Information and Referral

Traditionally, older individuals have sought advice from informal sources, such as family, friends, clergy and doctors.

Today, older individuals and their caregivers face complicated choices and decisions about their health care, pensions, insurance, housing, financial management and long-term care. Depending on individual circumstances and needs, the assistance and support consumers require can be as simple as factual information and materials or as involved as advocacy and intervention on behalf of the frail and vulnerable. 

If you are trying to identify services in South Dakota, Adult Services and Aging Specialists can help you locate them. These specialists are the adult protective service specialists, long-term care ombudsman, case managers and provide information and referral. Specialists are expected to know what resources are available in each community and are able to link individuals to appropriate services. 

National Information & Referral Network

On the national level, the Older Americans Act of 1965, calls for a range of programs offering services and opportunities for older Americans, especially those at risk of losing their independence. The Act established the Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which is headed by the Assistant Secretary for Aging.

AoA works to heighten awareness among other federal agencies, organizations, groups and the public about the valuable contributions older Americans make to the nation and alerts them to the needs of vulnerable, older people. Through information and referral and outreach efforts at the community level, AoA seeks to educate older people and their caregivers about the benefits and services available to help them.

AoA works closely with its nationwide network of regional offices and state and area agencies on aging to plan, coordinate and develop community-level systems of services that meet the unique needs of individual older persons and their caregivers. AoA collaborates with federal agencies, national organizations and representatives of business to ensure their programs and resources are targeted to the elderly and coordinated with those of the network on aging.