Information and Assistance/Referral Services
Information, Assistance and Referral (I & A/R) is a service that helps individuals, families and communities identify, understand and effectively use the programs that comprise the human service delivery system. On the local level, the I&A/R system provides long range planning by tracking requests for services, identifying gaps and duplications in services. This allows the local I & A/R system to keep an updated list of service providers that Montana's senior citizens, adults with disabilities, their family members and caregivers can be referred to.
The Information & Assistance/Referral program is sponsored by the Senior & Long Term Care Division/Office on Aging Bureau in partnership the the (10) Area Agencies on Aging through funding provided by the Older Americans Act.
Information, Assistance and Referral Specialists must attend a comprehensive two-day training on the issues and programs, and must pass the Montana Information & Assistance Certification Test to be certified for this position. It prepares them to be the first responder when a client calls for help and allows them to assist with issues from the very simple and straightforward to those who have a multitude of needs and issues and for those in a crisis situation.
Through the (toll-free) statewide phone service (1-800-551-3191) local AAA contacts, the I & A/R system can provide comprehensive and current local resource information on issues and the availability of services such as:
- social and health services
- crisis and/or emergency intervention
- insurance counseling and assistance
- legal services referral
- utilities assistance
- nutrition and meal services
- adult protective services
- end of life issues
- mental health services
- assistance for food/clothing/household needs
- educational opportunities and more
- respite services for caregivers
- support groups
- transportation services
- reverse annuity mortgage counseling for Montana Board of Housing
- homemaker services
The Montana Office on Aging works with paid and volunteer I & A/R Specialists throughout the state, trained to:
- provide information about services;
- refer people to appropriate service programs and agencies;
- maintain a current directory of service providers; and
- provide needed outreach work within their communities.
- All I & A/R Specialists are employees, volunteers of, or provide contracted services through, the Area Agencies on Aging and local service providers.
Information & Assistance/Referral State Coordinator:
Patrick Kelley (406) 444-0998