With men and women reaching age 65 now averaging a life expectancy of an additional 19.2 years, more families will be caring for elderly loved ones who increasingly want to remain living independently and in the safety of their own homes. MichiganHomeCareGuide.com, created and managed by the Area Agency on Aging 1-B (AAA 1-B), a local non-profit serving seniors and adults with disabilities, is designed to help seniors and family caregivers in Southeast Michigan find quality in-home care.
The Southfield-based AAA 1-B developed MichiganHomeCareGuide.com as a free, unbiased community resource designed to guide seniors and families who are looking for home care. Initial funding for the project was provided by the Jewish Fund.
"There are lots of choices out there when it comes to home care," said Tina Abbate Marzolf, CEO of the AAA 1-B. "It can be overwhelming. People often don't know where to start. We wanted to create something that families, especially families who might be in crisis, could use to make informed decisions."
Seniors and family caregivers can search the site's online listings of area home care providers to find a company that is right for them. Users can narrow listings based on their specific needs and also get firsthand insight into a company's performance by reading reviews entered by other people who have used their services. In addition to company listings, the site offers an extensive library of informative articles on aging and caregiving.
MichiganHomeCareGuide.com was inspired by a family caregiver whose mother suffered from dementia. While caring for his mother, he struggled to find quality home care and the resources and information he needed. He was discouraged by the fact that he could go online and find reviews about restaurants, hotels or appliances but could not find anything similar to guide him when searching for something much more important—a quality home care agency for his vulnerable mother.
The site was developed with the input and assistance of a group of 12 seniors and disabled adults who themselves receive in-home care. They wanted to share their experiences and insights and create a site that would work for people like them. They met one to two times a month for over a year and helped develop the rating and review criteria, the look and feel of the site and the content. They also spent many hours making sure that the site would be easy to use and intuitive for older adults and people with disabilities.
MichiganHomeCareGuide.com is complemented by a Facebook page (Facebook.com/MichiganHomeCareGuide) that provides a forum for caregivers and family members to exchange ideas, share experiences and discuss issues of mutual concern.
For more information, visit MichiganHomeCareGuide.com sponsored by the Area Agency on Aging 1-B. To contact or learn more about AAA 1-B, call 800-852-7795 or visit www.aaa1b.com.
About the Area Agency on Aging 1-B
The Area Agency on Aging 1-B is a nonprofit agency responsible for services to more than 620,000 persons age 60 and older residing in Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties. Through the provision of home care and community-based services, older adults are provided with options that can help maintain their health and independence in their homes and communities.The national Older Americans Act created a network of local Area Agencies on Aging across the United States to provide supportive services that enable older adults to live with independence and dignity in a setting of their choice. The AAA 1-B, established in 1974, is a part of the national Area Agency on Aging network