How Can Information Services Help Me?

The Information Services department serves as a gateway to all other North Shore Elder Services’ (NSES) programs and services. Think of it as the hub of where all things begin at NSES.

When you need guidance with issues pertaining to elder care, who are you going to call?

Natalie Albee is the Information Services Manager at NSES and is our expert on what the department offers to not only the consumers in our communities, but to professionals and our partner agencies.

Can you describe the role of Information Services at NSES?

“Our goal is to provide comprehensive information and referral services to our consumers, their families, and our referral sources in a timely and professional manner. Our role in Information Services is to assist callers with figuring out what it is they need.  Someone calling the agency may not know what that is at first.  Most people are not calling to plan for the future, they are calling because they’re in crisis and something has happened and they need help now.”

Who is on the other end of the phone when I call the department?

“The IS department has two full time I&R Specialists along with myself. We are all Certified Information and Referral Specialists for Aging/ Disability (CIRS-A/D) by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS). The Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) requires Information Specialists to complete 40 hours of additional training annually.”

Who is calling Information Services?

“Physician offices, hospitals, nursing facilities, police, fire departments, neighbors, friends, families, consumers, senior centers, and VNA.”

How many inquiries does the department handle in a month?

“We average 400 incoming calls a month which highlights the level of expertise we need to offer at NSES.”

What can a caller expect after contacting the Information Services Department?

“The Information Services Specialist will listen carefully to what it is the caller is experiencing and will provide them with the appropriate resources. If the caller is interested in a referral to one of our programs, the Information Services Specialist will screen for eligibility.  If the referral is for home care services, the Specialist will schedule an initial assessment with one of our Intake Care Managers.  We will send that Care Manager to the home to learn more about what may be needed. Together, we will form a plan that will best serve the consumer.  The referral may be for something other than for home care, for example, options counseling for someone interested in long term care supports.  There is no cost to the consumer for any referral or in-home assessment”.

Are you able to refer callers to resources outside of NSES?

“The information services department is responsible for keeping up to date resources and information for our callers and our staff. We maintain several databases including the statewide computer system 800AgeInfo.  People can view our fact sheets on our website www.nselder.org under Additional Resources.  Even for the caregiver who may be living in one of our communities but is caring for someone in another state, we can provide resources. Recently one of our specialists spoke with a woman living in Maine interested in relocating her sister to the North Shore area.  The sister’s home in Florida was being sold.  The specialist corresponded several times with the caller, who at first was interested in Assisted Living and then subsidized housing, but soon realized that neither would be an appropriate option for her sister.  In the end the caller decided on an Independent Living facility in Beverly.”

In what ways can a referral be made?

“People can call NSES’ office at 978-750-4540 Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Our website has a link to our Referral form at http://nselder.org/contact-us/referral-form/ that can be used.  The other option is to fax a referral to us at 978-750-8053.”

What kind of referrals can be made?

“State Home Care program, Options Counseling, Family Caregiver Support, Nutrition, Money Management, and private care management (Practical Matters).

How can referrals be made to Protective Services when elder abuse or neglect is suspected?

“There are important changes to the reporting system that will begin on June 30, 2017.”

The Executive Office of Elder Affairs will centralize the Elder Protective Services abuse reporting system (elder abuse hotline) to a single phone number.

The 24/7 single phone number will simplify the process for elder abuse reporting.

All calls (day or night, 7 days a week) will go directly to the Massachusetts-based call center at 1-800-922-2275, regardless of the location of the reporter or the elder.

North Shore Elder Services’ Information Services Department is where you want to begin your search for assistance. Call 978-750-4540 to reach an Information Specialist or email to info@nselder.org.  We are here to help you.

Author Info

Jayne Girodat

Jayne Girodat is the Communications Specialist at North Shore Elder Services. Along with ten years in the position of Caregiver Support Specialist at another ASAP, Jayne was a long-distance caregiver to parents for the same amount of time. That experience serves as motivation to better understand the issues of aging and to engage people in conversations about those issues. Jayne's background in teaching contributes to her appreciation of social media as a tool to educate readers on aging concerns. "I love asking people questions. Everyone likes to be heard. When you ask and then listen, you'll find everyone has a story and some of those stories are gems. I think it is particularly important to hear the voices of our older adults. Those are the stories I really connect to and hope to bring to North Shore Elder Services' audience."

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