Dialing 2-1-1 connects family caregivers with help

Dialing 2-1-1 connects family caregivers with help

By Jason Erskine

AARP Washington has joined forces with 2-1-1 and United Way Worldwide to connect residents with trained, compassionate people in their communities who can provide caregiving help at any time, any day.

People who provide care for someone—like a family member or friend—need care, too, but navigating available services or programs that can help can be a challenge. Through 2-1-1, a free information and referral helpline, caregivers can talk to actual individuals in their community to find local resources for loved ones and themselves, too.

Through 2-1-1, family caregivers can:

  • Get immediate support and talk with a local resource specialist.
  • Address basic necessities such as housing, food, and utilities for themselves and their loved ones.
  • Connect to local services and organizations that can help with transportation needs, provide healthcare and information and resources including prescription payment assistance, and access to food delivery services, home safety programs, and veterans’ benefits.
  • Get referrals to specialized help for themselves and their loved ones.

“As champions for caregivers, we know at AARP that caregiving can be a complex and challenging role, and many may not know where to turn to for help or may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of resources available,” said AARP Washington director Marguerite Ro. “2-1-1 simplifies the process by helping caregivers connect to programs and services, access financial assistance and emotional support in their communities, and more.”

“Across America, 2-1-1 is seeing continued demand for local services to help family caregivers and their loved ones,” said Joshua Pedersen, senior director of 2-1-1 at United Way Worldwide. “Often, someone might call, text or chat 2-1-1 to find out what support is available for their loved one, and the call specialist is trained to hear when they need more support for themselves, too. By joining forces with AARP, this will help fill a critical resource gap.  

2-1-1 trained call specialists respond to 50,000 requests for help every day all over the U.S. and tap into 1.5 million local resources. Washingtonians can get the local information they need by simply dialing 2-1-1 for free help. Or visit www.aarp.org/211care.

Jason Erskine is AARP Washington’s communications director.