The Older Americans Act (OAA) is a federal act that provides money to the states for services for the elderly. In most states, these programs provide services under different names, but in North Dakota, they are simply referred to as Older Americans Act Services. The intention of this program is to help elderly persons continue to reside at home even though they require assistance to do so. The end result being a reduction in nursing home placements, and therefore, cost savings to the state in Medicaid spending. Services provided under ND’s Older Americans Act are non-medical in nature and are provided free of charge. However, those who are able to contribute to the cost of services are encouraged to do so, though this is not a requirement.
Applicants must be at least 60 years of age and legal residents of North Dakota. However, there is no length of residency requirement. Therefore, persons moving into the state can immediately become eligible for services. There is no income or asset limits. However, one’s income or assets may play a role in determining priority for services.
The majority of services provided under the Older Americans Act are non-medical and supportive in nature. One should not expect this program to provide for all of an elderly individual’s in-home support needs. Meal services are provided both in congregate (group) settings and home delivered. Assistance is provided to help elderly persons shop for essentials, such as groceries and medications. Transportation assistance is offered, especially for medical appointments. Perhaps the most valued of services is companion care, in which volunteers come to the beneficiaries’ homes and provide social interaction, assist with minor household errands, and offer light personal care. Caregiver support services, health care screenings, health education, and legal assistance are also available services via the Older Americans Act Services.
Interested parties should contact the Aging and Disability Resource Center at 855-462-5465 or visit their website.