Established in 1979, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging advocates for the needs of 2.9 million state residents over the age of 60. through 52 Area Agencies on Aging. By the year 2020, that population is expected to reach nearly 3.5 million. Most of the Department of Aging's funding - 78% - comes from the state lottery. Its annual budget is $800 million, and includes a wide variety of programs, far more than the home-delivered meals.
The APPRISE program received high marks from local seniors. APPRISE uses trained volunteers and staff to help answer questions about Medicare, Medicaid and other health insurance benefits.
Aside from a high tax bill, the problem that bothers Lehigh Valley seniors the most is transportation to and from doctor's offices. Though transit and para transit is free, those who use public transportation are often late for doctors' visits. They are forced to reschedule, and then have to wait for an hour or more for a ride home. "Receptionists are well-trained to say No," complained one senior. A Bangor woman told about four-hour trips from Bangor to Allentown, and a para transit driver who left her stranded.
Lehigh County Office of Aging - (610)-782-3034
Northampton County Area Agency on Aging - (800)-322-9269
Senior Abuse - (800)-490-8505
SeniorLaw Helpline - (877)-727-7529
Nursing Home Complaints - (800)-254-5164
Alzheimer's Helpline - (800)-272-3900
APPRISE - (800)-783-7067