Officials call Aging and Disability Resource Center a 'one-stop shop'

 

— A new one-stop help center for the elderly, people with disabilities, their families and caregivers has opened in Janesville.

The Aging and Disability Resource Center of Rock County opened March 13 in the Rock County Job Center building, 1900 Center Ave., said Jennifer Thompson, division manager.

“This is a resource and information facility for these people to come and receive assistance and for us to meet whatever need they might have,” she said.

Thompson, who also is manager of Long-Term Support for Rock County at the job center, said the center is needed because people often don't know where to start looking for help. She said many find it overwhelming to navigate through such a large number of community resources.

An administrative assistant charged with connecting people with specialists who work with Thompson and a supervisor will greet those who call or stop in at the center.

Staff will talk to people and try to help them understand what their needs are. From there, staff will provide information on available options and resources in the community.

If the person seeking help is disabled and is uncomfortable making a phone call, staff will coordinate resources and get help to them, Thompson said.

Those with chronic mental illness or mental health issues also are welcome to use the center, but only for information and referrals, Thompson said.

Right now, five information and assistant specialists are working at the center. By the end of the year, there will be 10, Thompson said.

Of those 10, two will serve as disability benefit specialists working specifically with people 18 to 59 years old with physical or developmental disabilities.

“They are geared more to helping people with problem solving—Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other health insurance benefits, whether public or private insurance benefits,” Thompson said.

For example, she said, if someone is denied Social Security disability, he or she could come to the center and work with a disability benefit specialist for assistance through an appeal process.

Thompson stressed the center is information assistance, not a hotline, and she wants the local ADRC to become recognized as a place for the elderly and disabled to come for help.

“This is a one-stop shop—a resource and information facility—where staff can weed through issues one by one and get people where they need to go,'' she said.

GazetteXtra.com does not condone or review every comment. Read more in our Commenter Policy Agreement

  • Keep it clean. Comments that are obscene, vulgar or sexually oriented will be removed. Creative spelling of such terms or implied use of such language is banned, also.
  • Don't threaten to hurt or kill anyone.
  • Be nice. No racism, sexism or any other sort of -ism that degrades another person.
  • Harassing comments. If you are the subject of a harassing comment or personal attack by another user, do not respond in-kind. Use the "Report comment abuse" link below to report offensive comments.
  • Share what you know. Give us your eyewitness accounts, background, observations and history.
  • Do not libel anyone. Libel is writing something false about someone that damages that person's reputation.
  • Ask questions. What more do you want to know about the story?
  • Stay focused. Keep on the story's topic.
  • Help us get it right. If you spot a factual error or misspelling, email newsroom@gazettextra.com or call 1-800-362-6712.
  • Remember, this is our site. We set the rules, and we reserve the right to remove any comments that we deem inappropriate.

Report comment abuse