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Resources Available to Those Providing Elder Care

The Fourth and Final Part of Our Series on Elder Care

As the population of Americans over the age of 65 grows, there is also a growing need for services geared specifically to their unique concerns as well as for the growing population of adult children who are now providing care for their parents and elderly loved ones. There are a number of organizations and resources that provide information specifically for older adults and those who are caring for them. Some of them offer a wide variety of general information and resources, while others are geared specifically to topics such as: finding medical assistance or long-term care, obtaining benefits, and or general support for those struggling to care for their family member or friends.

Three organizations that provide a wide variety of information and resources to older people are:

  • American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)- AARP is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to addressing the needs and interests of people who are 50 and older. Their website provides useful information and resources on topics such as: health and wellness, economic security, work, long-term care, and independent living. They also have an extensive section on their website dedicated to those providing elder care.
  • American Society on Aging- The American Society on Aging is a nonprofit organization committed to enhancing the knowledge and skills of those working with older adults and their families. Site offers useful resources on a variety of aging-related topics.
  • National Council on the Aging - The National Council on the Aging is an association of organizations and professionals dedicated to promoting the dignity, self-determination, well-being, and contributions of the elderly. The website provides health related resources and tips. They bring together non-profit organizations, businesses, and government to develop creative solutions to help improve the lives of older adults.

 For information on medical care for the elderly, you can visit some of these websites:

  • Eldercare Locator – This is a government resource  provided by the Administration on Aging that helps to find home health care programs in local areas.  
  • Next Step in Care – This website provides information and resources to help family caregivers and healthcare providers transition patients from one form of care to another such as from a hospital or rehab facility to homecare.
  • National Association for Home Care – This trade organization for the home care and hospice industry provides consumer information about how to choose a provider, as well as links to state agencies and resources that can assist in obtaining care for the elderly. 

For information on what benefits might be available to assist the elderly in paying for their health care, you can visit:

  • Benefits Check Up – This website sponsored by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) provides detailed advice on how to seek help paying for food and medicine and allows you to enter your zip code to get information specific to your area.
  • Social Security Administration (SSA) – To apply for government-provided retirement and Medicare benefits, as well as to check eligibility and statuses of applications, you can visit the SSA website.

Government housing and rental assistance is available to low-income elderly persons through several programs. Most government housing assistance for older Americans is administered by local public housing authorities (PHAs). Other agencies include the local Department of Housing and Community Development, the respective State Housing Finance Agencies and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development office. For information on government housing assistance for your loved one contact:

  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – provides the ability to search by state for your local Community Housing and Development office and other local housing resources by visiting this page on the HUD website.
  • Homeownership and Opportunity for People Everywhere (HOPE)  - HOPE is a government sponsored program that helps low-income people, including elderly people of fixed incomes, buy public housing units by providing funds that non-profit organizations, resident groups, and other eligible grantees can use to develop and implement homeownership programs. You can get more information on this Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sponsored program by visiting the HUD website.

In addition to these valuable resources that can help ensure a more comfortable life for your older parent, family member or loved one, there are also several resources dedicated specifically to those who are family caregivers or are providing elder care to a loved one.

  • The New Old Age Blog – Part of the New York Times web site, this blog is written by several contributors exploring the challenge of care for parents who are living longer than ever before.
  • The Senior Care Blog – hosted by Emeritus Senior Living this blog offers readers useful information on caregiving tips, memory care, brain health, senior health and fitness and more.
  • The Senior Care Corner Blog – A blog founded by a husband and wife team who were struggling to cope with the many challenges of caring for their older family members.
  • Inside Elder Care – A blog also founded by a family caregiver with the goal of helping others get the most from their elder care experience.

With these resources at hand we hope you and your loved one will find the resources you need to address the unique concerns you are facing, but don’t overlook another great resource… your peers. By engaging in open and honest conversation (about a challenge millions of other people are also dealing with) you can find support, information and tips to help you successfully navigate the challenges ahead.       

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