Independence is a priority for many older adults. You want to live your life to the fullest in your golden years, and you don’t want to be limited by health or safety problems. Although there’s nothing wrong with needing assistance in day-to-day life, it’s also completely understandable to want to maintain your independence. By maintaining your sense of autonomy, you can feel energized, motivated, and ready for whatever life brings your way. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources for seniors who want to live independently. From online information hubs to local organizations, you can find the support you need to stay safe and happy at home.
Here Are 10 of the Most Helpful Resources for Senior Independent Living
AARP is a massive organization dedicated to improving the lives of older adults. If you or a loved one is aging, this should be one of your main resources for information and support. You can become a member of the program to receive certain benefits, including discounts on travel, restaurants, and shopping. AARP also offers resources for healthcare, life insurance, employment, and many other important topics.
The AARP Foundation is another great resource for low-income seniors. It provides funding for housing, food, and other critical needs. You can reach out to your local AARP chapter to learn more about the services you may qualify for.
The National Council on Aging, or NCOA, offers resources to promote healthy living. They advocate for senior wellness by serving as a voice for older adults and fighting for healthcare, social services, and other important programs.
The NCOA’s website has a number of helpful resources. They offer valuable information about preventative health measures you can take to maintain your independence as you age, and they have personalized tools to help you find the benefits you qualify for. The organization devotes much of their resources to advocating for seniors in marginalized groups, but no matter your background, you can find good information on their website.
3. Eldercare Locator
Eldercare Locator is a free national resource offered by the U.S. Administration on Aging. The online database contains a thorough list of local and state government agencies, community organizations, and nonprofits that offer assistance to seniors. You can search by location to find services near you. Here are some of the services you can search for in your area:
• Financial support
• In-home caregiving services
• Home modifications
• Legal assistance
Programs of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE, offers medical and social services for seniors. The program is a component of Medicare and is available for adults aged 55 and older. If you qualify for PACE, you will receive all of your Medicare or Medicaid services through the program. You’ll also receive the services that your healthcare provider deems necessary for your well-being.
In most cases, PACE covers care through an adult day program. However, the program can also cover in-home services if needed. If you are able to live independently but need some extra assistance with your healthcare needs, your state’s PACE program could be a great resource.
Like the NCOA, Healthfinder compiles a wide variety of resources for seniors. You can browse their website to find articles about senior health, finances, and other topics as well as links to support groups, government agencies, and nonprofits that could be of assistance.
Healthfinder is very easy to navigate. You can search the website for specific topics related to what you need, or you can browse through their menu to find helpful information.
6. National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modifications
One of the best ways to continue to live independently later in life is to invest in home modifications. Some simple changes to your home can make a big difference in how safe and accessible the environment is. You could make some modifications yourself with the help of a family member, but working with an occupational therapist or another healthcare professional will get you the best results.
The National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modifications offers a compilation of resources related to home modifications. You can search the website by state to locate public and private service providers in your area and to find opportunities for funding modifications and repairs.
7. Meals on Wheels
If you can live independently but don’t have access to reliable transportation, Meals on Wheels can be an incredibly helpful service. The organization delivers meals to people who are homebound or who can’t prepare their own food. It’s a great way to ensure that you’re getting adequate nutrition even if you’re unable to go to the grocery store.
There are local Meals on Wheels chapters in virtually every community throughout the country. They ask for a small donation in exchange for the meals if possible, but they do offer free meals if you meet their income criteria.
Benefits.gov is the federal government’s database of national, state, and local benefits. You can fill out a short questionnaire on the website to narrow down which benefits you may qualify for. The site is an especially great source of information on financial assistance and home health assistance for seniors.
9. Area Agencies on Aging
Area Agencies on Aging is made up of more than 600 organizations across the United States. Each one serves a specific geographic area, so your local agency can be a great resource for finding services in your area. They may offer meal delivery programs, transportation, and a number of other helpful programs that make it easier for you to age in place. Your local agency can also help you apply for Medicare, veterans’ programs, and other benefits.
10. Counseling for Seniors
While many senior resources are focused on physical health and safety, maintaining your mental health is important, too. Aging can bring about some emotional challenges, but working on your mental health will help you stay happy and peaceful. Good mental health is closely linked to good physical health, so senior counseling can have a number of benefits beyond your mental and emotional well-being.
Therapy services are typically covered under Medicare as long as you work with an approved and licensed professional. You can receive mental health evaluations, individual psychotherapy, family counseling, medication management, and many other services through Medicare Part B.
Blue Moon Senior Counseling offers therapy for older adults to address anxiety, stress, depression, grief, life transitions, and many other challenges. Even if you are not facing an immediate mental health concern, checking in with a therapist can be a great way to stay happy and healthy. If you’re interested in counseling for yourself or an aging loved one, you can reach out to us today.