Help for Seniors and the Elderly
All seniors need help from time to time – like most others. It can seem impossible to find the type of help you need. Here are some excellent resources to give you the support and guidance you need no matter what area you are struggling with. We encourage you to reach out for help – living the best life you can means advocating for yourself.
Financial management is difficult for many people. If you need help with any area of finances, these resources can give you the guidance you need. You will also want to reach out to local resources including local, county, and state programs.
Seniors needing help with their utility bills may benefit from programs such as:
- The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides assistance with heating and cooling costs for lower-income individuals. This is a federally funded program available in all states.
- The Weatherization Assistance Program offers help with reducing energy costs for those who live in low-income households.
Taxes are confusing and ever-changing. As a result, many seniors need a bit of help completing them annually. Options are available including:
- Free Tax Return Preparation from the IRS’s Volunteer Tax Assistance Program. It is available to seniors who make under $54,000 a year. Local providers are available for federal and state tax help.
- The AARP Foundation offers a Tax-Aide program for seniors. It helps seniors with preparing their tax returns on an annual basis. It’s available to seniors with low to moderate income levels.
Insurance programs, ranging from health insurance to home insurance can be difficult to navigate. Depending on your needs, the following organizations can help:
- Medicare.gov offers insight into State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, perhaps the best resource for seniors with low incomes.
- Also note many states offer health insurance for seniors in various forms, including assistance programs. Turn to the state’s insurance department for more information.
The first step for seniors needing mortgage help is to reach out to their mortgage provider. Most offer senior programs to help. Other options include:
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a HUD-approved housing counseling services to those struggling, including help to avoid foreclosure.
Seniors need to stay active and vibrant in their community. Churches, community events, and recreational programs are an excellent way to do so. These help to engage the mind and improve quality of life.
Depression and Loneliness Support
- For help and support, as well as information on steps to take, individuals may wish to turn to HelpGuide.org. Self-help solutions are widely available here.
- The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance offers a tool to find in-person and local support groups available to seniors.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is an incredible resource for anyone struggling with depression. Not only does it provide insight and support, but also help to find local resources.
Maintaining your health is essential. Yet, it can be difficult to do in some situations. For seniors who need a bit of support for health-related needs, a number of options are available. A good source of support in this area is also your local community – including churches, charities, and local senior organizations.
- The federal government offers some support for nutritional programs aimed at seniors. The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is an excellent first step. It helps you obtain fruits and vegetables from local farmers markets for a lower cost.
- Some seniors may also qualify for financial support if they are low income through the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or SNAP.
- The Commodity Supplemental Food Program, or CSFP, helps supplement a senior’s existing diet with nutritious food. It is available to seniors who are low income.
- Senior Resources offers a Meals on Wheels program. It helps seniors to get food deliveries to their home for meals throughout the week. Individuals can apply based on their income, and many will not have to pay for this support.
- The National Council on Aging provides healthy eating videos and support tips to help seniors to improve their diet.
- For seniors struggling with vision loss, the American Council of the Blind offers supportive services and educational tools.
- The National Federation of the Blind also offers a number of resources for seniors including a list of state and local organizations for low vision.
- Seniors may be able to find financial support for hearing aids and devices through their state’s Medicaid program. The Hearing Loss Association of America offers resources and information regarding these as well as other financial assistance tools.
- For seniors who are veterans, the Williams Sound program offers discounts for assistive devices. Additionally, the Military Audiology Association offers information and resources including retiree assistive listening devices through the RALD program.
- The US Food and Drug Administration offers an educational tool at BeSafeRX to help seniors to know their medications, know the signs of concerns, and know who they can trust to buy drugs from.
- NeedyMeds.org is a nonprofit organization that helps seniors obtain free prescription drug discounts including for up to 80 percent off the cost of medications.
For seniors, some tasks required for day to day life get harder to do simply because you may no longer have the skills or resources to support your needs. There’s help available for many life requirements. Also, your local service providers are an excellent resource. Turn to local public transportation, local businesses, and service providers for help. Many offer senior discounts or payment plans.
- Eldercare Locator provides support to help seniors to find the transportation needs they have (as well as other resources). It is a public service tool provided by the US Administration on Aging.
- Lifeline is a service from the federal government that helps seniors get phone and internet service at a low cost.
- The Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants available through the USDA provides support for home repairs.
- Some seniors may qualify for the Very Low-income Housing Repair Loans and Grants program.
- Seniors needing to improve their home to avoid earthquake risk should check out the discounts and resources available through Earthquake Brace + Bolt.
- SeniorJobBank.org is a resource for those seeking jobs as a senior.
- Seniors looking for a job can find resources including matching tools and commercial service organizations through the Senior Community Service Employment program from the National Council on Aging.
- The Humane Society of the United States offers help and local programs for seniors who need help with pets.
- Take Care Move Assistance is an excellent resource for seniors planning a move.
Seniors sometimes feel isolated and unable to secure the type of help they need from a legal standpoint. However, you should never be unable to get the legal support and guidance you need. If you are struggling or have suffered loss or abuse at the hands of another person, speak up. Most often, local court systems can offer some guidance. And, most injury attorneys provide contingency fees – seniors do not have to pay for legal services unless they win the case. Here are some key areas of support for legal needs.
Elder Abuse & Scams
- The National Center on Elder Abuse provides information as well as a list of state-specific resources to help seniors and their families who may be struggling with elder abuse.
- If there is a specific threat right now, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It offers support for seniors including financial aid to get necessary assistance.
- Seniors are at a high risk of scams especially related to money. The FBI provides resources and information about how to avoid fraud against seniors.
- The US Senate’s Special Committee on Aging provides support for scams, including IRS-related scams against seniors.
End of Life Planning
- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a list of resources for advanced care planning for seniors.
- The American Bar Association provides a Toolkit for Health Care Advance Planning. It provides information and step by step guidance on making these key end of life decisions.
- The American Bar Association offers a Serving Our Seniors resource to help with planning healthcare and financial decisions for later in life.
- * The Legal Counsel for the Elderly from AARP can also provide support through volunteer attorneys.
Is It Time for a Change?
Many seniors struggle from time to time. Over time, this can worsen and things that used to be easy to do are no longer possible to accomplish. When your quality of life is suffering, reach out for help. If you are struggling with daily tasks, consider turning to a community that can support you. Take the time to browse our site to learn more about the assisted living communities and senior communities that can give you back the freedom and quality of life you desire.