SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) — The Area Agency on Aging 1-B, a Southfield-based nonprofit serving seniors and adults with disabilities, has launched a new website, MichiganHomeCareGuide.com, to help families deal with the increasingly critical issue of in-home care for older adults.
Officials at the agency say men and women reaching age 65 today have an additional life expectancy of 19.2 more years — and everyone involved would love them to live as long as possible independently, in the safety and privacy of their own homes.
Officials with AAA 1-B say they developed MichiganHomeCareGuide.com as a free, unbiased community resource designed to guide seniors and families who are looking for home care. Initial funding for the project was provided by the Jewish Fund.
“There are lots of choices out there when it comes to home care,” said Tina Abbate Marzolf, CEO of the AAA 1-B. “It can be overwhelming. People often don’t know where to start. We wanted to create something that families, especially families who might be in crisis, could use to make informed decisions.”
Seniors and family caregivers can search the site’s online listings of area home care providers to find a company that is right for them. Users can narrow listings based on their specific needs and also get firsthand insight into a company’s performance by reading reviews entered by other people who have used their services. In addition to company listings, the site offers an extensive library of informative articles on aging and caregiving.
AAA 1-B is a private nonprofit that receives funding through the Older Americans Act to provide information and access to services for older adults, persons with disabilities and family caregivers residing in the six county region of Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair and Washtenaw.
MichiganHomeCareGuide.com was inspired by a family caregiver whose mother suffered from dementia. While caring for his mother, he struggled to find quality home care and the resources and information he needed. He was discouraged by the fact that he could go online and find reviews about restaurants, hotels or appliances but could not find anything similar to guide him when searching for something much more important — a quality home care agency for his vulnerable mother.
The site was developed with the input and assistance of a group of 12 seniors and disabled adults who themselves receive in-home care. They wanted to share their experiences and insights and create a site that would work for people like them. They met one to two times a month for over a year and helped develop the rating and review criteria, the look and feel of the site and the content. They also spent many hours making sure that the site would be easy to use and intuitive for older adults and people with disabilities.
MichiganHomeCareGuide.com is complemented by a Facebook page (Facebook.com/MichiganHomeCareGuide) that provides a forum for caregivers and family members to exchange ideas, share experiences and discuss issues of mutual concern.
For more information, visit MichiganHomeCareGuide.com sponsored by the Area Agency on Aging 1-B. To contact or learn more about AAA 1-B, call 800-852-7795 or visit http://www.aaa1b.com.