It's no surprise that more than 90 percent of older Iowans say they would prefer to stay in their own home as they age rather than moving into a health care environment of some sort. But to successfully "age in place," individuals and their loved ones must plan ahead and identify the home and community-based services and supports they will need to live safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of their age, income or ability level.
To help older Iowans, adults with disabilities, veterans and caregivers learn more about long-term living services and supports available throughout the state, the Department developed LifeLong Links™ to serve as Iowa’s Aging and Disability Resource Center. The goals of the program are to:
Raise public awareness about the full range of long-term living options available in Iowa;
Provide objective information, advice, counseling and assistance;
Equip Iowans with the tools and resources they need to make informed decisions about aging in place; and
Connect Iowans to public and private service providers and programs at the local level.
Components of the LifeLong Links Program
LifeLong Links is accessible through a call center at 866-468-7887 and at physical locations across Iowa, including the six Area Agencies on Aging. Once a consumer reaches out to LifeLong Links, he/she has access to:
Information & Assistance
Information about local services and resources
Assistance in identifying service needs
Referrals to local service providers
Information about the choices available when planning for long-term independence (e.g. where to live, what services may be needed, how to locate service providers, how to pay for services)
One-on-one consultation to help determine which option is best, given the consumer's needs, wishes and available resources
Development of a person-centered plan that lists the consumer's goals and the steps to take to achieve those goals
Benefits to Older Iowans
LifeLong Links provides unbiased, reliable information and counseling to a wide range of consumers – including older Iowans – to help them obtain long-term supports and services in the most desirable and appropriate setting available. Because LifeLong Links is available to older Iowans of all income levels, individuals and caregivers can get the help they need while learning how to utilize their resources wisely, which may delay or prevent a “spend-down” to Medicaid or premature institutionalization.