The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area (AAACAP) Benefits Counseling Program provides HICAP/SHIP-certified Medicare Benefit Counselors to answer questions about Medicare health care coverage, issues and public benefits. A benefit counselor provides information and counseling free of charge to seniors 60 years of age or older and to Medicare beneficiaries of any age.
> Apply to volunteer with the program.
Benefit counselors assist Medicare beneficiaries in the following areas:
• Medicare Parts A & B
• Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)
• Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)
• Extra Help with Part D Prescription Drug Costs (a program thru Social Security Administration)
• Medicare Savings Programs to help pay for Medicare Part B premium (thru Texas HHSC)
• Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) Policies
• Medicare Appeals Rights and Representation
• Medicare and Employer/Secondary Health Insurance interaction
• Public Benefits Programs
• Medicare Fraud Prevention
• Medicare Preventive Health
• Understanding Medicare when you first become eligible
• Open Enrollment Period plan selection for Part D Drug Plans and Advantage Plans
For free one-on-one confidential counseling, call a Medicare benefit counselor today at 512-916-6062 or toll free 888-622-9111, ext. 6062.
Affordable Care Act Information
Medicare is separate from the new Health Insurance Marketplace established by the federal Affordable Care Act, but Area Agency on Aging benefits counselors can explain the differences between both programs and answer questions. Call 512-916-6062 or toll free 888-622-9111, ext. 6062 for help. Also, download the helpful Q&A flier published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. > Go
Long-Term Care Services
Long Term Care assistance is provided through Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. See the eligibility table for information on allowable financial resource amounts and office contact phone numbers
BenefitsCheckUp is a web-based screening tool which helps to find local, state and federal programs. It can help many people with expenses such as prescription drugs, rent, heating bills, meals and more. The service is a National Council on Aging, a national non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, program. It's simple. It's fast. It's free. It's private. Hint: "Find More Benefits Programs" will give a user the widest variety of programs for which they may be eligible. If someone needs assistance, please call AAACAP and ask for a benefit counselor. AAACAP's benefit counselors can help complete the CheckUp.^Back to top
The Caregiver Support Program offers support and respite for families and friends caring for adults older than 60. One call to AAACAP provides access to specialized professionals who have cared for families across the capital area since 1981. Find the help you may need today. Are you caring for a spouse, parent, relative or friend? If caregiving responsibilities are affecting your work, health, social life or family life, the Caregiver Support Program can help. In-home support services for care receivers are available on a short-term, limited basis. Care coordinators evaluate the needs of care receivers and caregivers for assistance.
Caregiver Support Eligibility
Residents within CAPCOG's 10-county region may be eligible for respite through the Caregiver Support Program when they are one of the following:
- The primary caregiver for an adult 60 or older.
- The primary caregiver for an individual of any age with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or a disease-related dementia.
- The nonparental caregiver - 55 or older - for an adult with severe disabilities.
- A grandparent or other nonparent relative - 55 or older - with formal or informal custody of a relative child or children aged 18 or younger.
Caregiver Support Services
- Full assessment of the caregiving situation.
- Information about services and support to meet caregiving needs.
- Assistance in making a long-range caregiving plan.
- Arrangement of support services, which may include:
- Respite Care - provision for a brief rest or relief from caregiving responsibility.
- Emergency Response System.
- Adaptive equipment for personal safety (not covered by another source).
Important Note: All services are short-term, temporary and provided at no charge. Contributions toward the cost of the services are encouraged and welcomed.^Back to top
The Care Coordination Program assists older adults (60 years and older) who recently have been hospitalized or suffered a health crisis and reside in CAPCOG's 10-county area. The program provides short-term services to help clients to remain independent and make future plans. Care coordinators will complete an assessment to identify client needs and develop an individual care plan. Arrangement for appropriate services and their follow up is managed by an assigned care coordinator. The program provides assistance within 30 days for those older adults who are without the financial resources to pay the total cost of needed care. A care coordinator assesses a person's needs, then links clients to in-home services on a temporary, short-term basis.
Care Coordination Services may include:
- Homemaker services
- Limited personal assistance
- Durable medical equipment not accessed through Medicare
- Emergency Response System
- Other services can address needs identified by assessment and care planning
Important note: All services are short-term, temporary and are provided at no charge. Contributions toward the cost of the service are encouraged and welcome.^Back to top
Health and Wellness Programs provide older adults with the tools to maintain and manage their health, to live as independently as possible. All Health and Wellness programs are Evidence Based Interventions (EBI) that have been proven effective to help older adults to improve and/or maintain their physical, mental and emotional health, reduce their risk of falling, and better manage their chronic diseases.
Falls Prevention: A Matter of Balance
A Matter of Balance falls prevention program is designed to help adults 60 and older reduce their risk and fear of falling through group discussion, problem-solving strategies and increase in physical activity.
Stress Management for Caregivers: Stress-Busting Program for Family Caregivers
Stress-Busting Program for Family Caregivers provides caregivers information about stress – particularly the stresses associated with caregiving. The program teaches people how to deal with stress through relaxation and problem solving, and how to care for themselves while caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or related dementias and chronic illnesses.
Chronic Disease Self-Management: Better Choices, Better Health
The Better Choices, Better Health, Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, helps adults manage the symptoms of chronic diseases/conditions, including Type 2 diabetes. This program teaches the skills needed in the day-to-day management of treatment and to maintain and/or increase one’s activities.
The Information, Referral and Assistance Program provides information about human services available in the ten-county Capital Area. The program is staffed by information, referral and assistance specialists. They provide information about region-wide resources; assistance to determine your next steps in finding help. For many, this is the first step to making informed decisions about the programs and services that fit their needs. Contact the specialist by phone to discuss information about community resources in our ten county service area. The goal of the program is to help our clients maintain their independence. For many callers, this is the first step to making informed decisions about the programs and services that fit their needs. The specialist gives thorough and unbiased information about community-wide resources and assists in determining the right avenues to explore.
- Adult Day Care
- In-Home Help (non-medical)
- Housing Options
- Attendant Network Website
- Home Modification/Repair
- County Clerk, Property Tax, Voter Registration Offices
- Personal Emergency Response Systems
- Low Cost Dental Clinics
- Eye Care
- Falls Prevention
- Personal Health Info Checklist
- Home Safety Checklist
The Senior Medication Safety Program, funded in part by a generous grant from the St. David’s Foundation, helps adults 60 and older and elder caregivers reduce the risk of negative medication interactions, reactions and related problems.
The Area Agency on Aging partners with selected pharmacists, who review participants' medications, supplements and vitamins and provide a written report on when and how to take the products or what special precautions to consider. Consumers can additionally opt for a phone consultation. The free program requires just a short survey before and after the screening.
Why does it matter? Medication errors can cause serious health problems and billions in hospital and long-term care costs. Though preventable, they're frequent and account for an estimated 7,000 deaths a year. AAA's Medication Screening Program, also available for caregivers of older adults, not only reviews medications for potential actions but additionally offers the following:
- Review of costs to determine whether less expensive options exist.
- Review of medication effectiveness.
- Review of safety precautions.
You can schedule a screening today by calling 512-916-6062. Or you can download the medication screening application and submit it by mail to the Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area, 6800 Burleson Road, Building 310, Suite 165, Austin, TX 78744.^Back to top
CAPCOG's Area Agency on Aging offers several vendor lists for downloading.
> Vendors offering in-home help for the Care Coordination Program
> AAA's list of nutrition, transportation and legal-service providers
> List of durable medical equipment vendors
> List of emergency response vendors
> Dental, vision and hearing vendors
> List of residential-repair vendors