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Carol Bradley Bursack, Published January 11 2009

Information for seniors is plentiful

Dear Readers: North Dakota wants to get the word out that it’s now much easier for seniors and caregivers to access concrete help and support. One important step has been the expansion and enhancement of the North Dakota Department of Human Services Aging Services Division, which is considered your single point of entry if you are a North Dakota resident.

Their service is called the Aging and Disability Resource LINK, to reflect the additional resources and supports added to the state’s database.

Of special interest to this readership is that there is easier access to information on nursing facilities, filing complaints about facilities, occupational therapy, older adult disability-related supportive housing and older adults/aging issues. However, there are many other options you can scroll through, plus an alphabetic index to nudge you along. Prescription drug assistance will interest many elders and their caregivers. Geriatric assessments and a range of in-home services also made the list.

You can narrow your search by using your zip code or county. The Web site address is www.carechoice.nd.gov and the phone number is (800) 451-8693. You can also e-mail carechoice@nd.gov.

For Minnesota, the broadest reach is still the Senior LinkAge line at (800) 333-2433. However, the Minnesota Board on Aging has some very good Web sites. One is www.mnagingproviders.org/mem orycare. Also, most of our Minnesota readers will find Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging at www.dancing skyaaa.org or (218) 739-4617 very helpful.

For North Dakota readers, another option is Fargo Senior Services. This is a site where you will find Meals on Wheels, outreach services, recreation and some health services. Their transportation options have improved dramatically, so if you haven’t checked for awhile, I’d suggest that you give them a call at (701) 293-1440 or (877) 827-1916, or go to the Web site at www.fargoseniorservices.org.

Another good source of information is the National Council on Aging at www.ncoa.org. They have sites on healthy aging, staying independent, volunteerism and benefits for seniors. Your Medicare site of choice should be www.Medicare.gov. Here is where you will find help with drug plans, eligibility, billing and more. Many of these sites, and an abundance of others, are under the Links and Agencies button on www.mindingourelders.com. Finding the services we need has always been a challenge, but it is getting easier. Certainly, these sites are a step in the right direction. Genealogy: A Connecticut genealogist has had his book, “Google Your Family Tree,” published by FamilyLink.com. The 352-page book helps people use the search engine to find their roots. If you are interested, go to www.GoogleYourFamily Tree.com.

Bursack is the author of “Minding Our Elders,” a support book on family elder care, and maintains a Web site at www.mindingourelders.com. To view past columns, go to www.inforum.com and click on columnists. Readers can reach Bursack at cbursack@forumcomm.com or write her at The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107