Getting old is one of the most challenging stages of our lives, and a lot of people try their best to avoid it. However, this latter part of our lives is inevitable. There will come a time that we won’t be as physically strong as we used to, and we might have to face the difficulty of dealing with various health conditions.
Even if you’re still young, learning about the various government resources for the elderly will help you prepare for the future. On the other hand, if you or someone you love need medical care, be sure to check this list of resources that might help you with these concerns.
Resources You Should Know About
Old age will test not just your perseverance and resilience but your funds as well. There are lots of medical aid the elderly need, and most of them come with a price. However, if you are aware of the various government resources that aim to help seniors, this stage can be quite manageable.
More often than not, Medicare is regarded as an insurance policy for medical and hospital needs. However, if you or the person you’re taking care of is over the age of 65 and is currently receiving retirement benefits from Social Security, you can actually get the hospital insurance for free. Furthermore, medical insurance can be deducted from the Social Security Administration (SSA), making it more convenient to access medical needs.
Aside from Medicare, you may also want to look into Medicaid. This is a program backed by both federal and state laws to ensure that low-income families get access to the essential medical aid they need. Medicaid can be used to cover a wide variety of elderly needs such as hospice care or nursing homes. The only downside to Medicaid is that it follows a strict financial requirement for eligibility. However, if you are certain that your current financial situation is incapable of keeping up with the expenses of medical care, there’s a high possibility that you or your loved one will be approved.
Department of Veterans Affairs
Sadly, some elderly who served in wars of the previous decades are not given the appreciation they deserve. Thankfully, a government body called the Department of Veterans Affairs is changing that. This department provides lots of benefits to anyone who served in the military or the spouse of a deceased veteran. These benefits include, but are not limited to, pensions, burial benefits, long-term care, and disability compensation. The verification process may take a while, but having your veteran’s discharge papers would certainly help speed it up.
The Americans with Disabilities Act National Network
The elderly also tend to develop various health complications and disabilities as they get old. Thankfully, the U.S. government has approved the Disabilities Act of 1990, aiming to reduce, if not extinguish, the discrimination against people requiring special medical attention. This means that individuals over 65 years of age or not shall be provided with tools that do not put them at a disadvantage. This includes public accommodations, employment, and commercial facilities, among others.
The National Institutes of Health
Taking care of the elderly is not just about providing them with access to various medical needs but also information about health-related concerns. That’s why the National Institutes of Health came up with a database called MedlinePlus, which is accessible online for anyone where people can gain information about medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ingredients, side effects, doses, and precautions about certain types of medicine are all featured on this website which is part of The National Library of Medicine.
The Administration on Aging
Arguably one of the most active administrations or body of government that focuses mainly on the needs of the elderly is The Administration on Aging. This organization is responsible for providing legal assistance, counseling on health insurance, long-term planning, and abuse prevention to senior citizens. Because of the efficiency of this administration, various community-based organizations, including the Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) and the Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), are scattered all over the country to make their services more accessible for the elderly. Some of these organizations will also provide in-person services if necessary.
Preparing for old age can be quite frightening, which is probably why it is considered taboo in many families across the nation. However, if we fail to prepare for this stage, it would be harder for us to live a comfortable life in the future. Some of us may even be experiencing that right at this moment. Learning more about how the U.S. government is making it a point to ensure that the elderly are provided with an adequate support system is an essential part of this preparation.