They may call them the “Golden Years,” but we all know that getting older is often much harder than relaxing on your porch in a rocking chair. Sometimes it’s a struggle getting in and out of the tub, paying the bills, making home repairs. Well, there is an organization that can help you, but it also needs your help.

SEAGO Area Agency on Aging is a non-profit organization that helps seniors and the disabled in Graham, Greenlee, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties in a variety of ways. They provide information about Medicare, Medicaid, help with family caregiver support, senior health and wellness, home safety issues and community education, advocacy, volunteering and transportation.

But right now, SEAGO, or the Southeastern Arizona Governments Organization, is soliciting input from seniors and their family members about their needs.

A majority of SEAGO’s annual $2.3 million budget comes from the federal government as a result of the Older Americans Act that was passed in 1965.

Every five years, the government requires SEAGO to create a plan for the next four years, said program director Laura Villa.

In March, the organization began seeking input from its clients, their family members and professionals as to what should be included in the plan..

“The last time we did this we discovered in the four counties there was a lack of home safety adaptive aids and home repair (help),” Villa said.

As a result, the agency reached out to various organizations and paid them to weatherize homes and install grab bars, rails and wheelchair ramps.

Residents are simply asked to provide their town and zip code and go down a list that includes such things as availability of health care providers, paying for prescription drugs, maintenance and repair of home, getting information about Medicare and cost of housing. As they go down the list, they’re asked to check one of the following: no problem, some problem, serious problem.

During the last go round, Villa said 600 people filled out the assessment form. She’d love to match or beat that.

The deadline is June 1, but they’re attempting to have that pushed off because COVID-19 has made it harder for folks to participate, she said.

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