What services are available to seniors?

A growing number of U.S. citizens are entering their senior years. According to the Administration on Aging, the population age 65 and over has increased from 35 million in 2000 to 41.4 million in 2011 (an 18% increase) and it’s projected to increase to 79.7 million in 2040. In response, to meet the need of seniors, the number and variety of services available to seniors is also on the increase.

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In addition to the abundant senior living options listed here on Alternatives for Seniors a great number of senior services (and products) are available across the United States. A few include:

  1. Financial Services
  2. Geriatric Care Manager Services
  3. Legal Services
  4. Long Term Care Insurance
  5. Medical Services
  6. Medical Supplies/Equipment
  7. Moving Services

What kind of home care services are available to seniors?

Services provided at assisted living facilities are discussed throughout the Alternatives for Seniors website, but there are also services available to seniors who live in their homes. Which services a senior takes advantage of depends on how much support he or she has from family members or others, their general health, and their financial situation. It’s good to be aware of some of the senior services available:

Household maintenance

General cleaning and household upkeep takes a lot of work. To assist seniors, laundry, housekeeping, shopping, gardening, lawn maintenance, and handyman services are available. For seniors having trouble staying on top of bill payments and appointments, financial and health care management may also be helpful.

Transportation and meals

A number of communities offer door-to-door transportation services to help older people get to and from medical facilities, community facilities, and other services. There’s also local transportation such as buses, reduced fare taxis, and senior transportation options to help seniors get around. Group or home-delivered meal programs help ensure an adequate diet. Meals-On-Wheels programs are available in most parts of the United States.

Home modifications

When a senior’s mobility becomes limited, modifications can go a long way towards making the home more comfortable — and safe. Senior home renovations might include the addition of grab bars in the shower and ramps to minimize the use of stairs, or installing a new bathroom on the main floor of the house.

Personal care

Help with daily living activities such as dressing, bathing, grooming, meal preparation, and eating is available to seniors from a few hours a day to 24-hour live-in care. People who provide this level of care include personal care aides, home care aides, and home health aides. Home health aides also provide limited assistance with things such as taking blood pressure and offering medication reminders.

Health care

Some health care services can be provided at home by trained professionals: occupational therapists, social workers, or home health nurses. While seniors may have to cover some cost out of pocket for the services, they should check with their insurance company to find out what kind of coverage might be available.

Day programs

Day programs, also called senior daycare, is similar to child day care in that the senior attends a community facility daily or a few times per week to engage in activities and socialization, while providing a break for their home caregivers. Some day programs are primarily social, while others provide limited health services or specialize in disorders such as early stage Alzheimer’s. Costs vary and there are often long waiting lists at such centers.

Respite care

With respite care, a trained person comes into the home to give the full-time caregiver time off to get a haircut, visit the dentist, take a vacation, and so on. Service is generally offered through area Departments of Social Services and is based on a sliding fee scale.