Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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September 29, 2009

SD Department of Social Services receives grant to increase access to service information for seniors

DSS to create Aging and Disability Resource Center
in Sioux Falls

PIERRE, S.D. The SD Department of Social Services has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to increase access to information about services for the state’s elderly and adults with disabilities.

The initial $240,000 grant will be used to develop an Aging and Disability Resource Center in Sioux Falls, and a plan to implement additional resource centers across the state. The funding will be used to develop a single point of entry system for long-term care services, with web-based tools and other resources for people seeking information about available services.

“South Dakota is at a crossroads for developing a sustainable system of long-term care services to meet the needs of its citizens,” said Deb Bowman, Secretary of the Department of Social Services. “An Aging and Disability Resource Center will serve as a resource for South Dakotans looking for information on long-term care services, empower those individuals to make informed choices, and help them better plan for their future long-term care needs.”

In 2008 the Department of Social Services convened the Meeting the Continuum of Care Needs of the Elderly Task Force to develop a plan to implement recommendations from a study of the state’s long-term care system.  The plan included the recommendation to develop a single point of entry system through the Department of Social Services’ Division of Adult Services and Aging, which will allow all South Dakotans to access information about services in their communities, screening tools to determine service needs, and referrals to appropriate providers.

“By 2025, the number of adults aged 65 and older will make up one-fourth of the state’s population,” said Bowman. “It’s imperative that we create a system to give South Dakotans access to information about services, and this grant will help us build a foundation.”