Special to the Reporter


Local residents and their family caregivers have access to a number of new and expanded services funded by the North Central Texas Area Agency on Aging (NCTAAA) in response to COVID-19. All services are provided at no charge to those who qualify.


New and expanded services, and eligibility criteria for each, are as follows:


— Chronic disease, diabetes, and chronic pain self-management workshops: Older adults who have successfully managed their chronic diseases lead a series of six workshops for small groups of participants, who join by phone or computer. Workshops cover topics including dealing with stress and anxiety, evaluating new treatments and talking to healthcare providers. In order to qualify, people must be at least 60 years and dealing with an ongoing medical condition (such as heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis).


— Professional counselors help people who are dealing with sadness or loss develop plans for doing things they enjoy over the course of several months. To qualify, people must be at least 60 years of age, experiencing loss or sadness, and able to participate in goal-setting.


— Care specialists help family caregivers of loved ones with dementia understand the disease process and deal with difficult behaviors, such as wandering or outbursts.


— Caregiver Respite: Unpaid family caregivers can receive vouchers to pay an agency or individual to provide them a short-term break from their caregiving responsibilities. In order to qualify, the family member must be caring for someone who’s older than 60, a grandchild younger than 18, or a young adult with severe disabilities. In addition, the family member must need financial help and may not be receiving respite services from another agency.


— Connections: Older adults and people of all ages with disabilities, who are without internet access, can receive a free Samsung tablet and up to a one year data plan.


— Emergency Groceries/Hygiene Supplies: Older adults and people of all ages with disabilities who have been affected by COVID-19 and cannot afford groceries and hygiene supplies can receive one-time assistance.


For more information about these services, call 1-855-937-2372 or listen in on a conference call, scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 10:00 a.m. Call 1-800-250-3900 and enter pass code 203985.


ABOUT NCTCOG


The North Central Texas Area Agency on Aging is a program of the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG). NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit, and coordinating for sound regional development.


NCTCOG’s purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and make joint decisions.


NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered around the two urban areas of Dallas and Fort Worth. NCTCOG has more than 240 member governments, including all 16 counties, 169 cities, 24 school districts, and 31 special districts.