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Northeast Ohio Launches the Aging and Disability Resource Network

The Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging (WRAAA) has formally launched the Aging and Disability Resource Network (ADRN) in its five county service area of Medina, Lake, Geauga, Lorain and Cuyahoga counties. This Network is composed of a group of offices on aging and non-profit organizations with professional staff who can guide older adults, caregivers and persons with disabilities to services that support independence.

"The ADRN is the starting point for answers to questions about available community services and supports that can help when the independence of an older adult or person with a disability is challenged" says Ronald Hill, CEO of the WRAAA. "Ohio's long-term care network is complex and fragmented. Figuring out how to obtain long-term services and supports can be confusing and difficult to navigate. The ADRN provides a new system that offers Northeast Ohio residents a single, consistent, reliable way to access an array of services by making one phone call."

Northeast Ohio's ADRN is coordinated by the WRAAA. The Agency developed a collaborative system among 16 local organizations that are all now functioning as one single system in an effort to provide information, seamless referral and assistance. The ADRN also provides Benefits Assistance service and Options Counseling. The Benefits Assistance service connects individuals to a Benefits Specialist who will screen for eligibility to receive public benefits and help guide them through the application process. Options Counseling is a service that allows older adults, persons with disabilities and caregivers the opportunity to talk with an Options Counselor about community services and supports to fit their needs and preferences; and guide them through what can be a difficult and complicated decision-making process.

Accessing the ADRN is easy. There is a local toll-free number that connects people to professionals who will help identify available public benefits and community- based services. These professionals are trained to present an array of options, creating choices individuals may not have known existed and then following up to ensure the individual secured the supports they needed. ADRN staff recognizes that everyone's situation is unique and requires personal attention to make certain that all of their needs are met. Anyone, regardless of age, income level or care giving role can contact the ADRN by calling 1.855.585.ADRN (2376).

This FAQ was a story in Volume 28, Issue 1 of "The Alert" - a newsletter for seniors published by Legal Aid.   Click here to read the full issue.

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