Orlando Senior Help Desk expands service area


Penny Goldstein D'Agostino offers a wealth of information to Orlando Senior Help Desk callers.

With the large and growing number of seniors living in Lake and Sumpter counties, where the sprawling The Villages development acts as a magnet for retirees, it was only natural that the Orlando Senior Help Desk began receiving more and more calls from those areas. As staff researched and networked to help callers find the answers they sought, it became clear that there is a large and unmet need in that region for the kind of in-depth and compassionate information and referral services that the Orlando Senior Help Desk provides. In response, the Help Desk has begun an effort to expand its capacity to serve seniors living in The Villages and its surrounds.

Earlier in the year, the Orlando Senior Help Desks began to promote its expanded service area through participation in community events. For example, in mid-March, the Help Desk's Penny D'Agostino was invited to represent the Help Desk at The Villages Fearless Caregiver Conference, a complimentary event for family caregivers to help find the support and advice needed as they care for their loved ones. The conference was sponsored by Caregiver.com.

At the conference, D'Agostino fielded questions pertaining to Medicare, finding low-cost prescription medications, and key criteria when choosing a long-term-care facility, among other issues. She was able to help a number of conference attendees find resources to assist them and their loved ones with ongoing difficulties related to aging.

"It is the mission of the Orlando Senior Help Desk to help as many seniors as possible live in dignity and get the resources they need to ease the struggles of aging," said D'Agostino. "For all of the years of its existence, we've received calls from people all over the country looking for help for their loved ones in Central Florida-in addition to all of the local callers. Now we're able to expand our reach to help many of our near neighbors in The Villages, with a seniors population of about 200,000."

The Orlando Senior Help Desk is a service of the Jewish Pavilion, which has been serving Orlando-area seniors since 2000 and has garnered a wealth of information on local service providers and facilities. Seniors of all faiths and their family members are welcome to call or email the Help Desk for free advice.

Since its founding six years ago, Orlando Senior Help Desk has given thousands of referrals and answered a wide range of questions pertaining to senior services, senior living options, home health services, elder law, hospice, adult day care, and more. For more information, go to OrlandoSeniorHelpDesk.org. To access this free service, call 407-678-9363 or email info@orlandoseniorhelpdesk.org.


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