Our Services

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program protects the rights of residents in long-term care facilities. The program is governed by the federal Older Americans Act and by South Carolina Law (The Omnibus Adult Protection Act). As noted in the Omnibus Adult Protection Act, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program shall investigate or cause to be investigated reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation of vulnerable adults occurring in facilities.

A Long-Term Care Ombudsman seeks to improve the quality of life and quality of care of residents in facilities. Residents of long-term care facilities have little or no contact with the outside world. Many feel they lack control over their lives. Ombudsmen are available to assist these residents and their families by advocating for their rights, safety and welfare.

What does a Long-Term Care Ombudsman do?

  • Identifies problems areas in long term care and advocates and/or mediates
  • Investigate reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation and/or work with other agencies for resolution
  • Educate residents, families, staff and the community on The Resident Bill of Rights
  • Provide trainings on various issues governing long term care
  • Provide Advance Directive education

I have a complaint (click here)

The Friendly Visitor Program

The Friendly Visitor Program is a program designed to ultimately improve the quality of life and the quality of care of our residents in long term care facilities. A Friendly Visitor is a trained volunteer who agrees to visit a facility on a weekly basis and get to know the residents of that facility. Friendly Visitors are NOT Certified Ombudsmen.

Friendly Visitors are trained to:

  • Conduct weekly visits and make observation
  • Interact with residents
  • Assist residents with minor concerns
  • Participate in resident and family council meetings
  • How to address concerns

To Become a Friendly Visitor

You must:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must have the ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Must not have a criminal record
  • Must be free from conflict of interest
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must have transportation
  • Must not use controlled substances

The Friendly Visitor Program provides a very rewarding experience. Training is provided and you have the opportunity to invest in the lives of our seniors and make a difference.

Materials you maybe interested in:

Resident Bill of Rights
Declaration of a Natural Death (Living Will form)
Friendly Visitor Application
Omnibus Adult Protection Act

For additional information, brochures, pamphlets and booklets, please contact Fretoria Williams at fwilliams@cmcog.org or (800) 391-1185 or (803) 376-5389.


I-CARE is a program provided to seniors on a variety of issues such as insurance counseling, assistance and referral. Information is also available regarding the Medicare Program, the dangers of Medicare Fraud, the Modernization of Act of 2003 (Prescription Drugs Programs), Medigap information and Medicaid Programs.

How to Get Help With Your Medicare Costs

Individuals may be able to get help paying their Medicare prescription drug cost. The Extra Help program helps individuals pay their Medicare prescription drug plan costs such as premiums, deductibles and copayments. The Medicare Savings program can help with Medicare costs such as premiums, deductibles, copayments and the monthly Part B premium.

To see if you qualify for these programs, please contact the I-CARE Program (Insurance Counseling Assistance and Referral for Elders) of the Central Midlands Area Agency on Aging/Aging and Disability Resource Center at (803) 376-5390 ext. *309 or *312.

The Central Midlands region serves Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry and Richland Counties.

The I-CARE program is a volunteer insurance counseling and assistance program for persons on Medicare. There is no charge for these services and there is absolutely no selling of insurance involved.

For more information on I-CARE, please contact Shelia Bell-Ford at sbellford@cmcog.org or (877) 744-5130 or (803) 376-5390.

Family Care:

In South Carolina, family members have always provided the majority of long-term care for older relatives. 18% of adults in South Carolina provide regular care or assistance to an elderly relative or another family member with long-term illness or disability. Many people provide this round the clock care in their own homes; many out of financial necessity. The psychological and physical demands on these unpaid caregivers are often overwhelming.

The Central Midlands Family Caregiver Support Program seeks to provide assistance to individuals caring for family members aged 60+ with health problems.

The Program provides access for family caregivers to the following services:

  1. 1. Information: public education, and outreach regarding available support services.
  2. 2. Assistance: Provide assistance to individuals on how to gain access to services.
  3. 3. Counseling, Education & Training: Provide advice, guidance and instruction to caregivers on an individual basis to solve problems faced in their role as caregivers.
  4. 4. Respite: Helping caregivers find temporary relief from care-giving responsibilities on an occasional or emergency basis.
  5. 5. Supplemental Services: Provide compensation to assist with the cost of some services (e.g. home safety supplies, nutritional supplements, incontinence supplies) used in the provision of care to family members.

For more information on the Family Caregiver Program contact Jenny Andrews @ jandrews@cmcog.org or (803) 376-5390

Information Referral

Information, Referral and Assistance Specialists (IR&As) are trained to assist in locating and accessing the most appropriate community resources available for the physical and mental health needs of the elderly population. This includes providing information and linkage with service providers, advocacy assistance when needed, and follow-up when necessary.

For more information on CMCOG’s Information, Referral and Assistance Program, contact Joe Perry at jperry@cmcog.org or (803) 744-5142 or 866-394-4166.

Assisted Rides

The Assisted Rides Program is temporarily suspended until further notice. Please check back for updates in the future.  You can also contact the Central Midlands Area Agency on Aging Director at 803-376-5390 for updated information on this program.   

The Assisted Rides Program is a volunteer-based program designed to fill the transportation gap currently facing Adults 21 and older who have disabilities, as well as Seniors 60 and older who have no other means of getting transportation to obtain needed services to maintain or enhance their quality of life.

The Assisted Rides Program is sponsored by the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging.  The program is funded through a grant from the SC Department of Transportation Office of Public Transit.  It is coordinated by the Central Midlands Council of Governments’ Aging and Disability Resource Center, which serves the citizens of Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry and Richland Counties.

If you are a disabled or senior adult who needs transportation to a medical appointment, human service agency, grocery store, social activity and more, the Assisted Rides Program may be able to help.  Passengers will not be charged a fee, but donations will be accepted to help with the cost of the trip.

Volunteer drivers are an important and valued part of this program.  You help our passengers get where they need to be, and you are in charge of your time.  Drivers can choose the rides they want to give, which makes this one of the most flexible and rewarding opportunities available.

Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Respite Programs

FY 2021

The Area Agency on Aging Respite Programs are for those caregivers providing care at home for a loved one or family member. These respite programs can be used to hire someone to help assist the caregiver with his/her loved one’s care and provide much needed relief. Respite can be provided by an agency, facility or adult day care as well as an individual.

The following guidelines will help determine eligibility:


  • Caregivers (age 60+) with respite needs including persons with diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or related memory disorder disease
  • Caregivers (age 60+) with children with disabilities needing respite. This includes senior parents (age 60+) with adult children with disabilities.
  • Seniors (age 60+) raising children (grandparents or other relatives, not parents)


  • Individuals caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or a related disorder


  • Caregivers caring for someone over the age of 60 with health problems or someone of any age with Alzheimer’s or dementia
  • Seniors (55+) raising children 18 and under
  • Seniors (55+) caring for adults (19-59) with disabilities

The following restrictions will apply in order to be eligible for the Area Agency on Aging Respite Program funds:

  • Respite funding from two different respite sources will not be allowed.  This includes Caregiver Support Program, Community Long Term Care, Hospice, Medicaid (PACE) program (for Alzheimer’s Respite and SC Respite), VA benefits providing in-home care, and SC Respite Coalition Vouchers. *Please note that the Alzheimer’s Association takes phone calls and applications, but the AAA issues vouchers.
  • Priority in awarding respite funds will be given to caregivers who provide direct care for their loved ones.
  • Alzheimer’s caregivers will provide a doctor’s written diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or a related memory disorder disease.
  • Respite monies are limited to 90 days from issue date and funds may be lost if voucher is unused.
  •  When demand for services exceeds capacity, applicants are placed on a waiting list.

For more information, www.centralmidlands.org/agingservices.asp, or to be mailed an application, please call 803.744.5120.

Information and Referral:

Central Midlands Council of Governments
Ombudsman 1-800-391-1185
I-Care 1-877-744-5130