If there can be anything at all good to have come out of SARS-CoV-2 it would be the fact that it has brought about a greater awareness of all the services that could make for a better quality of life for our seniors. Some of these vital services are already in play in most communities around the nation, and others are sorely lacking. If you, or a loved one, is a senior who may be in need of a bit of extra help from time to time, these services are in place for just that reason. Not all are free, but they are more affordable than most.
1. Meals on Wheels
This is a service comprised of volunteers and nonprofits that seek to distribute meals, primarily to seniors, but also to any who fit the qualifications as homebound. In fact, being homebound is a main consideration, so some disabled people qualify for delivery of meals as well. According to this website, this service is free or low cost and is administered by charities and many local churches. It may not be available in all areas, especially remote rural communities, but Meals on Wheels is available in a significant portion of the U.S.
2. Affordable Home Health Care
Unfortunately, this service isn’t available in all areas of the United States, but one innovative Home Care solution with locations in Illinois and Missouri, Cooperative Home Care Associates, seeks every insurance payment option before asking for out of pocket payments. The services provided by this particular agency can be short-term post-hospitalization care to long-term 12/24 home health care on a permanent basis.
The benefit of a service like this is that they will seek out every available payment open to you prior to asking you for out-of-pocket payments not covered. In other words, they seek every possible way of being paid first. This type of service may also be provided at local Social Services agencies in your area and many of the home health services you need are funded by Medicare. It behooves checking into this prior to agreeing to pay part, or all, of home health services you require.
3. Senior Day Centers
There is almost nothing more depressing for a senior who still has some level of mobility and mental clarity than social isolation. Studies have proven that being isolated hastens many illnesses within the senior population, especially the progression of dementia. Many areas around the country have community sponsored senior centers for just this reason. These often have buses that transport seniors to and from and may be open more than one day a week.
Some churches provide a weekly luncheon for seniors and their buses will pick up seniors not only for a free meal, but a time of social gathering as well. These are available to any seniors in the community and membership in their churches is not mandatory. This is something else your local social services office or community center will have information on. Check out days, locations and times if you have a senior in need of socialization and perhaps a free meal!
Again, as Covid-19 swept through our communities it brought about a greater awareness of the much-needed services for our seniors. These are just three to be aware of in 2022, but they are especially important to those who need them most.