ETHRA / East Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability – Top 5 Questions

Top 5 Questions Answered by ETHRA / East Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability


(1) I recently began caring for my sister, and need to know about local available resources. Where do I start?

The East Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability maintains a toll-free Information & Assistance line for individuals living in Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier and Union Counties. Information and Assistance staff are trained and certified by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS), and provide resources and referrals on a wide-range of topics related to older adults, family caregivers and adults with disabilities. Our Information & Assistance staff can be reached toll free at 1-866-836-6678. Information is also available at

(2) I am caring for my Mom full-time, but need a break. Is there a program that can help?

The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP) provides assistance to individuals who are caring for someone 60 years of age or older or someone with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias (regardless of age). The NFCSP provides weekly services to caregivers in the form of companion care, personal care, light housekeeping, Adult Day Care and respite care. Case managers are available to provide assistance with problem solving, referrals and emotional support to caregivers. A telephone screening is completed to determine eligibility for the program. NFCSP staff can be reached by calling 1-866-836-6678.

(3) My Dad can no longer care for himself, and needs some assistance in the home. What is available to help?

The Options for Community Living program is available to help individuals remain in their home for as long as they safely can. The Options program serves individuals 60 years or age or older, and adults with disabilities (18 years and older), and provides services such as light housekeeping, shopping, prescription pick-up, personal care, and home delivered meals. A telephone screening is completed to determine eligibility for the program. Options staff can be reached by calling 1-866-836-6678.

TennCare CHOICES in Long-Term Services and Supports is a program for older adults (65 years of age or older) and adults with physical disabilities (age 21 and older). CHOICES offers help doing everyday activities that an individual may no longer be able to do, such as bathing, dressing, getting around the home, preparing meals and doing household chores. CHOICES includes care in a nursing home, as well as services to help individuals remain at home. An individual must qualify for Medicaid long-term services and supports. A telephone screening is completed to determine eligibility. CHOICES staff can be reached by calling 1-866-836-6678.

(4) I am caring for my friend, who will be turning be turning 65 years of age soon, and needs help enrolling in Medicare. Is there a program that can help?

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is available to provide free and objective one-on-one counseling, information and help to people with Medicare and people who may need Medicare. Trained SHIP staff help people make informed choices about Medicare coverage. Topics typically addressed are on Medicare and Medicaid, Medigap, enrollment in Medicare prescription drug plans, and the accompanying Low-Income Subsidy, finding help with the cost of prescription drugs during coverage gaps and access to drugs not covered under Part D, Medicare Advantage options, long-term care planning and insurance, claims and billing problem resolution, information and referral on public benefit programs, employer and retiree health insurance options for those with Medicare and VA benefits and other military health insurance for those with Medicare. Trained SHIP Counselors can be reached toll-free at 1-877-801-0044.

(5) I work full-time and am not able to take my brother to his doctor’s appointments. Are there any transportation options available?

MyRide TN offers senior-friendly volunteer assisted transportation service. Screened and trained volunteer drivers use their personal vehicles to carry older adults to a variety of destinations, including medical appointments and grocery stores. MyRide TN is designed to assist individuals, 60 years of age or older, with much needed transportation. MyRide TN is available in the following counties: Anderson (MyRide Oak Ridge), Blount (Senior SMiles), Claiborne (Senior SMiles), Knox (Volunteer Assisted Transportation – VAT), Loudon (Stay in TV – Tellico Village), Roane (Round About Roane), Sevier (MyRide Sevier County). To get connected with a MyRide TN program in your county, call 1-866-836-6678.

The East Tennessee Human Resource Agency (ETHRA) provides door to door transportation services with flexible schedules to meet the needs of its passengers. Rides are provided throughout East TN. In county trips are $3.00 each way. An additional $3.00 is charged per county line crossed. Additional stops are $1.00 and must be 15 minutes or less. One escort may ridge free of charge. Rides need to be requested 3 business days prior to the scheduled trip. To schedule a ride, call 1-800-232-1565.