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The Trickle - Down Effect: How Well-Trained Professionals Can Help Seniors Get Better Care

Partners at a PA Link Schuylkill Meeting at Seton Manor

PA Link to Aging and Disability is a program intended to help seniors and individuals with disabilities understand what services are available in the community and help them through this oftentimes complicated and confusing system. It might seem that PA Link to Aging and Disability is confronted with an impossible task. After all, how in the world could we make something on such a large scale more streamlined and easier for our consumers?

One of the most important ways PA Link helps the process is through our commitment to working with organizations in the community and providing much-needed professional trainings and educational opportunities right here in our own backyard.

If you remember, the idea behind the PA Link program is to help further the federal government’s philosophy of a “No Wrong Door” idea. That is if someone needs help and they contact a particular agency or organization, the staff from that agency would be able to share resources and provide accurate information to assist the caller. It’s imperative that the staff at these agencies know what information to share and what options are available. This is where PA Link can help make a difference.

I like to think of this as a “trickle-down” effect. According to the Miriam – Webster Dictionary, “trickle-down” refers to “an effect caused gradually by remote or indirect influences.” We have the best chance to help people if we can educate the professionals through conferences, trainings and networking. These opportunities provide a forum to learn cutting edge techniques and the latest research on the most important topics to seniors and individuals. It also helps professionals build a network of colleagues to contact with particularly difficult situations or even a referral.

With tight budgets, it continues to become more and more difficult for agencies to send their staff to trainings and events. The cost associated with registration, mileage and even time out of the office can prevent many professionals from attending. However, PA Link works closely with local community partners to provide the speakers, space and even continuing education credits close to home at little or no cost.

If PA Link can help provide a few trainings each year in our region, we believe the information learned and the connections made will be passed along to others within the agency. This will ultimately trickle down and help those individuals who are most vulnerable to understand their options and learn how to access the services they need.

PA Link to Aging and Disability Resource Center can assist consumers and the professionals who care for them in many ways. If you think PA Link can help you or a loved one, please call our toll-free Call Center at 1-800-753-8827 or email me at

[Bottorf is the PA Lead Link Coordinator for the Aging and Disability Resource Center. She covers nine counties, including Union, Snyder, Northumberland, Columbia and Montour. She can be contacted at]

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