If you're trying to find information about various aspects of planning for the elderly, we have some good Web sites to start you off. Something to keep in mind, particularly if you're trying to locate information on eldercare and particular ailments of the aging, is that national organizations don't always offer the best resources. Local chapters can offer more and better information for their own communities. According to Jana Hazelbaker, a planner in Naples, Florida, with extensive experience in the eldercare arena, many times "the main organization sucks too many resources away from local chapters. They split off and then they have odd names because they disassociate" from the national group. "If you know of a specific problem, then do a local search," she suggests, and points out that the Alzheimer's Association in Naples, Florida, is no longer affiliated with the national organization; neither is the one in Palm Beach. The Breathing Association in Columbus, Ohio, for instance, is no longer part of the American Lung Association.
www.aoa.gov The government Agency on Aging offers an eldercare locator by Zip code, as well as other useful information.
www.medicare.gov The national Medicare site offers information on everything from prescription drug assistance to contact phone numbers, and regional care locators to Medigap comparisons.
www.cms.gov Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, formerly known as the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). This site offers information on everything from coverage and eligibility requirements to laws, waivers, acronyms, and contacts.
www.socialsecurity.gov The government's Social Security Web site offers information and online benefit applications, as well as lots of information on hearings, appeals, and the ability to check a client's Social Security status online.
www.elderlawanswers.com Attorney and planner H. Clyde Farrell of Austin, Texas, is associated with this site, which offers extensive information on such issues as disability, nursing homes, estate planning, and long-term care insurance.
www.elderweb.com An exhaustive site devoted to long-term care and eldercare information owned and updated by CPA Karen Stevenson Brown of Normal, Illinois.
www.ec-online.net ElderCare Online is devoted to "people caring for aging loved ones" and offers resources and contacts with professionals in the eldercare field.
www.eldercare.gov Made available by the U.S. Agency on Aging, this site offers information on local resources for seniors, as well as links to other Web resources.
www.caremanager.org Run by the National Association of Geriatric Care Managers, this site offers links and resources all over the country for professionals and for caregivers.
www.healthinaging.org This site, run by the AGS Foundation for Health in Aging (FHA), a national non-profit organization established by The American Geriatrics Society, offers education, advocacy, and other resources on elder issues.