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Important resources for older adults

Written by Diane Archer

With the government and public health experts calling for social distancing and, where possible, social isolation, to contain the spread of the coronavirus, it’s important to be aware of free and low-cost national and community resources. Right now, many are likely to be oversubscribed and underfunded, so be persistent. Here are several of the most critical ones:

  • Administration for Community Living, (ACL), acl.gov, an arm of the US Department of Health and Human Services, which among other things funds services and supports to help older adults and people with disabilities live where they choose and participate as much as they choose in their communities
  • Aging and Disability Resource Centers, (ADRCs) provide information about public and private program options as well as guidance, counseling and assistance
  • Aging Life Care, a trade association of geriatric care managers: aginglifecare.org or 1-520-881-8008
  • Area Agencies on Aging, (AAAs or triple A’s), eldercare.acl.gov, coordinate and offer services that can help you, including offering home-delivered meals and homemaker assistance
  • Aunt Bertha, auntbertha.com, a social care network that enables you to search online by zip code for free or reduced cost services, such as medical care and food
  • Care Transitions Program, caretransitions.org, offers help to families and caregivers so patient needs are met during transitions
  • Centers for Independent Living, (CILs), acl.gov/programs/aging-and-disability-networks/centers-independent-living, offer community-based centers run by and for people with disabilities and offer a broad range of services to empower people to live independent, fully-integrated lives in their communities
  • Eldercare Locator, eldercare.acl.gov or 1-800-677-1116 (toll-free), can connect you to your local ADRC or AAA and to a variety of other services.
  • Heating and Energy Assistance Program, HEAP, benefits.gov/benefit/623, assists eligible low-income households with their heating and cooling energy costs, as well as bill payment assistance, energy crisis assistance, weatherization and energy-related home repairs
  • Leading Age, leadingage.org, a trade association for the community of non-profit institutions, organizations and housing programs serving older adults
  • Leading Age Aging Services Directory, leadingage.org/find-member, lets you know about 18 types of non-profit resources in the community, including nursing, transportation, home-delivered meals and dementia care and learn about retirement communities, assisted living, and subsidized housing
  • Legal Services for the Elderly, provides critical help for older adults in accessing long-term care options and other community-based services, call the eldercare locator at 800-677-1116 or visit lsc.gov
  • Meals on Wheals, mowp.org, agency that delivers free meals to older adults in their homes
  • Medicaid State Contacts, medicaid.gov/about-us/contact-us/contact-state-page.html
  • Medicare Enrollment, secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/rib
  • Migrant Health Centers, National Center for Farmworker Health, ncfh.org
  • National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA), nadsa.org, a trade association for the more than 5,000 adult day services centers that provide day services as a form of long-term care to more than 260,000 people and family caregivers each year
  • National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, nafcclinics.org
  • NeedyMeds, needymeds.org, helps people find affordable healthcare including free and low-cost medicines, medical, mental health and dental care
  • Rural Health Clinics, ruralhealthinfo.org
  • State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), 1-800-677-1116 or shiptacenter.org, provide free state-based assistance navigating Medicare and other health care resources for older adults
  • State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs, SPAPs, medicare.gov/pharmaceutical-assistance-program/state-programs.aspx, offer services in more than two dozen states that may help people with Medicare cover their prescription drug costs
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, fns.usda.gov/snap/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program, provides credit to older people so that they can buy food at participating stores

Also, Stop and Shop, Safeway, Giant and other grocery stores are offering special hours for older adults to shop for groceries. Call your local grocery store to see whether it offers these special hours.

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