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Top 10 senior resources and programs for the elderly

As you get older, your lifestyle changes. You may find that you need some additional help when it comes to things like healthcare, housing, and finances. While friends and family can be an excellent source of support, many specialized organizations can help you navigate the practicalities of getting older. We’ve put together a list of 10 of the most helpful resources and elderly programs available for senior citizens in the U.S.

1.  BenefitsCheckUp 

www.benefitscheckup.org 

Paying for life’s day-to-day necessities later in life can be difficult, especially when you’re no longer working full time. The good news is there’s a whole host of senior programs across the country that provide funding for older people. Support is available in a range of areas, such as medication, transport, food, utilities, and housing. BenefitsCheckUp is a handy website that lets you see what programs are available in your area and find out if you’re eligible.

2.  Medicare Interactive

www.medicareinteractive.org

Access to healthcare is essential at any age, especially as you grow older. Medicare Interactive provides a wealth of information, providing you with everything you need to know about Medicare. This includes eligibility, how to enroll, what’s covered, and what your rights and protections are related to Medicare. You can also find information about other programs for people with lower incomes.

3.  Village to Village Network

www.vtvnetwork.org

The Village to Village Network is an organization that sets up “villages” — local communities of volunteers who offer services for the elderly. They facilitate health and wellness workshops, social activities, and practical help like home repairs and access to transportation. A sense of community and belonging is so important at times when we need a little more support. Check the Village to Village website to see if there’s a “village” near you.

4.  Meals on Wheels America

www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org

Many seniors want to continue living in their homes but have difficulty getting to the grocery store or cooking their own meals. Meals on Wheels is a well-known senior program where friendly volunteers deliver healthy meals to your house. As well as providing nutritional meals and making things easier, it also offers daily social interaction. The service is available on a sliding scale, so you’ll pay what you can afford. If you can’t pay, you can receive meals for free.

5.  Age in Place - National Aging in Place Council

www.ageinplace.org

The National Aging in Place Council provides support and advice to help the elderly continue living in their homes as long as possible. Sometimes, a little additional help in certain areas is all you need to remain living at home. The Age in Place website has an extensive database of services for the elderly to help you do this, from legal and financial to practical support. You can search by location to find providers in your area. They also have articles offering advice and run local chapter events.

6.  Find a Nursing Home - Medicare.gov

www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.htm

There may come a time when you or a loved one need full-time care and decide to go into a nursing home. Picking the right nursing home is so important, as it will give you peace of mind that you or your loved one are comfortable and well looked after. This searchable database allows you to find and compare different nursing homes in your area to find one that’s right for you.

7.  National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL)

www.ahcancal.org/ncal/about/assistedliving/Pages/default.aspx

If you want support that’s readily available but still want to maintain your independence, you might be interested in assisted living. The National Center for Assisted Living website contains numerous articles on what assisted living involves, how you can pay for it, consumer protections, and advice on finding assisted living facilities in your state.

8.  Advance directive downloads - National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

https://www.caringinfo.org/planning/advance-directives/by-state/

As you age, you might think about what kind of medical care you’d like to receive if you become terminally ill and cannot express your wishes. Advance directives are legal documents stating your medical care wishes if you become ill but are incapacitated. This website contains links to PDF versions for different states so you can see what an advance directive includes in your state.

9.  Driving Safely While Aging Gracefully - United States Department of Transportation

www.nhtsa.gov/older-drivers/driving-safely-while-aging-gracefully

For many seniors, being able to drive is key to retaining independence. This article offers tips and resources to help you continue driving safely as you get older and assess whether your health is impacting your driving abilities.

10. Veterans Affairs Geriatrics and Extended Care

https://www.va.gov/GERIATRICS/

There are special provisions for aging U.S. veterans, so you should check what support is available to you as a vet. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a whole host of resources listed on their website, from home and community support to mental health and medical care.

Better Place resources for seniors

Here at Better Place Forests, we offer a range of blog articles that might help you with some of the decisions you’ll have to make as you age. Some topics include deciding between a nursing home and assisted living, tips for transitioning into retirement, and our retirement bucket list. You can find all our articles on aging well here.