Information and Assistance/Referral Services

Information, Assistance and Referral (I & A/R) is a service that helps individuals, families and communities identify, understand and effectively use the programs that comprise the human service delivery system.  On the local level, the I&A/R system provides long range planning by tracking requests for services, identifying gaps and duplications in services.  This allows the local I & A/R system to keep an updated list of service providers that Montana's senior citizens, adults with disabilities, their family members and caregivers can be referred to.

The Information & Assistance/Referral program is sponsored by the Senior & Long Term Care Division/Office on Aging Bureau in partnership the the (10) Area Agencies on Aging through funding provided by the Older Americans Act.

Information, Assistance and Referral Specialists must attend a comprehensive two-day training on the issues and programs, and must pass the Montana Information & Assistance Certification Test to be certified for this position.  It prepares them to be the first responder when a client calls for help and allows them to assist with issues from the very simple and straightforward to those who have a multitude of needs and issues and for those in a crisis situation.

Through the (toll-free) statewide phone service (1-800-551-3191) local AAA contacts, the I & A/R system can provide comprehensive and current local resource information on issues and the availability of services such as:

  • social and health services
  • crisis and/or emergency intervention
  • insurance counseling and assistance
  • legal services referral
  • utilities assistance
  • nutrition and meal services
  • adult protective services
  • end of life issues
  • mental health services
  • assistance for food/clothing/household needs
  • educational opportunities and more
  • respite services for caregivers
  • support groups
  • transportation services
  • reverse annuity mortgage counseling for Montana Board of Housing
  • homemaker services

The Montana Office on Aging works with paid and volunteer I & A/R Specialists throughout the state, trained to:

  • provide information about services;
  • refer people to appropriate service programs and agencies;
  • maintain a current directory of service providers; and
  • provide needed outreach work within their communities.
  • All I & A/R Specialists are employees, volunteers of, or provide contracted services through, the Area Agencies on Aging and local service providers.


Information & Assistance/Referral State Coordinator: 
Patrick Kelley (406) 444-0998