Frequently Asked Questions

Where can my elderly relative get help to clean their house or apartment?

Homemaker Services may delay or prevent the need for care in an institution. This service makes it possible for older persons to live in their own homes or to return to their homes by providing assistance in completing tasks they are unable to manage alone. This program is not designed to replace the assistance provided by family and friends.

My sister cares for my elderly father; are there any services she can get?

In today's society it is very common for family members and friends to be involved in providing assistance with the day-to-day living for an older individual.  

In many cases this happens slowly over time, but it can also happen quickly when someone suddenly becomes ill and returns home from the hospital or nursing home.  This is when, you find yourself providing care and assistance you are not prepared or trained to provide.

While caregiving is often rewarding, it can also be financially, physically and emotionally stressful. People caring for an older relative or friend do not always recognize they need assistance or time to care for themselves. In appreciation of your valuable role as a caregiver, the South Dakota Caregiver Program is available to assist you.

Does the State of South Dakota offer services to help the elderly?

There are many services offered to help the elderly population in South Dakota; from adult foster care to respite care and senior meals. Learn more about the services offered through the Department of Social Services.

Where do I find services for my aging parents?

The Division of Adult Services and Aging has a variety of services for individuals who are unable to complete the essential activities of daily living. Learn more about eligibility and the services in your area or call 1-866-854-5465.

My aging grandparents would benefit from having help in their home. What is available?

An Adult Services and Aging Specialist will complete and assessment to determine if any of the following services would be appropriate:

I believe my relative in the nursing home is being abused. How do I report this?

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is mandated by the U.S. Administration on Aging to advocate for and protect the rights of residents of nursing and assisted living facilities. Adult Services and Aging Specialists serve as advocates for facility residents and investigate and work towards the resolution of their complaints.

The program also provides information and referral assistance, conducts educational activities to increase community awareness of elder rights and provides training to long-term care and residential care workers. All reports and inquiries are confidential.

How do I make a complaint about a nursing home or assisted living center?

Visit the Department of Health’s website.

I have been a victim of a crime. Is there help available?

The South Dakota Crime Victims' Compensation Program provides monetary assistance to victims of violent crimes. This program can pay victims of state, tribal, or federal crimes, a maximum of $15,000 for expenses incurred as a direct result of personal injury or death.

I’m age 47 and disabled and cannot afford my medications.  Is there any financial help for me?

Application Assistance helps people gain access to drug company assistance programs which supply prescription medications at low or no cost. In addition, a pharmacist may contact you to discuss your options.

Application Assistance does not:

  • Pay for medications.
  • Reimburse past medication expenses.

It is important to take medications exactly as prescribed. Not being able to afford needed medications can affect how you take them. Failure to follow your doctor's instructions can result in serious illness, hospitalization, nursing home placement or even death.

Are there services available to help me with my disabled adult child?

Respite Care provides temporary relief to the primary caregiver from the continuous support and care of an elderly or dependent adult. This relief helps prevent individual and family breakdown, institutionalization, or abuse by the primary caregiver as a result of stress from providing continuous support. Respite Care is not meant to replace other specialized services.

Do you have any nutritional programs that provide food for the elderly?

There are 21 nonprofit Senior Meals providers in South Dakota. These providers are either Title III-C or Title VI (Older Americans Act direct funding to the tribes). Nutrition programs are sponsored by either a nonprofit organization or a tribal or local government agency. Communities desiring a nutrition program may be a satellite of an existing organization.

Senior Meals are an affordable way to help maintain your health. The cost of only one day in the hospital is equivalent to the cost of eating at Senior Meals for one year.

What is the process in obtaining Guardianship of a loved one and who can become a Guardian?

Contact a local attorney to inquire about the legal requirements to establish a Guardian. South Dakota statute SDCL 29A-5-302 is the legal authority. A family member or friend may petition to become a person's Guardian.

Does Medicare pay for Home Health Services?

Under certain circumstances, the Skilled Medicare Home Health benefit may cover needed skilled services after an acute episode.

Contact the nearest Home Health Agency in your area to find out if you meet the criteria for the Skilled Medicare Home Health services.
Visit www.cms.hhs.gov to learn more.