An increasing number of seniors are rejecting assisted living facilities/nursing homes and are choosing to age in place. They stay in their own homes or in senior care communities, and they control all or most of their activities of daily living, including laundry, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and more.
It’s a big ask for seniors with deteriorating health and mobility, but it’s not an impossibility, and with the right support, living independently is much more manageable. The following resources offer some assistance to seniors choosing to go down this route.
The AARP is a nonprofit devoted to helping America’s over-50 population. It’s a vast organization and it offers support, resources, and assistance for seniors who need it.
The AARP Foundation, for instance, is a charity that helps struggling seniors and their families, offering everything from food to housing and more. Seniors who join the AARP (paying no more than $16 a year for a standard membership) are offered the following perks:
- Cheaper car and home insurance
- Discounts on pet insurance
- Free financial advice
- Insurance for dental and vision
- In-person hearing tests provided by the AARP Hearing Care Program
- Cheaper prescriptions
- Cheaper car rentals and hotel stays
- Discounts at libraries, restaurants, and a host of entertainment venues
In fact, AARP benefits and discounts cover most industries and aspects of daily life. It’s an additional expense but it’s one that will pay for itself before long.
Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
Seniors aged over 55 can use PACE for assistance with transportation, medications, personal care, medical care, and other important aspects of independent living. The service is offered to all seniors who have been certified as needing nursing home care and live in a PACE area, which spans 31 states.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, the NIA conducts research on aging, including the prevalence of diseases and the ways it can be prevented, diagnosed, and treated.
The NIA runs programs targeted at helping seniors to meet their activity goals and has guides on common elderly conditions such as dementia and Parkinson’s.
National Council of Aging (NCOA)
The NCOA is a vast resource offering assistance with all aspects of senior life. It was founded over 70 years ago and became the first charitable organization giving a voice to American seniors.
Its services include BenefitsCheckUp, which scans a multitude of benefits programs to ensure seniors get every cent they are entitled to. Assistance is also provided with housing, tax, health, utilities, food and nutrition, and transport.
Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)
Area Agencies on Agency provides assistance across neighborhoods all over the United States. Targeted toward seniors over 60, these services include meal programs, support for caregivers, counseling, transportation, and applications for government programs.
Meal Delivery Services
Paid subscription services like Hello Fresh, Sun Basket, Freshly, Splendid Spoon, Green Chef, and Blue Apron, provide meal kits or readymade meals that are delivered fresh, frozen, or chilled. They are expensive, especially if you’re choosing the meal kit option, but they give seniors access to fresh food and delicious meals without requiring them to make regular trips to the grocery store.
If you’re going for one of these options, we recommend the readymade meals. You can get a full meal for less than $8 a serving if you buy in bulk. Just put them in your freezer, cook them when you need them, and purchase the odd pantry items, frozen foods, and other staples to supplement your diet.
If money is tight, Meals on Wheels is more budget-friendly. It works on a sliding scale designed to suit customers of all budgets and needs, and while the meals may not be as adventurous or exciting as the premium services outlined above, it provides hot, nutritious, and tasty food when you need it.
Smartphones and Smart Home Devices
Seniors tend to be very dismissive of smartphones, seeing them as fiddly, complicated devices best reserved for teenagers and young adults. However, they provide benefits for a wealth of other uses as well, especially when they are combined with smart home devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
Add some plugs and a thermostat to the mix, sign up to Amazon, and with a simple voice command, you can turn on the lights, increase the temperature, order some groceries, and even play some music. It means you spend less time dragging yourself off the chair or out of bed, which means your fall risk drops as well.
In addition, a smartphone can be used to locate you in an emergency, contact your friends or the emergency services when you need them, and keep you busy with puzzles and games.
Home Modification Services
We have wealth of guides on mobility manufacturers and the products that they create. These products can be installed in the home to assist with basic daily needs, reducing the risk of harm and overexertion as well as the need for third-party assistance. These products are installed by specialists, have extensive warranties, and may be offered through Medicare.
They include walk-in bathtubs, step stools, transfer seats, lift chairs, canes, walkers, dressing aids, transfer poles, and fall detectors.