Department of Human Services | New Jersey Awarded Federal Grant to Expand Services to Seniors and Adults with Disabilities
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Trenton – The Department of Human Services today announced that New Jersey’s service delivery system known as the Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) has been awarded $118,000 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funding will standardize ‘options counseling’ to ensure that consumers get the guidance they need in for selecting appropriate programs or services.
 
 
“This grant validates and supplements New Jersey’s growing ADRC program,” said Lowell Arye, a Deputy Commissioner at DHS overseeing the Division of Aging Services (DoAS). “Staff will be better tooled to help individuals and their families gain access to the right services at the right time in the right setting.”

The ADRC is a joint initiative between the Department of Human Services and the county Area Agencies on Aging - in partnership with other state and local governmental and nonprofit agencies. This past May, the ADRC became operational in each of the state’s 21 counties, which created a ready-resource for aging residents and individuals with disabilities to seek information or referrals and inquire about services, such as personal care, home delivered meals and prescription assistance.

The federal funding will be used to instruct counselors in the ADRCs who help individuals and their caregivers identify and access long term services and supports. Staff will undergo training that meets national performance standards to achieve certification requirements.

“There are a lot of services and support options available for individuals who require extra care to sustain independence at home or in order to be discharged from a hospital or a nursing home,” said Kathleen Mason, Director of DoAS. “It is with the direction of well-trained counselors that individuals in crisis get the support they need, when they need it.”
 

The ADRCs provide consumers with immediate access to community programs such as meals-on-wheels, housekeeping, specialized transportation, assisted living and nursing home care. It also connects seniors and adults with disabilities with work and volunteer opportunities, insurance program options, financial services, health promotion and disease prevention programs, housing, crisis intervention, and other home and community-based programs.

“In furtherance of the work of county social service agencies, which determine income eligibility and process government-funded program applications, ADRCs provide outreach and educational activities that advise seniors, people with disabilities and their caregivers – regardless of their income level - about the array of long term services and supports available that may delay or eliminate the need for institutional care,” said Nancy Day, Deputy Director of DoAS. “Staff conducts an intake survey that identifies individuals’ needs and directs them to the most appropriate services or interventions help to them maintain their home-based independence.”

For more information, go to the state ADRC website – www.adrcnj.org – which has thousands of national, state and local resources, and other consumer-friendly tools including Google translation and mapping features.  The site is Section 508 compliant for improved access to individuals with vision impairments.

 
 
 
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