It was so fun to see new faces and old friends today at our meeting. 39 people signed in and I think a few forgot to sign in (or slipped in quietly after the meeting started and didn't sign it).
We enjoyed two interesting and educational speakers. Our very loyal member, Kelley Poppelreiter (misses very few meetings) and her supervisor, Beth Noah, Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), both from the Tarrant County Area Agency on Aging/Aging & Disability Resources Center gave us an overview of the services provided by ADRC. The Aging & Disability Resources Center's mission is to be the single point of entry for older people and disabled people (and their carers) who have questions about services/benefits available across Tarrant County.
When asked about the difference between 2-1-1 and ADRC, Beth explained that both 2-1-1 and ADRC provide information and referral services that involve an assessment, referral, advocacy and follow-up. Although 2-1-1 Specialists can spend 20 minutes or longer with callers helping them identify appropriate resources and advocating on their behalf, 2-1-1 and ADRC developed a referral protocol. Households with older adults or disabled that have multiple complex needs are directly connected to ADRC staff for help in coordinating services.
Beth discussed "Benefits Counseling" available at both the ADRC and at Area Agency on Aging, depending on the type of counseling needed.
The ADRC is not an "agency" but rather is a coalition with representatives from other agencies who meet every other month to build relationships and understand various resources available within Tarrant County. Texas has 22 ADRCs, and ours is one of the 22.
Kelley, ADRC's Housing Navigator, explained that she keeps several lists of affordable housing availability in Arlington and any older resident of Tarrant County needing to find affordable housing can call Kelley to get her recommendations. Some of the housing options on her lists are Senior Housing, All Bills Paid, Affordable/Low Rent apartments and Room and Board Homes.
Kelley also provides information about the "Fair Housing" and she can provide advice about how to get help/mediation if a consumer feels that a landlord has discriminated against a prospective tenant.
Bathroom "grab bars," wheelchair ramps, and other minor "accessibility" improvements are provided at no charge to qualified Tarrant County residents (per Kelley, it's not necessary to be low-income to receive this benefit).
More information can be obtained by calling Aging & Disability Resource Center at (888) 730-2372) or by clicking on this link to the ADRC website http://tarrantcountyadrc.org
Announcements made at the meeting, after the speakers were finished, included:
Elva Roy is the Lead Ambassador of the all-volunteer group "Ambassadors For Aging Well" which meets in Arlington, Texas.