Seniors and Caregivers in Charlotte, NC: Someone on the Line

By PAULA SPAN
On Friday afternoon, the federal Administration on Aging unveils its new, improved elder care locator. The major change: anyone who dials the toll-free number, (800) 677-1116, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time on weekdays should get an actual human on the line, ready to answer questions about government services and refer seniors and caregivers to local agencies that can help.
“My strong personal preference is that the best way to provide consumer assistance is in person — face to face, or on the phone,” said Kathy Greenlee, assistant secretary for aging at the federal Department of Health and Human Services. “Talking to someone about a situation, providing direction — there’s no substitute.”
The locator, intended as the first stop for those seeking services for older people in their counties, began as a phone service in 1991 and a decade later added a popular Web site, www.eldercare.gov. It had live operators until two years ago, when it switched to a recorded routing system.

Source: New York Times

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