How to Make a Referral

To learn more about making a referral for OPTIONS, Caregiver Support programs, or Person Centered Counseling, please call 800-672-7145 or email To expedite your phone call please have available the name of the older adult in need, phone no., address, and a brief description of needs; for example “help with a bath”, “medications”, “respite for caregiver”, or a general description of what is needed.

After a general intake of information, a Care Manager will do a more detailed eligibility screening by phone within 2 weeks. If it appears eligibility criteria are met and the interested party agrees to proceed, an in-home assessment will be scheduled.

Please note that most programs require disclosure of income and in some cases there may be a cost share to the individual based on income. These programs may have a waiting list for services.

Insurance Counseling

The APPRISE Program is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Trained volunteers and staff provide free face-to-face or telephone assistance with understanding Medicare, Medicaid, Medigap or supplemental insurance, long term care insurance, Medicare Advantage plans (like an HMO or PPO) and Medicare prescription benefits. Can assist in understanding the Medicare appeals process and assist with appeals.

Domiciliary Care

 The Domiciliary Care or “Dom Care” program provides a home-like living arrangement in the community for adults age 18 and older who need assistance with activities of daily living and are unable to live independently. Dom Care providers open up their homes to individuals who need supervision, support and encouragement in a family-like setting.

For more information on the Dom Care program, please call the Office of Human Services, Inc., Area Agency on Aging at (800)-672-7145

Caregiver Support

The Caregiver Support program provides resources and assistance to individuals who assume primary responsibility for the provision of care in order to help alleviate the stress associated with caregiving and support: focusing on the Caregiver’swell-being. Recognizing that Caregiver stress can impact the physical, emotional, and financial health of caregivers, access to respite services is strongly encouraged, and financial reimbursement for caregiving-related services and supplies is allowed. These services are not an entitlement and are subject to eligibility requirements. The Caregiver may not receive reimbursement for personally providing caregiving services to the Care Receiver and shall be actively involved/engaged with various aspects of care on a regular, but not necessarily daily basis.


There are three types of caregiving situations that may be eligible for services: 

1. Individuals caring for an older adult (60 and over) with functional impairments or a diagnosis of chronic dementia at any age

2· Grandparent/Older Relative (age 55 or older) Caregiver of Children under age 18

3· Older Relative (age 55 or older) Caregiver of an Adult (18-59) with a non-dementia Disability.


The Caregiver Support Program provides supportive services including information about available resources, Assistance to link caregivers to available resources, arranging for caregiver training, reimbursement for respite, and supplemental services.

A free assessment can be completed to determine eligibility.

Caregiver Support-Grandparenting

The program specific to Grandparents/other older relative (55 or older) caring for a child (under age 18) recognizes that there are many older adults that care for children whose parents are unable. Specifically, the caregiver may not be a biological parent of the child and must be related to the child by blood, marriage or adoption or have legal custody through adoption or guardianship or is raising the child informally. The Caregiver and child/children are required to live in the same residence.

Eligibility is determined through a free assessment. The assessment does include disclosure of household income. Reimbursement of care specific to the child/children may be offered to support the grandparent/older relative in the care of the child/children.

Information and Referral

Information & Referral Services consist of the provision of information about services and facilities to all older persons or their families requesting it. Service activities include:

1. A brief screening of the inquirer’s situation, which may result in a referral for a free assessment.

2. Provision of relevant information and referral to community resources.

3. Follow-up as appropriate.

Nutrition Services

Meals served in a congregate setting, such as our 13 area senior centers, provide the opportunity for socialization while promoting better health and well-being for older adults through improved nutrition.

In-Home Meals may be available on a short-term basis to qualifying individuals. The Care Manager determines eligibility.


The word OMBUDSMAN is a Swedish word and means “citizen representative.” An Ombudsman serves as a mediator who seeks to resolve complaints made by residents (or their Power Of Attorney) of Nursing Homes, Personal Care Homes and Domiciliary Care Homes. The Ombudsman provides a way for people to voice their quality of care concerns and have their complaints addressed. Once the Ombudsman receives a complaint, the complaint is investigated and the Ombudsman works with all parties to resolve the concern. Through problem resolution, the Ombudsman promotes the highest quality of life and care for the older long-term care consumers. 

PEER Ombudsman

The Pennsylvania Empowered Expert Resident (PEER) program is a way to train residents who live in long-term care facilities to work with their facilities/staff/residents to enhance quality of care and quality of life for their “peers”. The project was initiated by the Pennsylvania State Ombudsman Office to work with long-term care residents who have volunteered their time and expertise to self-advocate issues that will resonate for their peers.

PEER’s are trained within their own facilities at self-resolution and consumer empowerment. The PEER Project offers an additional mechanism to equip residents with the knowledge to enable them to be part of the solution. It offers a resident dimension that has been too frequently overlooked. 

Volunteer Ombudsman

Volunteer Ombudsmen are individuals specially trained to provide information, guidance and representation, which assist individuals with problems and concerns they may have in the facility. The focus of the Volunteer Ombudsman is to alert residents to the Ombudsman Program and to promote residents rights. The Volunteer Ombudsman also works closely with the local Ombudsman for Elk, Cameron and McKean County on cases that may need to be investigated.

The Volunteer Ombudsman’s duties include making visits to residents in Nursing Homes and Personal Care Homes at least once a month. During these visits to a home, the Volunteer will talk to numerous residents to see if they have any concerns that may need addressed. If the problem seems to rise to the point that an investigation is needed, then the Volunteer will make a referral to the local Ombudsman at  833-820-5091. Individuals may be placed on a waiting list for services. Individuals with the highest needs are served first.

OPTIONS Care management

The goal of the OPTIONS Program is to give choices to consumers in need of Long Term Care services. The program provides a free assessment administered by a care manager to assess a consumer’s needs and appropriate care alternatives. The consumer’s preference is considered along with service availability and where possible services are provided to the consumer per their desires. Services that are provided in the consumer’s home consist of assistance with personal care such as bathing, dressing, grooming, medication reminders, etc… Income of the consumer or consumer and co-habitating spouse determines percentage of cost share if any.
Consumers who receive these services are 60 years of age or older and experience some degree of frailty in their physical or mental health status. Individual’s needs are prioritized through a comprehensive assessment and at times individuals may be placed on a waiting list for services. Individuals with the highest needs are served first.

PDA Health & Wellness Program

 The PDA Health & Wellness Program focuses on health promotion and disease prevention activities for older Pennsylvanians. PDA Health & Wellness programs cover a wide range of topics that are important to people, as they age. Programs offered are generally at Senior Centers and Senior Expos and include topics such as staying fit, healthy aging, coping with arthritis, managing medications and much more.

Protective Services

Protective Services investigates reports of abuse, neglect (including self-neglect), abandonment and financial exploitation. It also provides assistance to alleviate the risk of harm. Any person who suspects that an older adult is being abused, neglected, exploited or abandoned may file a report 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Abuse reports can be made on behalf of an older adult whether the person lives in the community or in a care facility such as a nursing home, personal care home, etc. Reporters may remain anonymous and have legal protection from retaliation, discrimination and civil or criminal prosecution.


Every report of abuse received by the Office of Human Services, Inc is reviewed/investigated by a Protective Services caseworker to determine if the reported victim needs help to protect him/herself from abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment. Once the incident has been identified as protective and it has been determined that service is needed, the Area Agency on Aging will do a full evaluation of the victim’s needs and develop a care plan to reduce risk. Victims have the right to guarantee that all information concerning their case will be maintained as confidential. 

To report Elder Abuse/Neglect, call Protective Services at 1-800-490-8505.


Person-Centered Counseling

 Person-Centered Counseling is a decision support process that focuses on identifying an individual’s needs, values, preferences and individual circumstances. Person-Centered Counseling includes: Conducting a personal interview, Providing information on public and private resources, Connecting people with resources, Supporting individuals in decision-making, Co-developing an action plan, and Following up. Person-Centered Counselors must address at least two prioritized needs. Needs may include assistance with things such as: personal care, managing medications, addressing medical concerns (ie…confusion, weakness), completing applications (ie...LIHEAP, Medical Assistance, Health Insurance, VA Benefits, ATA).

Senior Center Volunteer Team

A volunteer program of Office of Human Services, Inc. that finds older volunteers to assist with specific duties within programs of the Office of Human Services, Inc. in the Cameron, Elk and McKean area. The Senior Volunteers invite adults age 55 and older to assist in the Office of Human Services, Inc. programs such as senior centers, APPRISE insurance counseling, and the Ombudsman program as needs arise.

Senior Centers

 Senior Centers offer people age 60 and older, and their spouses, a place to go for nutritious meals, social activities, and a range of programs such as health screenings, health and consumer education, creative arts, exercise and other special events which are unique to individual centers. Senior Centers often work with a variety of local organizations, and provide access to other community services as well. Centers also offer volunteer opportunities where older people can contribute their experience and skills in meaningful and satisfying ways.