MDHS: SHIP organizes project events in small towns to provide resources for the aging community

Below is a press release from the Mississippi Department of Social Services:

The Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Aging and Adult Services partners with regional agencies on aging to connect older adults in Mississippi to services available through the Small Town Project.

As communities emerge from the pandemic, it has become apparent that older adults in Mississippi have remained disproportionately isolated from family, friends, church, and community programs provided through the Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) from MDHS. Many of the programs offered by DAAS serve as a lifeline for seniors. Services include meals delivered to homes, transportation to doctors, the state health insurance program (SHIP), and community centers for the elderly, to name a few.

Recognizing the continued isolation with concerns for protecting the health of our older Americans, DAAS determined that the best delivery method for many services would be a “boots on the ground” approach to service delivery.

Over the past year, the Mississippi SHIP Small Town Project has visited communities across the state to educate them about Medicare, open enrollment in Part D (the insurance prescription program Medicare) and other issues related to navigating the complexities of Medicare. SHIP volunteers and staff provide free counseling to all Mississippians over age 60, regardless of income.

As part of the project, SHIP staff reached out to the Mississippi Department of Health to make COVID booster shots available at sites where Small Town Project events took place.

To date, SHIP has held events in Marks (Quitman County), Mayersville (Issaquena County), Shelby (Bolivar County), Isola (Humphrey County), Port Gibson (Claiborne County), Pickens ( of Holmes), Duck Hill (Montgomery County), and Oakland (Yalobusha County).

The Small Town Project includes inviting all Division of Aging and Adult Services program areas and regional agencies on aging to visit small communities to listen and match programs to local needs . Communities are encouraged to contact the Division of Aging and Adult Services to connect with a Small Town Project event in their city or town. Aging services are available year-round by contacting the Division of Aging and Adult Services. For more information on services, call 1-844-822-4622 or 601-709-0624. Help is available MF 8:00am-5:00pm. or visit https://www.mdhs.ms.gov/adults-seniors/services-for-seniors/state-health-insurance-assistance-program/

Visit https://www.mdhs.ms.gov/adults-seniors to connect to group meal sites, meals on wheels, transportation programs, respite care, and more. Services are available to all Mississippians over 60 and all veterans.

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