For low to moderate income Sugarloafers residing in the western mountain region of Maine, the Western Maine Community Action agency in East Wilton is the first call to make to seek assistance. WMCA offers a number of programs and services that include: nutrition, health, home ownership, heating and energy assistance, education and training, employment and volunteerism. Visit the WMCA website, call toll free at 1-800-645-9636 or drop in to see them at 20A Church St. in East Wilton.
The United Methodist Economic Ministry in Salem, a longtime area partner with Sugarloaf Area Christian Ministry in Carrabassett Valley, offers a food cupboard, a clothing thrift shop and a furniture refinishing shop. Emergency fuel assistance is also available for area residents facing economic challenges. Call UMEM at 207-678-2611 for further information.
Where can Carrabassett Valley residents get fuel assistance? A heating and energy assistance program known as Low Income Heating and Emergency Assistance Program (LIHEAP) runs from October 1 through April 30 each year to assist low to moderate-income residents who qualify, pay for kerosene, oil, propane, wood, electricity or coal to heat their homes. The service is available through Western Maine Community Action. Call WMCA at 1-800-645-9636.
Churches in Franklin County, including the Sugarloaf Area Christian Ministry, contribute and pool resources to help provide emergency fuel assistance to families in need in Franklin County, in addition to the LIHEAP. (One 50 gallon delivery of heating fuel per season to needy households) The Franklin County Ecumenical Heating Fund is an outreach ministry of the Farmington Area Ecumenical Ministry (FAEM). During the 2011-2012 heating season, 206 deliveries were made to residents of Franklin County. FAEM also maintains a Warming Center during the winter months and supports the Care and Share Food Closet in Farmington. For more information contact Rev. Susan Crane, the FAEM coordinator, at 207-778-2163, by mail at Henderson Memorial Baptist Church, P.O. Box 147, Farmington, ME 04938 or email at email@example.com.
Maine’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps people over 60 or disabled and on a small income buy the food they need to help maintain good health. Eligibility if based on a number of factors. Applications are available at the DHHS Regional Offices (Farmington) and Area Agencies on Aging (1-877-ELDERS). For more detailed information browse the DHHS website; www.maine.gov/dhhs/oes. Many low income seniors and people with disabilities are eligible, and don’t know it. Click on to find out.
Primary care and on-call emergency services 24/7 are locally available to Carrabassett Valley area residents at Mt. Abram Regional Health Center, 25 Depot St. in Kingfield. Medical care is provided by Shannon Doughty, FNP-C. Call 207-265-4555 to schedule an appointment.
NorthStar Emergency Medical Services with a local base station in Carrabassett Valley provides 24/7 ambulance service and offers, with physician referral, a free outreach program known as the NorthStar EMS House Call Program. NorthStar EMS also offers Lifeline through Phillips Lifeline. Push the alert button on a bracelet or necklace to summons aid to your home. Click on the NorthStar Emergency Medical Services link to learn more about Lifeline services and related costs, or click on the House Call Program link for more information about that free community service.
To access information, support and services related to seniors and families in Western Maine, contact SeniorsPlus in Lewiston at 1-800-427-1241. SeniorsPlus is the point of contact to access services associated with the Area Agency on Aging, Elder Independence of Maine (EIM), Senior Independent Living Services, Veterans Independence Program (VIP) and to connect with the State of Maine D.H.H.S. Aging and Disability Resource Center.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Elder Care Services provides a link to the Aging and Disability Resource Center; a “one stop shop” to answer many questions that older adults or anyone with disabilities may have concerning in-home, community-based and institutional services and assistance. ADRC is designed to serve all older adults, people with disabilities and their caregivers who have long-term care community or program needs. Click on the DHHS link to Elder Care Services, then click on the Publications tab and scroll down to the ADRC link to start seeking answers to frequently asked questions or contact SeniorsPlus-Aging & Disability Resource Center in Lewiston at 1-800-427-1241 for more information.
Veterans seeking medical care and/or assistance with daily living or information on obtaining state and federal benefits earned and entitled to veterans and spouses as a result of service, are encouraged to call the Veterans Administration in Togus at 1-877-421-8263, the Bureau of Maine Veterans Services in Augusta at 207-430-6035 or the Veterans Administration Service Center at 1-800-827-1000. Due to funding limits, many of the programs are at capacity and have waiting lists. Click on the Bureau of Maine Veterans Services website to download of copy of the Veterans Resource Guide and Financial Aid forms.
Not certain what website to browse for information? The United Ways of Maine provide resource specialists available 24/7 through your home phone line or cell phone to answer health and human services questions or help you locate specific resources you may be seeking within your community. Simply dial 2-1-1 to get connected and get answers anytime. If you prefer to browse the website, click on the link www.211maine.org for more info. United Way of the Tri-Valley Area at 232 Broadway in Farmington serves the people of Franklin County. Click on their link www.uwtva.org or call 207-778-5048 for more information, available services, and volunteer opportunities.
The National Center on Elder Abuse, directed by the U.S. Administration on Aging is an excellent resource to help raise awareness of elder abuse in your community. Used by policy makers, social service and health care practitioners, the justice system, researchers, advocates and families.
Caregivers.com is a blog dedicated to supporting caregivers, family members and friends involved in elder care. They cover a range or age related topics including dealing with Alzheimer’s, evaluating assisted living options, medical treatment options, elder law and patient’s rights,geriatric resources, caregiver respite and support.