2-1-1 Call Systems: A Way To Spread the Word on Adult Day Services

Members | May 21, 2014 | by Peter Notarstefano

Your local 2-1-1 call system can help caregivers and possible participants learn about the services that are offered at your Adult Day Center.

Are caregivers and possible participants receiving information about your adult day services program through a state, county or regional 2-1-1 call system?  

They 2-1-1 system provides free and confidential information and referral to help individuals with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more. 

In 2012, 2-1-1 services in the United States answered more than 15.8 million calls. United Way Worldwide (UWW) and the Alliance for Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) are the lead organizations. 

Excellent specialized I&R programs exist through Area Agencies on Aging, Mental Health/Mental Retardation offices, Drug and Alcohol agencies, HIV-AIDS programs and others. 

The 2-1-1 system can make a direct connection with these specialized I&R programs.

Does your area have a 2-1-1 call system?

As of February 2013, 2-1-1 serves over 283 million Americans (90.6% of the entire population) covering all 50 states plus Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico (39 states plus DC and PR enjoy 100% coverage).

The Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) initiative is a collaborative effort led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) formerly the Administration on Aging (AoA) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). And, 54 states and territories have received AoA/CMS ADRC grant funding since 2003. 

ADRCs serve as single points of entry into the Long Term Services and Support (LTSS) system for older adults, people with disabilities, caregivers, veterans and families. Sometimes referred to as “access points” or “no wrong door” systems, ADRCs help individuals and their families to: 


  • Identify their long-term needs.
  • Understand their LTSS options, such as adult day services.
  • Develop and activate an LTSS plan. 


Some Aging and Disability Resource Centers have websites that feature descriptions of long term services and support providers, such as adult day services providers. These websites provide useful person-centered information on individual providers.

Have you received referrals from your local Aging and Disability Resource Center?

Ways You Can Spread the Word on Your Adult Day Center Using 2-1-1 and Aging and Disability Resource Centers

  1. Meet with the staff at your local United Way, 2-1-1 Call Center and Area Agency on Aging/Aging and Disability Resource Center to give them a better understanding of the services that you provide, and the participants that you serve. 
  2. Check the website to see if the information on your Center is accurate and complete.
  3. Present for the staff at the Call Center and ADRC on your program and how you help individuals with specific needs, such as confusion due to dementia, depression, falls, lack of compliance with medication and frequent Emergency department and hospital inpatient stays. Don't forget to highlight special programs that you may offer, such as wellness and prevention programs.