Meyer: Network of Care website provides straight facts

Dec. 14 2013
http://www.coloradoan.com/

LARIMER, CO. - Dec. 14 2013 In this age of overwhelming information coming from all directions, it’s nice to know where to go to get quick, straightforward facts.

Thanks to the Larimer County Office on Aging, Adult Resources for Care and Help, or ARCH, there is a good resource available. In Larimer County, the Network of Care website is a perfect place for seniors, people with disabilities, caregivers, families and service providers to research a variety of pertinent topics.

Network of Care was created with a California Department of Aging innovation grant specifically for the Aging and Disability Resource Centers, or ADRC. In Colorado, those resource centers are listed as ARCH. For individuals 18 years or older who have a disability, and individuals 60 years or older, ARCH helps explore options for staying as independent as possible. ARCH offers accurate, unbiased information on services, programs and resources that serve older adults, veterans and adults with disabilities. These services are available via telephone, email, a home visit, or by appointment at the ARCH office, whichever is more convenient to the individual seeking help. ARCH staff may be reached at (970) 498-7750 or ARCH@larimer.org.

Because the mission of ARCH is to be a resource of information and connect people to resources, it became apparent that information should also be available online since more and more people want to do their own research and problem solving. That was the thought behind the creation of the Network of Care website.

The website, www.LCOA.networkorcare.org, is a searchable, interactive site that houses a library of information on the expanse of topics that are of interest to seniors, adults with disabilities and their caregivers.

For example, it includes articles on medications, what they look like, possible side effects and how they should be used. Key health articles are available along with information on medical tests and what they can reveal. Also provided are articles on fall prevention, abuse prevention and updated explanations about Medicare. In addition, users can find ways to get connected to national groups, discover tips on choosing skilled nursing care, assisted living communities, or home health care.

Caregiver information is readily available. Updates on current legislation and contacts to legislative representatives are both easy to find.

A really nice feature is the Community Announcements section where you can find what is going on in the community.

Any organization with an event, class or other type of gathering can email the announcements or fliers to ARCH@Larimer.org and that information will then be posted on the site.

The Special Needs registry describes who should use it, how it can be of help and how to get registered. You can also set up a password-protected personal health record, or PHR, to organize and store important medical and health care-related information. These PHRs can be for yourself, your family members or any one for whom you provide care.

It’s a great way to gather all of the pertinent information and store it in one place.

Contact Lynda Meyer with the Office on Aging at (970) 498-7750.