Getting the Services you Need
After family and friends do what they can, you may find there are other
areas where you need assistance. Now is the time to connect with the
aging services network supported by the DC Office on Aging. Two
agencies in the District of Columbia can assist you. The District of
Columbia Caregivers' Institute can help you with your own personal
needs and guide you to reduce your caregiving burden. The DC Office
on Aging-funded lead agency serving the community where the elder
lives can assist you in a number of ways. The lead agency can provide
a social worker to help you understand what services are available
and identify services for which you are eligible. In some instances, the
social worker may be able to make a home visit to work with you. Your
lead agency also will provide some services directly; for other services,
staff may have to refer you to other agencies. Following is a list of lead
agencies in the District of Columbia and the communities they serve:
Ward 1 - Barney Neighborhood House - 202/939-9020
Serving the communities of Columbia Heights, Park View, Mount
Pleasant, Adams Morgan, Cardozo/Shaw, Lanier Heights, LeDroit
Park, and Pleasant Plains
Ward 2 - Greater Washington Urban League - 202/529-8701
Serving the communities of Downtown, Mt. Vernon Square, Logan
Circle/Shaw, Chinatown, and Penn Quarters
Ward 3 - IONA Senior Services - 202/966-1055
Serving the communities of Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights, American
University Park, Spring Valley, Cathedral Heights, Palisades, Wesley
Heights, Foxhall Crescents, Foxhall Village, Georgetown, Barnaby
Woods, Hawthorne, Kalorama Heights, West End, Foggy Bottom,
Georgetown Reservoir, and Dupont Circle
Ward 4 - Barney Neighborhood House - 202/939-9020
Serving the communities of Barnaby Woods, North Portal Estates,
Shepherd Park, Brightwood, Lamond-Riggs, Petworth, Crestwood,
Brightwood Park, Manor Park, Colonial Village, Ft. Totten, and Pleasant
Ward 5 - Greater Washington Urban League - 202/529-8701
Serving the communities of Brookland, Brentwood, Eckington,
Woodridge, Ft. Lincoln, Gateway, Trinidad, Carver-Langston, Edgewood,
Bloomingdale, North Michigan Park, Michigan Park, University
Heights, Old Soldiers' Home, Queens Chapel, Ivy City, South Central,
Ward 6 - United Planning Organization Senior Services -
Serving the communities of Near Southeast, Capitol Hill, Lincoln
Park, Kingman Park, Southwest Waterfront, Stanton Park, Navy Yard,
North Capitol, Truxton Circle, Buzzard Point, Ft. McNair, Lincoln
Park, and Near Northwest
Ward 7 - United Planning Organization Project KEEN -
Serving the communities of Naylor Gardens, Randle Highlands, Fairfax
Village, Penn Branch, Ft. Davis Park, Benning Ridge, Marshall Heights,
Capitol View, Grant Park, Burrville, Deanwood, Lincoln Heights,
Benning, River Terrace, Mayfair, Eastland Gardens, Kenilworth,
Greenway, Central NE, Twining, Hillcrest, Ft. Dupont, and NE
Ward 8 - Greater Washington Urban League - 202/529-8701
Serving the communities of Bellevue, Washington Highlands, Congress
Heights, Douglass, Shipley Terrace, Knox Hill/Buena Vista, Sheridan,
Woodlawn, Garfield Heights, Barry Farm, Hillsdale, Ft. Stanton, Historic
Anacostia, and Fairlawn
The following tips will help you to prepare for the call to your lead agency:
After you have consulted with the elder's lead agency, you may still
need to call other agencies to arrange the services you need. This can
be confusing and frustrating. Have a pen and a notebook ready and
take good notes as you use the following tips to guide you through the
maze of aging services:
- Think about the questions you want to ask in advance; be as specific
as possible about the type of assistance your elder needs or the
services you are seeking.
- Call when you have enough time to discuss the situation without
- Ask to speak with a case manager or social worker if possible. These
persons can help you sort through issues to uncover hidden or unidentified
needs your relative may have.
- Be prepared for a call back if someone is not available when you call.
- Have information about the elder handy such as his or her insurance
information and monthly income. Although services funded by the
DC Office on Aging are available to all seniors without regard to
income, some other programs are income-based. The worker at the
lead agency may need to ask for the elder's income and asset information
to determine if he or she is eligible for other services.
- Ask about the various options for meeting your needs.
- Ask for a copy of the agency's service directory, if available.
Once you have completed your investigative telephone calls, you
should have a clear understanding of what is available to address your
caregiving circumstances. Remember: it is important to complete the
follow-up instructions you received.
- Mentally prepare yourself; you may be transferred, disconnected,
and referred to different people before you reach the person who
can help you.
- Use an upbeat, friendly, yet assertive tone with everyone to whom
- Introduce yourself and get the name and direct telephone number
of everyone with whom you speak.
- Explain your needs as clearly as possible. The checklist in this
booklet might help with this.
- Ask questions about eligibility criteria, waiting lists, fees for services,
and various options for meeting your needs.
- Ask that program information and applications be mailed to you
or your relative.
- If necessary, schedule a face-to-face interview.
- Before hanging up, repeat the information you have received to
verify your understanding of issues discussed.
- Be courteous and extend a hearty "thank you" to persons who have
been helpful. Flattery just might get you where you want to go.
- Report discourteous, rude workers to their supervisor.