ADRC has known about the Commission on Aging since it was created fifteen years ago to help create an elder-friendly community in Orange County. Although it’s not a provider of direct service, the Commission does act as a link between the Orange County government, its Mayor, local citizens and the local agencies who provide senior services.
Think information! In this capacity, the Commission on Aging has some tremendous education resources that are available to anyone living in Central Florida. Here are some of my favorites!
This is a fantastic summary of the elder services network! What I like most about this informational directory is the descriptions that accompany the list of more than 50 nonprofit and government programs available to elders and caregivers living in Central Florida. Phone numbers and websites are also provided.
It’s a great starting point to learn about the subsidized services offered by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, the legal resources, active agency programs and much more. The major national nonprofits and federal programs are also included.
Because it was created by a government agency, it does not list the for-profit network such as home companion agencies or assisted living facilities – but, it does show you how to learn whether an agency is licensed in the state of Florida.
Best of all, it’s even available in Spanish – See Spanish version.
To help spread the word about community resources, Elder Ambassador volunteers are available to give presentations to your faith community, civic group or homeowner’s association. Elder Ambassadors can even host a booth at your next health fair.
Before heading out into the community, Elder Ambassadors complete a core training program, which includes experts in the aging field to educate them about the network. This also includes learning about the various services and opportunities offered by local nonprofits and government agencies. As representatives of Orange County’s Commission on Aging, Elder Ambassadors cannot specifically recommend for-profit businesses or services.
This short, easy-to-read e-newsletter is a great way to stay abreast of what’s happening for elders in Central Florida. It lists new programs and events in Central Florida, state and national news and also provides links to many news articles that have published aging-related articles in the past month.
Another great resource is the free seminars the Commission on Aging coordinates in three locations each month. Staff really listens to past attendees and selects topics that are relevant to them. Past topics have included cyber safety tips, fear of forgetting, meditation for caregivers, hearing loss and more. RSVPs are encouraged and can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 407-836-7446.
- West Oaks Library – 2nd Tuesdays, 10:30-11:20 am – 1821 E. Silver Star Rd. Ocoee, FL
- Renaissance Senior Center – 2nd Wednesdays, 1:00-1:50 pm – 3800 S. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando
- Downtown Orlando Library – 3rd Thursdays, 12:10-1 pm – 101 E. Central Blvd., 3rd Fl. Albertson Rm., Orlando
It’s sobering to know that in the last ten years, the number of fraud complaints compiled by the Consumer Sentinel Network has risen 255% nationwide. More sobering is Central Florida is one of our nation’s hotbeds for fraud. Fraud occurs when someone uses deceit, trickery or betrayal to steal your money, property or belongings. It is a particular concern to elders, who are often retired and cannot easily return to work to build their bank accounts.
The Fraud Prevention Resource Guide can help you learn how to protect yourself from scams, fraud and deceptive practices – before they happen. It also contains valuable information on which local, state and national organizations can help you if you suspect fraud has occurred. It even includes helpful tips for staying safe online and when using your computer, as well as a reminder about the real problem of financial exploitation.
Information Courtesy of Mimi Reggentin, Program Manager at the Orange County Office on Aging. More information about the Commission on Aging can be found on their website – www.ocfl.net/seniors or you can call their office at 407.254.9277.