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Regions Receive $150,000 for Options Counseling; Grants will help Georgians compare and choose long-term support options

Regions Receive $150,000 for Options Counseling; Grants will help Georgians compare and choose long-term support options

December 26, 2012

ATLANTA - The Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services awarded grants totaling $150,000 to three of Georgia’s 12 Aging and Disability Resource Connections (ADRCs). The funding will enable ADRCs in Northwest, Southern, and Middle Georgia to provide options counseling that helps families make informed decisions about long-term services and supports.

These hospitals and community organizations will soon partner with ADRCs through the expansion grants: Mercy Senior Care of Rome, Mayo Clinic Health System of Waycross and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon.    

“Programs such as Options Counseling being provided by Georgia’s ADRCs make a difference every day in the lives of older adults, persons with disabilities and their families. The programs simplify their journey through the decision making process concerning complex issues related to health, safety, and remaining independent in their communities,” said Dr. James Bulot, Director of the Division of Aging Services.

Consumers collaborate with options counselors to take the lead in planning for their own care needs. Options counseling includes 1) a personal interview to discover each individual’s strengths, values, and preferences; 2) resource exploration and service-option comparisons; 3) action plan development; and 4) follow-up to ensure that supports and decisions are working for the individual.

The process is designed for people of all income levels but is targeted toward persons with immediate concerns, such as those at high risk for institutionalization. In the past year alone, options counselors statewide have visited over 1,987 individuals residing in nursing homes to provide options counseling.

All 12 of the ADRCs across Georgia offer options counseling to individuals in the community, as well as to those in nursing homes or hospitals who wish to explore other options related to long-term care. For more information about ADRC programs, visit www.aging.dhs.georgia.gov   or call 866-55AGING (866-552-4464).