Top Five Questions Answered by Knoxville-Knox County CAC Office on Aging
(1) My parents can no longer cook and I have a hard time getting to them each day. Can Mobile Meals help?
Yes! Mobile Meals is the Meals on Wheels program in Knoxville and Knox County TN. The Mobile Meals program serves noon-time meals, five days a week and holidays to citizens who are at least 60 years old, cannot cook for themselves and have no one to prepare meals for them. This program is not income based but is based on need. There are Mobile Meal recipients in every zip code in Knox County. Meals are delivered by caring volunteers who provide a bit of social interaction each day.
(2) My neighbor is very lonely and could use some companionship. Is there a program that could help?
Yes. We have the Senior Companion Program! The purpose of the Senior Companion Program is to help older adults by providing volunteer opportunities for active seniors and needed social interaction and companionship for homebound seniors. The program provides stipended volunteer community service opportunities for low-income people age 55 and older who in turn provide support services to older persons who have unmet physical, mental, or social needs. Senior Companions serve the homebound elderly who need daily attention and assistance with small tasks such as preparing meals, visiting the doctor, or shopping. They provide friendship and support and enable those they serve to maintain their independence and improve the quality of their later years.
(3) My medicines are costing entirely too much money. I can’t stop taking these medicines, so what can I do to lower these costs?
Affordable Medicine Options for Seniors (AMOS) is a free service that helps Knoxville and Knox County seniors lower the cost of their medicines. By learning a few basics you can reduce your pharmacy expenses. Special programs and government assistance are available for many at-risk older adults. AMOS can help you apply for various programs and benefits including Medicare Part D. Trained volunteer advisors do research, provide information for you, and help complete application forms. Individuals interested in volunteering with AMOS are encouraged to call 865-524-2786. Individual advising is by appointment. Note: AMOS is not a clinic or a pharmacy and does not give out medicines. (AMOS volunteers and staff all provide the services listed below. Services are free.)
Benefit & Insurance Information hotline
Presentations to groups
Necessary information sent by mail
Training for professionals and community volunteers on benefits enrollment
AMOS can also help you learn about free pharmaceutical samples available from your doctor and pharmacist; patient assistance programs; Medicare Part D enrollment, Extra Help, the “doughnut hole,” and dealing with problems with your Part D coverage; veterans’ benefits; medicine discounts and mail order; and more.
(4) I live out of town and my parents are having a hard time getting to and from doctor’s appointments. What transportation options are available?
There are two transportation options through the CAC and Office on Aging. Volunteer Assisted Transportation (VAT) provides rides for seniors and persons with disabilities who need assistance to travel safely, by providing rides using agency-owned hybrid sedans and wheelchair-accessible minivans while training volunteer drivers to provide (nonmedical) door-THROUGH-door transportation.
The program drives clients to doctor appointments, grocery shopping, prescription pickup, other important appointments, social and recreational trips or anywhere in Knox County and out-of-county trips on a case-by-case basis.
Transportation is dependent on the availability of a volunteer driver and vehicle on the day and time that the rider needs it. Anytime the program staff are able to match a volunteer driver and vehicle with a rider’s request, the ride will be provided. Transportation is not limited to “regular” business hours. Available weeknights and weekends based on volunteer availability. Ride fares cost $3.00 one way (in Knox County), $6.00 roundtrip (multiple stops permitted) and out-of-county fares vary.
Individuals can also access the CAC transit program. Knox County CAC Transit provides accessible, demand response public transportation services to the residents of Knox County who live within the county outside of the city, to those individuals who live within the City of Knoxville outside the KAT service area, and to those city residents who are not served by the KAT fixed route system, including those who live too far from a bus stop or who’s destination is not within the KAT service area. Transportation is provided to medical appointments, grocery shopping and other essential errands. Transportation is also provided to employment and training 24/7, however, funding is limited. CAC also provides lift-equipped vehicles. All rides must be scheduled by no later than 11:00 a.m. the day before your appointment. Office hours for scheduling are Monday-Friday between 8:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. One-way trips are only $2.00.
(5) Finding help for my parents is confusing and stressful. Is there a one stop shop that can help?
Senior Information & Referral provides information about services for older adults and persons with disabilities who live in Knoxville or Knox County. The agency also provides referrals to these services when needed. Our Alliance of Information & Referral Systems (AIRS) – Certified Information & Referral Specialists (CIRS) can help direct you to a variety of services including, but not
Minor Home Repair
Senior citizens and their family members, area civic groups, social service agencies, church groups, and more are all welcome to call when looking for assistance. We are the place you can call when you don’t know who to call. To access services, call 865-546-6262, or drop by our office at the John T. O’Connor Senior Center, 611 Winona Street, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Specialists are also available for in-person appointments at all Knox County Senior Centers. Call our office for dates and appointments. This service is provided free of charge and without regard to income, race, creed, color, or religion.
The Office on Aging also provides a Senior Service Directory free of charge to anyone who needs it. If you or relative is in an age-related crisis or planning for later years, the Action Guide or blue pages offer basic information to help. You can access the directory on our website: www.knoxseniors.org/ssd or by picking one up at Knox County Libraries, Knox County Senior Centers, the O’Connor Senior Center, the Office on Aging or by visiting any of the directory sponsors.