Senior sitting with cane

Read Personal Stories from Seniors


During a visit from California, Joan’s sister was hospitalized for pneumonia and injuries from a car accident. Doctors indicated that to receive the best care, her sister needed to be transferred to OHSU. As a California resident, her sister was covered by Medi-Cal (a California Medicaid program), which meant local services in Oregon likely wouldn’t be covered by her insurance. Paying the transport costs out-of-pocket to return to California simply wasn’t an option Joan could afford. She discovered the Information & Assistance Program (I&A) and gave them a call.

Joan received advocacy support from her I&A Specialist. The Specialist made several direct calls to Medi-Cal to explain Joan’s sister’s situation and confirm Joan’s options. Joan was provided the necessary information and tools that allowed her to care for her sister’s immediate health needs while knowing exactly what was covered by the insurance policy.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do this on my own,” said Joan. “I know I wouldn’t have gotten nearly as far as you did and I can’t believe anyone would go through so much trouble for someone else’s family.”



A resident of Cowlitz County, Jeanne is a widow who lives alone. The wrap around deck on her home was in disrepair and she had become increasingly concerned about her safety getting into and out of her home. She had already fallen through the second step and the wood was rotted in many areas. Due to her fixed income, Jeanne couldn’t afford to hire a professional to make repairs.

Jeanne called the Information & Assistance Program (I&A) to see if there were any options available to help her. Thankfully, Jeanne’s I&A Specialist was able to coordinate with two local volunteer organizations to provide and install all new decking and steps. To express her thanks, Jeanne sent in a heartfelt letter to the Area Agency on Aging and Disabilities.



Jerry, a resident of Cathlamet had lost his prescription insurance coverage—he didn’t understand why or how it had happened. When he phoned his insurance company he was told he’d have to wait for the next open enrollment period to add prescription drug coverage, which was months away.

Worried and at a loss of what to do, Jerry contacted the Information & Assistance Program (I&A). His I&A Specialist was able to advocate on Jerry’s behalf to the insurance company to understand why his prescription coverage was dropped and what his options were moving forward. The Specialist learned that his insurance no longer covered prescription plans in the area where he lived. Thankfully, other options were available. Jerry’s Specialist connected him to the Rx Assistance Program, which offers prescription coverage for those without insurance. Later, the Specialist learned Medicare had extended their open enrollment period, which allowed Jerry to enroll in a new plan that covered of his medication.



Joyce was emotionally and mentally exhausted. She had recently lost her husband and didn’t know where to begin to get her life back on track. Her husband had always taken care of everything—from managing the household expenses, to their health insurance and even buying the groceries. She went into the local senior center for help and was referred to the Information & Assistance Program (I&A).

The I&A Specialist understood Joyce’s needs and advocated on her behalf to get her the services and support she needed. I&A linked Joyce to an accounting service that helped get her checkbook and finances in order, including moving her accounts to a conveniently located branch. I&A also helped Joyce complete the paperwork necessary to enroll in a prescription drug plan.

“It is so comforting to know I have a trusted service to call on when a situation arises.”


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