Eldercare Locator Connects Four Millionth Caller to Local Resources

For Immediate Release
June 27, 2018
Contact: Joellen Leavelle, jleavelle@n4a.org and (202) 872-0888

WASHINGTON—More than four million older adults have called the Eldercare Locator to find the help they need to live safely and independently at home. A national Call Center and website operated by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging through a grant from the Administration for Community Living, the Eldercare Locator connects older adults, their families and caregivers to the local services that can help them continue living in their homes and communities for as long as possible. The four millionth call was a request for general assistance pertaining to information about local community resources, similar to the more than 357,000 calls received by the Locator last year. The calls range from requests for transportation to doctor appointments to the need for help performing basic tasks in the home.
 
“The Eldercare Locator fills an important need for our nation’s older adults by connecting them to resources that help them live independently, and be actively engaged in their communities,” said Lance Robertson, Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administrator of the Administration for Community Living. “The Locator is a one-stop shop for older adults and caregivers who often need a helping hand to find and access the local services they need to live more enriching—and healthier—lives.”
 
Since it was launched in 1991, the Eldercare Locator has connected consumers to vital local resources through its website (www.eldercare.acl.gov) and Call Center (open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET at 1.800.677.1116). As the number of the country’s older adults has increased, so, too, has the volume of inquiries received by the Eldercare Locator. In fact, the Eldercare Locator now receives more calls in one day than it did in its first month of operation.
 
“The Eldercare Locator is more than a Call Center and website—it provides a critical connection to local resources,” said n4a CEO Sandy Markwood. “Whether it is by connecting them to transportation assistance, information about healthcare benefits, in-home chore assistance, meals programs, or information on ways to prevent elder abuse, the Locator helps older adults, families and caregivers where they need it most—in their communities.” 
 
As the Eldercare Locator report, Making Connections: Consumer Needs in an Aging America, shows, requests for assistance received by the Eldercare Locator are increasing in number and are becoming increasingly complex in nature with a growing number of inquiries relating to elder abuse and financial exploitation. In addition to connecting callers to general assistance, the Locator often plays a critical role during natural disasters. In 2017, the Locator received nearly 3,000 inquiries from individuals affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The staff of the Locator’s Call Center connected these callers to resources that enabled them to locate food and water, receive financial assistance, find financial help, locate temporary housing and emergency shelters, help with home repairs and clean up, and medical assistance.
 
“As the numbers show, the Eldercare Locator continues to be a trusted resource for older adults, caregivers and their families,” said Markwood. “From the general to the specific, the Eldercare Locator helps older adults and their caregivers get the information they need to continue living in their communities with independence, which we all know is something they want.”
 
Facts About the Eldercare Locator
Launched in 1991, the Eldercare Locator is the only national information and referral resource to provide support to consumers across the spectrum of issues affecting older Americans. The Locator was established and is funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging, part of the Administration for Community Living, and is administered by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
  • The Eldercare Locator received 357,605 requests for assistance in 2017.
  • 73 percent of callers were women in 2017.
  • 75 percent of inquiries in 2017 came from older adults seeking assistance for themselves.
  • Two-thirds of 2016 calls were referred to a local Area Agency on Aging.
  • 97 percent of inquiries received by the Eldercare Locator in 2016 came via telephone.
 
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