Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Aging and Adult Services is partnering with Area Agencies on Aging to connect older Mississippians to available services through the Small Town Project.
As communities have emerged from the pandemic, it has become clear that Mississippi seniors have remained disproportionately isolated from family, friends, church, and community programs provided through the MDHS Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS). Many of the programs offered through DAAS serve as a lifeline for seniors. Services include home-delivered meals, transportation to doctors, the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP), and senior community centers, to name a few.
Recognizing the lingering 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 last year, Mississippi SHIP Small Town Project visited communities across the state to raise awareness about Medicare, Open Enrollment in Part D (the Medicare prescription program), and other issues related to navigating the complexities of Medicare. SHIP volunteers and staff provide free guidance to all Mississippians over 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 the sites where Small Town Project events were held.
To date, SHIP has hosted events in Marks (Quitman County), Mayersville (Issaquena County), Shelby (Bolivar County), Isola (Humphrey County), Port Gibson (Claiborne County), Pickens (Holmes County), Duck Hill (Montgomery County), and Oakland (Yalobusha County).
The Small Town Project includes inviting all Division of Aging and Adult Services and Area Agencies on Aging program areas to visit small communities in order to listen to and match programs with local needs. Communities are invited to contact the Division of Aging and Adult Services to connect to 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 about services, call 1-844-822-4622 or 601-709-0624. Help is available M-F 8:00a.m.-5:00p.m. 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 congregate meal sites, home-delivered meals, transportation programs, respite care, and more. Services are available to all Mississippians over 60 years of age and all Veterans.