional or financial support to another person who is unable to provide these things for themselves.  Spouses, significant others, children, parents or grandparents may all be considered caregivers. 

What types of support can Elder Services provide to a caregiver?

Our Family Caregiver Support Program can help you evaluate the needs of your situation and direct you to the appropriate resources.  A Family Care Specialist will meet with you and your loved one in your home to conduct an assessment and assist you in developing a caregiving plan.  Services may include information and education on caregiving issues, support groups, or respite care. 

What is respite care?

Respite care is any service that provides temporary relief from tasks associated with caregiving.  Examples of respite care are in-home services, adult day health or possibly a short term nursing home stay. 

[Click here for more information on the Family Caregiver Support Program]

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In-Home Services

What are In-Home Services?

      In-home services are any type of supportive service that helps an elder to maintain their well-being and independence in the community.  The goal is to provide the assistance that is needed to allow someone to remain in their home as long as possible.  Available services include grocery shopping, personal care, medication management, home delivered meals, money management, and personal emergency response systems. 

How do I know if I am eligible to receive services?

      Services are generally available to seniors aged sixty and older who have an identifiable critical need.   Some programs have income guidelines as well.   Our Information and Referral Specialists or individual program managers can help you to determine if you may be eligible for a specific service.

How can I find out more about the in-home services that are available?

      Our website explains each program in detail.  Click on to Programs/Services and then the individual program that is of interest to you.  Or, call our Information and Referral Department and speak with an Information Specialist who can tell you more about Elder Services’ programs and send you printed information about our services. 

[Click Here for more information on In-Home Services]

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Senior Nutrition 

I am no longer able to prepare healthy meals for myself.  What can I do?

The Senior Nutrition Program at Elder Services has two options to help you with your nutritional needs.  Senior Dining Centers throughout the Cape and Islands offer a hot noon-time meal for individuals sixty and older.  You only need to contact the Center a day ahead to make a reservation.  If you are unable to go to a Center, a ready to microwave meal can be delivered to your home.  Meals on Wheels are delivered five days per week.  Frozen meals are available for the weekend.  Both Dining Center meals and home-delivered meals provide one-third of the recommended daily nutritional requirements.

 How much will these meals cost?

There is no charge for the meals.  A voluntary contribution of $2.00 per meal to help offset the cost of the meal is greatly appreciated, but no one is ever turned away from receiving a meal if they are unable to contribute. 

Do I get to chose what I want to eat?

Due to the volume of the meals that are prepared on a daily basis we are unable to accommodate individual requests other than dietetic deserts.  Menus are prepared to appeal to as wide a variety of tastes as is possible and no meal is repeated more than once a month. Some examples of entrees are Teriyaki Chicken, Fish Florentine, and Meatloaf with mushroom gravy.  All meals  include vegetables, bread/roll, a desert, and 1% milk.   

[Click here for more information about the Senior Nutrition Program]

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Elder Protection

 I’m worried that my neighbor is being abused.  How can Elder Services help her?

Anyone can make a confidential report of suspected physical or emotional abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, or self-neglect of an individual aged sixty or older, [certain professionals are mandated reporters].  A Protective Services caseworker will investigate the report and if it is found that the elder has been harmed, then steps will be taken to prevent further mistreatment. 

What sort of help can you give to the person who has been abused?

Each Protective situation is unique, but the emphasis is always on finding the least intrusive solution. Some types of assistance may include in-home services, help with financial management, finding alternative housing, and supportive counseling.  Serious situations may require the intervention of the police or the court system.  It is important to remember that competent adults have the right to self-determination and may choose to refuse Protective’s help.  

If I make a report and it is determined that the elder has not been harmed, will I face any penalties? 

No.  As long as the report was made in good faith, there can be no repercussions for the reporter.  In addition, you name is always kept confidential. 

What if the person being harmed is living in a nursing or rest home? 

The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program provides advocacy for residents of nursing and rest homes and monitors the facility’s condition.  If you are concerned that a resident is not receiving the care that they need, contact the Ombudsman Program and they will assess the situation and intervene with the appropriate staff person until the situation is resolved.  If the concern involves a question of serious abuse or neglect by facility staff, the Department of Public Health will be notified and they will conduct an investigation – possibly imposing fines and/or sanctions if harm is substantiated.

[Click here for more information on the Ombudsman Program]

[Click here for more information on Protective Services]

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Employment Opportunities 

What sort of employment opportunities are available at Elder Services? 

Periodically, openings are available in all of the departments. Positions include Home Care care mangers, Protective Services case workers, Nutrition site managers, office support and others.

[Click Here to view Current Opportunities]

Is there any help for the older adult seeking job opportunities?

Our Mature Workers Program provides paid skills training and on-the-job experience for income-eligible adults aged fifty-five and older to enable them to gain the skills that they need to compete in the marketplace.

[Click here for more information on the Mature Workers Program]

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Making a Referral/Requesting Help

 How do I make a referral for one of your programs?

Our Information and Referral Department takes referrals for our Home Care Program [in-home services], Meals on Wheels, Protective Services, the Family Caregiver Support Program, Money Management Program, and Long Term Care Screening.  An I & R Specialist will need to complete an Intake in order to begin the process of implementing services, so be prepared to give as much pertinent information as possible.

Call 1-800-244-4630

To make a Protective report after business hours

Call 1-800-922-2275

Other agency programs will take referrals and answer your questions directly.  These programs include Money Management, Mature Workers Program, Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, Senior Corps and the Volunteer Resource Center.  Our reception staff will direct your call to the appropriate program manager.

Call 1-800-244-4630

What other services are available for elders and their families?

While Elder Services provides many types of assistance to elder, their families and others in the community, we realize that we can not do it all.  Our I & R Specialists are knowledgeable about additional community resources and will direct you to the appropriate type of assistance and will answer you questions about what is available in your town or area.

 [Click her for more information about I & R and Programs/Services]

 Notice of Privacy Practices

 [Click her for our Notice of Privacy Practices]


What sort of volunteer opportunities are available at Elder Services?

           There are multiple ways that you can give of your time and talents to help our consumers.  Opportunities include driving for Meals on Wheels or working at one of our Senior Dining Centers, assisting with Money Management, advocating for residents in nursing or rest homes, and providing office support.  In addition our Senior Service Corp places volunteers aged fifty-five and older with other Cape and Island organizations which address a serious community need. 

How do I become a volunteer?

      Contact our Volunteer Resource Center or the Senior Corps by calling 800-244-4630. A program manager will meet with you to discuss your particular interests and help you make a match with a program.  You will need to complete an application and provide information for the completion of a criminal background check [Massachusetts law requires this check of all employees and volunteers who will be working with seniors].  Once that process is completed, the program manager will be notified so you can begin your orientation and training for your new volunteer position. 

What else do I need to know about volunteering?

      Potential volunteers are sometimes concerned about the time commitment.  Different programs have different requirements.  In your initial interview, ask about the average time per week/month that would be expected.  Let the program manager know if you usually go out of town for a period of time.  Generally, volunteers spend a couple of hours each week on their assignment.  Many volunteers want to contribute more!

[Click Here for more information on Volunteering]  

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