Information & Options Counseling

Options Counseling:  A decision-support process that includes listening to expressed preferences, values and needs, talking about options based on needs and preferences, supporting an individual to make informed choices, connecting the individual to services and following up with the individual.

Local Contact Agency (LCA):  LCA staff, who are certified Options Counselors, are responsible for working with the resident and nursing home staff to discuss options for transitioning to the community by offering contact information for community based services that may facilitate transition once a resident indicates interest in learning more about transitioning home during their assessment.  The LCA also takes the application for Money Follows the Person (MFP) which is a demonstration project that assists Medicaid eligible North Carolinians who live in inpatient facilities to move into their own homes and communities with supports.

To find out more information about these services, contact the Kerr-Tar Area Agency on Aging at (252) 436-2040.

Medicare Programs

Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP):  Counsels Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers and provides unbiased information about Medicare and Medicare services.  We also help people recognize and prevent Medicare billing errors and possible fraud and abuse through our NC SMP Program.  Our counseling helps you select the best Medicare plan for your situation.  Each year, the SHIIP program saves North Carolinians hundreds and thousands of dollars.

Extra Help:  A program funded under the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) of 2008 mandate to provide outreach and application assistance to persons eligible for the federal Low Income Subsidy (LIS) and Medicare Savings Program (MSP).  These programs help Medicare recipients save money on their prescription drug co-payments and their Medicare Part B and D premiums.

To find out more information about these services, contact the Kerr-Tar Area Agency on Aging at (252) 436-2040.

Emergency Preparedness

1. Emergency Supplies:  Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least 3 days, maybe longer.  While there are many things that might make you more comfortable, think first about fresh water, food, and clear air.  This kit should include:

Click HERE for an Emergency Check List.
Click HERE for a fillable Emergency Check List.

2. Make a plan for what you will do in an emergency.

  • Develop a family emergency plan.
  • Create a personal support network.
  • Create a plan to shelter-in-place.
  • Listen to the radio for instructions from local emergency management officials.
  • Create a plan to get away.  Plan in advance how you will assemble your family and anticipate where you will go.
  • Consider your pets.
  • Fire safety:  Plan two ways our of every room in case of fire.
  • Contact your local emergency information management office.  Some local emergency  management offices maintain registers of older people so they can be located and assisted quickly in a disaster.

3. Be informed about what might happen

Additional Resources:

This information was developed using content from the following:  National Association of Insurance Commission, Code RED, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),, Citizens Corp, American Red Cross, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), National Organization on Disability, North Carolina Department of Public Safey, and Easter Carolina Council of Governments.