by RICH ZECK When talking with older adults, a common question arises: Who can I call for help? Sadly, many older adults and their family members are not sure who to call for help. A local program helps to take the guesswork out of who to call for age-related questions. The outreach and assistance program provided by Gerontology Network serves individuals aged 60 or older in Kent County. Trained social workers are available to help answer questions and identify services throughout West Michigan that best meet the needs of older adults. The outreach specialists can help individuals with a wide variety of needs, including but not limited to Medicare and Medicaid, housing and utilities, meals and food pantries, legal aid, prescriptions, transportation coordination and social activities. This program is funded in part by the Kent County Senior Millage and, because of a generous gift from the Edward M. and Della L. Thome Memorial Foundation, it is able to extend its hours to better serve older adults in the community. Trained staff is available to answer questions Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. “Thanks to the support of the local community through Kent County Senior Millage, we have been able to assist nearly 500 adults this year alone,” said Brooke Zehr, outreach specialist at Gerontology Network. “Now with the grant from the Thome Foundation, we are able to not only extend our service hours, but we can reach more individuals across West Michigan.” Gerontology Network’s programs like the outreach and assistance program work together to enhance the quality of life and promote independence of older adults. If you or a caregiver of an older adult have questions, pick up the phone today and call toll-free 1-800-730-6135. There is no fee for the service, but donations are accepted. If you have questions, Gerontology Network can help. Call them today or go online for more information at www.gerontologynetwork.org and find out what your options are. Gerontology Network is located at 800 East Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids.