Huntingdon-Bedford-Fulton Area Agency on Aging
The Huntingdon-Bedford-Fulton Area Agency on Aging provides a wide array of specialized services to address matters ranging from everyday preventive services and referrals for low-income seniors and the functionally disabled to support for seniors in crisis and their caregivers. We are pleased to be able to connect residents with the programs and services they need to live their best life in Bedford, Fulton, and Huntingdon County, PA.
Caregiver Support Program
Helping Families Care For Their Loved Ones At Home
Caring for others can be extremely stressful. It can take a serious toll on the physical and psychological health of caregivers who are unable to take periodic breaks. We understand that everyone must first take care of their own health and essential personal concerns (or just step aside and take a bit of time for themselves) before they are able to care for others. Assistance is available. Contact the Huntingdon-Bedford-Fulton Area Agency to learn more about the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s Caregiver Support Program.
The Caregiver Support Program offers family caregivers access to a wide range of valuable benefits and services:
- Assessment of Caregiver and Recipient Needs
- Respite Care
- Training In Caregiving Skills
- Financial Assistance of up to $200 per month to Purchase Supplies & Services*
- One-Time Grant of up to $2,000 For Home Adaptations**
- Benefits Counseling On Services Available Through Local, State & Federal Programs –Referrals to Family Support or Other Human Service Organizations
- Assistance Completing Benefit & Insurance Forms
* Financial assistance grants may be used to purchase essential supply items such as disposable briefs and medical equipment not covered by third party payers, as well as services which may include adult day care, homemaker services, and respite care.
** One-Time Home Adaptation Grants are subject to fund availability. The assistance may be used to purchase assistive devices for the consumer’s use or necessary home modifications including ramps, bathroom modifications necessary for access to personal hygiene equipment, and chair lifts.
Intergenerational Caregiver Program
Intergenerational Caregiver Program Services may be provided to a primary caregiver aged 60 or above who is providing care to a related child aged 18 or younger who is living in the same household. Priority is given to those caring for children with mental retardation and/or developmental disabilities.
Domiciliary care offers adults who need help with some aspects of activities of daily living the opportunity to live in a home-like atmosphere.
The Huntingdon-Bedford-Fulton Area Agency on Aging has agreements with local hospitals and a personal care home to provide overnight respite care for older persons whose families are the primary caregivers. This service is also available to provide overnight supervision for an older person who would be considered at risk if left unsupervised.
Since 1985, the Huntingdon-Bedford-Fulton Area Agency on Aging has been authorized to serve as a court-appointed guardian, of last resort, for individuals who lack the capacity to manage their personal and financial affairs. Guardianship is a challenging and complex service that is recognized as an essential and important part of the Huntingdon-Bedford-Fulton Area Agency on Aging’s work.
Person-Centered counseling is available to assist older adults through the normal progression of aging by addressing the main developmental issues of this stage of life. By promoting an increased sense of self-esteem and a relaxed openness to new experiences, counselors seek to bring together the consumer’s image of self with his or her actual self, thereby defensiveness, guilt, insecurities and other harmful mechanisms can be released, while an enhanced sense of understanding and better, more comfortable relationships with others can be realized. Person-Centered Counseling assists individuals by empowering them to enjoy their golden years with a focus on reconciliation of all aspects of a life well lived.
Huntingdon-Bedford-Fulton Area Agency on Aging offices are official Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Drug Take-Back Sites. Do your part to help prevent medication misuse and abuse, as well as environmental degradation and water pollution, by depositing all unused and expired medications in the designated receptacles.
In order to provide the most appropriate level of care for each consumer in the least restrictive environment, our intake staff will complete a Health Needs Assessment as part of the intake process (for relevant services). The required level of care will be determined during the assessment process and may include In-Home Care, Personal Care, Nursing Home Eligibility, Home Waiver, Nursing Home Care, and other options. This assessment is solely based on the health of the consumer.
If necessary, a Financial Assessment will be used to determine payment for services. Medicaid Waiver Programs, Medicare, Private Health Insurance, Cost Sharing copayments, and private pay options are some possible options to pay for care.
Medical Assistance Waivers
Various Aging Waiver Programs are available to help individuals 60 years of age and older who have been determined to be eligible for nursing home care to remain independent in their own home. Under specific medical and financial eligibility guidelines, older persons can have in-home services provided to them as an alternative to nursing home care.
How to Avoid Being SCAMMED
Unfortunately, older Americans are being targeted by increasingly sophisticated scams at an alarming rate. Anyone can become victimized and easily lose hundreds or thousands of dollars (or even your entire life savings). We encourage you to stay informed about the types of fraudulent activity going on in your area at all times by following news releases by local and state law enforcement agencies on social media, in the news, and online. These sources tend to provide the most up-to-date information about these constantly changing fraud and scams. Remember: NEVER give personal information over the phone to someone who calls or contacts YOU.
Although you may feel guilty, embarrassed, or scared, you must report what happened to protect yourself and others. Your report can remain confidential and your family will not be notified. If you or a loved one have been victimized by fraud, please report it to your local law enforcement agency, the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging: 1-855-303-9470, and the FBI’s Elder Fraud Unit: 1-800-CALL-FBI (255-5324) or report it online.
Friend/Romance Scams – The scammer will build up a sense of trust and empathy through regular contact to convince the target that they should isolate themselves from friends and family, request or demand money, gifts, etc. Beware of any new “friends” or romantic interests that no one seems to know. The scammer may even claim to be a famous person who requires secrecy.
Medical Fraud – Never sign an incomplete medical or insurance form, digital form (signature pad), or provide authorization to a medical provider to bill for services. Always demand a paper copy that is filled out in its entirety. Be sure to carefully review the benefits statement and if questions arise call the insurance company with those questions.
Identity Theft – Shred old bills, receipts, tax returns, and other paperwork that contains your personal information before disposing of it. When paying online, check for signs that it is a secure internet site (for example, the address bar should indicate a secure connection: “https://www… instead of http://www…). Check bank statements for any errors or purchases that you may not have made.
Telemarketing Fraud – Do not purchase anything over the phone unless you are the one that initiated the phone call. Learn more about Telemarketing Fraud here.
Guardianship Fraud – If a friend, neighbor, or loved one is suddenly deemed “incompetent” by a doctor or judge despite your own knowledge that the target is, in fact, merely an older individual, take note! Fraudsters frequently use age prejudice to have normal symptoms of aging, such as tremors, slow responses, and mild memory loss, ruled as incompetence. A professional guardianship agency, nursing home, or private individual may be planning an elaborate scheme to steal the target’s assets.
Guardianship fraud is a common and typically well-concealed crime. Note that although judges are mandated to oversee the financial handling of individuals’ assets by guardians, they frequently neglect this responsibility unless someone files a complaint. Fraudulent guardians count on no one holding them accountable. In addition to theft of assets, in many cases the target is seriously harmed or neglected through a complicated series of well-disguised legal and medical maneuvers. You may be their only hope. If you suspect guardianship fraud you should report it to the FBI’s Elder Fraud Unit.
Family Fraud – Control your assets for as long as you are able to do so. If you are unable to have a child or heir step in, create an accountability arrangement that allows you to have that person prove accounts to your attorney.
Investment Fraud — To find out if an investment company or its personnel are properly licensed, contact the National Association of Securities Dealers or the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission.
Learn more about fraud, scams, and elder abuse at the Department of Justice’s Elder Abuse Initiative Page.
Services for the Blind
Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services
What is BBVS?
The mission of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) is to assist Pennsylvanians with disabilities to secure and maintain independence. OVR’s Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BBVS) provides services to assist Pennsylvanians who are blind or visually impaired to work and maintain independent lives. BBVS has six district offices that provide a wide range of services throughout Pennsylvania.
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program
The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program assists eligible individuals who need services to prepare for, or retain, employment. Services may include employment evaluation, counseling and guidance, training, job placement, assistive technology, adjustment to blindness, occupational tools and equipment, orientation and mobility training, and rehabilitation teaching. Services are based on the individual’s needs and choices that are necessary for the person to enter or retain employment.
A VR counselor will determine eligibility for services after gaining a thorough understanding of the individual’s abilities, limitations, interests, and aptitudes.
Together, the consumer and counselor develop an employment goal and plan to identify the steps needed to achieve it. The plan states what services will be provided and what is expected of both the consumer and BBVS, including responsibilities and costs.
VISION REHABILITATION THERAPY
Patient Rehabilitation Therapy helps individuals safely and efficiently carry out daily activities at home, on the job, and throughout the community. Each consumer is evaluated to determine what activities they need help with and then a plan of instruction is developed. Services may include Braille instruction, home management, in-home orientation, and personal management.
ORIENTATION & MOBILITY TRAINING
Orientation & Mobility Training teaches individuals how to travel independently and safely within their homes, workplaces, and communities. After an evaluation is completed, a training plan is developed to meet the individual’s specific needs.
BUSINESS ENTERPRISE PROGRAM (BEP)
The Business Enterprise Program (BEP) can assist qualified persons who are interested in developing creative business ventures ranging from a vending machine route to a full cafeteria that involves direct and frequent public contact. Specialized training is available at the Hiram G. Andrews Center (HGAC) in Johnstown, PA. BEP agents are also available to provide ongoing technical business support.
SPECIALIZED SERVICES PROGRAM
Specialized Services assists adults and children in achieving safety and independence within their homes and communities. Specialized Services for adults and children may include vision enhancement services, advocacy, counseling, information and referral, rehabilitation instruction, and orientation & mobility services.
INDEPENDENT LIVING PROGRAM
The Independent Living Program helps people aged 55 and older to become self-sufficient and more independent in their homes and communities. The services available are similar to those provided under the Specialized Services program. This Program serves an ever-increasing portion of our adult population.
For more information about Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services for Bedford, Huntingdon, and Fulton County, PA residents, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Altoona BBVS:
1130 12th Avenue
Altoona, PA 16601
Voice Phone Toll-free: 1-866-695-7673
TTY Phone: 814-949-7956
TTY Phone Toll-free: 1-866-320-7956
Altoona BBVS serves the following counties: