Getting Started

Finding Eldercare Services

If you are anxious about starting this process, you are not alone! Here are a few pointers to keep in mind as you begin to navigate the eldercare system:

Using the Internet

The Internet has greatly expanded the information available about eldercare resources. In fact, there is so much information on the Web that it can actually be difficult to locate the precise information you want.

This Handbook provides Web site addresses (URLs) for reliable and up-to-date Web sites. However, like any address, URLs can change. If you find that a URL does not work, type the name of the organization into your search engine (Google, Yahoo!, etc.) to find the correct Web address.

The Eldercare Locator

The Eldercare Locator is the "front door" to finding resources for eldercare services and caregiver support in any U.S. community. It is a free national service of the U.S. Administration on Aging and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

For information and referral to community-based services, visit the Web site or contact Eldercare Locator counselors at 800-677-1116 toll free* (weekdays, 9:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M., ET). Calls are answered by trained professionals, including Spanish-speaking specialists, and some questions are answered via a special line with 150 languages. TDD/TTY access is also available.

On the phone or online, be prepared to answer the following questions:

  1. Are you seeking services for: Yourself? An elder? A client? (Choose one.)
  2. Do you want to search for information by city, county, or Zip Code? (Choose one.)
  3. What "aging" topic would you like to research? A menu will give you a list. "General Information & Assistance" is a good place to start, unless one of the topics is exactly what you want.

*Note: You will probably need to dial 1 before most of the phone numbers that are listed in this Handbook, including toll-free phone numbers that begin with 800 or 877.

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