Information about Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI):
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the federal government agency that administers Social Security retirement benefits, survivor benefits, disability benefits, and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, 1.800.772.1213 or www.ssa.gov.
Information about Medicare, Medicare supplement insurance, and long-term care insurance:
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is the federal government agency that administers the Medicare program, 1.800.MEDICARE or www.medicare.gov.
The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc., is a non-profit organization that provides information, legal representation, and advocacy for Medicare beneficiaries, 860.456.7790 or www.medicareadvocacy.org.
The Oregon Insurance Division's Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) office publishes information about Medicare supplement ("Medigap") insurance and long-term care insurance sold in Oregon, 503.947.7984 or 1.800.722.4134 or www.oregonshiba.org. SHIBA also trains a network of volunteers who meet with consumers and help them evaluate policies.
Information about veterans' benefits, pensions, and facilities:
The Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) administers federal veterans' benefits, programs, and facilities, 1.800.827.1000 or www.va.gov/.
The Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs (ODVA) administers state veterans' programs and facilities, 503.373.2085 or 1.800.692.9666 or www.odva.state.or.us.
Veterans' services officers who work at local aging and disability services offices help people determine whether they may be eligible for VA benefits and assist them in the application process.
Information about Medicaid assistance, food stamps, and community programs for elders and people with disabilities:
The Oregon Department of Human Services' office for Seniors and People with Physical Disabilities (SPD) is the state agency with the overall responsibility for administering these programs in Oregon, however SPD branches and local area agency on aging offices provide information and process applications, 503.945.5811 or 1.800.282.8096 or www.oregon.gov/DHS/spwpd/offices.shtml.
For Multnomah County, the local office is Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services, 503.988.3646 or multco.us/ads. There are branches located in EastCounty, Mid-County, North/Northeast, Southeast, and West areas.
For Clackamas County, the Oregon Department of Human Services' Seniors and People with Disabilities has field offices in Canby, 503.263.6700; in Estacada, 503.630.4605; in Milwaukie, 971.673.6600; and in Oregon City, 971.673.7600; or www.oregon.gov/DHS/spwpd/.
For Washington County, the Oregon Department of Human Services' Seniors and People with Disabilities has field offices in Hillsboro, 503.693.0999; in Tigard, 503.968.2312; and in Beaverton, 503.627.0362; or www.oregon.gov/DHS/spwpd/.
Information on finding a long-term care facility in Oregon:
The federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posts information from recent licensing surveys for nursing homes that are certified to receive Medicare or Medicaid payment on its web site, "Compare Nursing Homes in Your Area" at www.medicare.gov.
Oregon's Seniors and People with Physical Disabilities (SPD) office is the government agency that licenses most of the long-term care facilities in the state, 503.945.5811 or 1.800.282.8096 or www.oregon.gov/DHS/spwpd/ltc/main.shtml. The SPD web site includes descriptions of the different types of care facilities in Oregon and how to compare facilities.
Oregon Health Care Association (OHCA), a private non-profit organization that represents many of the nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and residential care facilities in Oregon, has information for consumers, including geographic lists of its member facilities, on its web site, www.ohca.com/resources/tools-resources/.
Oregon Alliance of Senior and Health Services (OASHS) is a private non-profit organization that represents non-profit nursing facilities, community-based care facilities, and retirement homes in Oregon. The "Consumer Page" section of the OASHS web site at www.oashs.org has descriptions of the community-based services that are available, as well as a geographic list of its members.
Resources for reporting suspected abuse or resolving a problem in a long-term care facility in Oregon:
Oregon's Seniors and People with Physical Disabilities (SPD) office is responsible for investigating complaints against most of the long-term care facilities in the state as well as protective service complaints in the community, 503.945.5811 or 1.800.282.8096 or www.oregon.gov/DHS/spwpd/ltc/main.shtml. Most of the complaints are received by and investigated by SPD branches or local area agencies on aging. Complaints can also be reported to local law enforcement authorities.
Oregon's Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO) investigates and resolves complaints on behalf of residents of long-term care facilities and advocates for improvements in care 503.378.6533 or 1.800.522.2602 or www.oregon.gov/LTCO/index.shtml.
Resources for Specific Illnesses or Conditions
The Alzheimer's Association provides information, referrals, education, and a national network of support groups for people with Alzheimer's Disease or related dementias and their caregivers, 1.800.272.3900 or www.alz.org/. The Oregon Chapter has offices in Portland, 503.416.0201, and Eugene, 541.345.8392 and can be reached at www.alz.org/oregon/.
The ALS Association promotes awareness and understanding of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease), 1.800.782.4747 or www.alsa.org/. The chapter serving Oregon and southwest Washington has local support group meetings and offers guidance about qualifying for disability benefits as well as sharing information about living with the disease, 503.238.5559 or 1.800.681.9851 or www.alsa-or.org/.
The Arthritis Foundation offers information about research and treatment options plus referrals for local arthritis specialists, exercise programs, and other resources, 1.800.568.4045 or www.arthritis.org.
The Brain Injury Association of Oregon provides information, resources, and support groups for Oregonians living with traumatic brain injuries, 503.413.7707 or 1.800.544.5243 or www.biaoregon.org/.
The American Cancer Society offers information about different types of cancer, treatment options, and coping, as well as links to local support programs, 1.800.ACS.2345 or www.cancer.org/. The Portland office coordinates programs and events in the metropolitan area, 503.295.6422.
The American Diabetes Association educates people about prevention, treatment, and nutrition, 1.888.DIABETES or www.diabetes.org/. The Portland office, 503.736.2770, and the Eugene office, 541.343.0735 have referral information for local physicians, education programs, and support groups.
The Oregon Hospice Association's primary goal is to educate health care professionals and consumers about end-of-life issues, including communication and care options, 503.228.2104 or www.oregonhospice.org.
The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) is a grassroots advocacy and support organization working to improve the lives of people with severe mental illness, 1.800.950.6264 or www.nami.org/. The Oregon affiliate is NAMI Oregon, 503.230.8009 or 1.800.343.6264 or www.nami.org/. Click on "Find Support," then "State and Local NAMIs," then on Oregon on the map of the U.S. to find the link to the Oregon web site.
The National Parkinson Foundation, Inc., provides information about research and treatment plus links to a national network of support groups, 305.243.6666 or 1.800.327.4545 or www.parkinson.org/. The local affiliate is Parkinson's Resources of Oregon, which offers classes, training, and referrals, 503.594.0901 or 1.800.426.6806 or www.parkinsonsresources.org.
The American Stroke Association provides information and educational materials about preventing strokes and about rehabilitation following a stroke. It is part of the American Heart Association, 1.888.4STROKE or www.americanheart.org/ then click on "American Stroke Association."
The National Stroke Association focuses on advocacy and information, including links to sources for equipment and supplies, 1.800.STROKES or www.stroke.org.
Additional Resources for Families and Caregivers
The National Family Caregivers Association educates, supports, and advocates for people who are caring for a loved one is elderly, chronically ill, or disabled, 301.942.6430 or 1.800.896.3650 or www.nfcacares.org.
Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) offers practical tips on how to evaluate and adapt the living environment and techniques for providing care at home, www.ohsu.edu/healthyaging/caregiving/.
Oregon State University's (OSU) extension service publishes a number of helpful pamphlets and offers training on family caregiving and aging issues, ranging hiring in-home care providers to handling loss and grief, extension.oregonstate.edu/fch , click on "Healthy Aging."
Senior Solutions of America, Inc., has a web site with useful information and checklists on a number of issues, including driving safety, www.aging-parents-and-elder-care.com.
Local legal aid programs provide free legal information and services to low-income Oregonians and Oregonians over the age of 60. Services depend on location, community legal needs, and availability of lawyers. Telephone numbers and locations are listed in local telephone directories or www.oregonlawhelp.org.
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) offers tips on choosing an elder law attorney as well as a searchable registry of its members by location, 703.942.5711 or www.naela.org/.
The Oregon State Bar offers free general legal information on topics such as wills, revocable living trusts, estate planning for parents of people with disabilities, probate, financial powers of attorney, and the Americans with Disabilities Act at www.osbar.org. Click on "Public Info," then "Legal Topic Index."
Disability Rights Oregon provides free legal assistance and advocacy on disability issues for people with physical or mental disabilities, 503.243.2081 or 1.800.452.1694 or www.disabilityrightsoregon.org.