Most adults in retirement depend on mobility aids for seniors to move around. 

And if you’re new to taking care of elderly parents, choosing the right ones can be tricky. 

So today I’m sharing tips on how to find the best devices and avoid unnecessary costs.

Types of Mobility Aids for the Elderly 

Emergency departments treat almost 3 million seniors for fall injuries each year. 

CDC reports that seniors have a 25% chance of falling annually. In fact, 1 in 5 of these falls can turn into a serious case of broken bones, head injury, or hip fractures.

Caregivers need to make the necessary changes to provide mobility help for seniors.

The use of mobile devices for seniors can help them move around with ease. 

Using mobility aids for the elderly can help increase their confidence and self-esteem. It can also help them feel more freedom and independence. 

But the best mobility aids for seniors won’t work if you get the wrong one.

A specialist can help seniors learn how to do complicated maneuvers. Consult a physical therapist to help you choose the right mobility aids for your loved one.

The best mobility aid will depend on the senior’s condition. Here are some of them:

Canes

Canes are often referred to as walking sticks. 

It can provide extra stability by reducing strain on the legs and back. It can also help relieve pressure on sore knees, hips, ankles, and feet.

Canes are inexpensive. There are accessories available to replace parts with normal wear and tear.

Canes are available in different options to fit the needs of the elderly:

Standard/ straight cane

This is the most common type of cane. This option is ideal for users who need a little extra stability.

Adjustable Canes 

This model has a height adjustment capability.

Offset Canes

This type features a specialized handle. This makes it easier for the user to grip.

Quad Canes

It is like a standard cane except it has a metal, 4-legged base. It’s a little heavier than a standard cane but provides more stability and support.

A common disadvantage is that it requires the user to have enough arm strength to maneuver. People who suffer from hand pain will find it hard to use this.

The right measurements will ensure proper support and posture for the user.

Find out how to choose the right cane here.

mobility aids for seniors canes

Walkers

Walkers give more stability than canes. It's the best option for seniors who have the strength to lift the walker, set it down and step forward.

It’s used for elders who have poor balance and weak legs. It can serve as a rehabilitation aid for patients recovering from movement-related surgery.

Walkers may not suitable for elders who get tired faster.

Walkers are difficult to maneuver because of their bulky frames. Using the stairs can be challenging. It can also result in a poor back posture with prolonged use.

Standard Walkers are the most stable type of walker for the elderly. It features 4 legs and provides better support than traditional canes and crutches. 

Wheeled Walkers are also an option. They have two wheels up front and gliders on the back.

One advantage is that it doesn’t need lifting, this allows for a more normal gait pattern.

Rollators are 4-wheeled walkers with breaks and a seat. Your balance must be better to use this device.

The seat and breaks come in handy for those with minimal balance difficulty, but increased shortness of breath with activity. They offer a convenient place to rest when out an about.

Learn more about selecting the best walker here.

Wheelchairs

Wheelchairs are ideal mobility devices for seniors who have trouble walking.  Getting the proper fit is important to avoid movement limitations. 

There are two types of wheelchairs you can choose from:

Manual Wheelchairs

These types of wheelchairs need manual force to be able to move. Assess the user’s strength and ability to maneuver the device. 

Seniors need significant upper body strength to use it alone. Having a companion to push from behind will help.

Selecting the right wheelchair is crucial if they will spend the majority of their time in it.  Common problems include poor blood circulation, digestive issues, and pressure sores.

Choose a chair that enhances posture. Consider the seat width, height, and depth so that the user can feel most comfortable.

mobility aids for the elderly wheelchair

Powered Wheelchairs

Powered wheelchairs are the best option for those with significant limitations. It’s perfect for seniors who have had a stroke or brain injury.

These chairs are customizable. You can request the supplier to add adjustable leg rests. Seats that recline and tilt are also available.

Consider the senior’s lifestyle when looking for the best-powered wheelchair. Indoor-powered wheelchairs are usually three-wheeled. The mid-wheel control is helpful when turning on hallways.

The four-wheel type is best for seniors who love the outdoor lifestyle.  It allows more security and stability when traveling over rough roads and terrains.

Store these powered wheelchairs near a power source when not in use. Charge it overnight to ensure that it doesn’t run out of power during the day.

Here's a quick guide on how to choose the best-powered wheelchair

Mobility Scooters

Senior mobility scooters are small motorized vehicles. They can improve the lives of seniors because it gives them the ability to travel further. 

Mobility scooters are different from powered wheelchairs. It has handlebars to control the wheels and a flat area for the feet. Powered wheelchairs have a seat and a control pad on the armrest.

Senior mobility scooters run faster than a powered wheelchair. It’s bulky and heavier which makes it perfect for outdoor use.

This is ideal for seniors who have a good balance. They must be able to sit upright, stand, and walk a few steps without help.

Like powered wheelchairs, it also runs on a motor. 

Senior mobility scooters often cost more than a powered wheelchair.

One disadvantage is that seniors can get completely dependent on this device. They might forgo the need to use their legs to walk around even in short distances. The sedentary nature can result in decreased functional capability. 

Read more about senior mobility scooters here. 

senior mobility scooters

Mobility Devices for Seniors at Home 

Making the home safe shouldn’t cost a lot of money. 

There are assistive devices that are simple to use. Some of them are inexpensive. Sophisticated products may need a bigger investment.

Seniors living alone face the greater challenge of mobility.

As a caregiver, you need to make sure that their home is accident-free. Consider having it assessed by an occupational therapist or a physical therapist.

Learn how to keep the home accident-free here.

Smart Trackers and Wearables for the Elderly 

Technology can help seniors with mobility. 

You can keep seniors safe at home by installing Medical Alert Systems.

Let’s talk about some of the smart trackers and wearables that the elderly can use.

Activity Trackers and Smartwatches

Activity trackers and smartwatches can help seniors live healthier lives.

Some devices can track a senior’s physical activity and sleep. It may also include a step counter, calorie counter, or fitness trackers.

Smartwatches are great for seniors who need to monitor heart rates.

It's also a great way to track calorie intake and activities.

Some even have everyday apps like weather forecasts and calendars.

Smartwatches can help in medication monitoring, location detection, and movement monitoring. 

It can also share information with family members, caregivers, and health care providers.

Compare the best smartwatches for seniors here.

smartwatches for the elderly

GPS trackers

GPS trackers come in several forms. It can be a wearable watch or a tag attached to a keychain or clothing. 

These devices work best for seniors with dementia. Its locator function helps caregivers find them in case they wander off. Consider connecting it to a  Silver Alert Program, if that’s available in your state.

It is also important to note that most GPS trackers come with a monthly subscription fee.

In-house Medical Alert System

In-house Medical Alert System works by ringing an alarm throughout the house. This is a practical alternative to yelling or waiting for help to come.

These devices work best in accident-prone areas. Add one to the kitchen and bathroom where slips and falls are common.

Most of these devices also don't have a monthly fee.

Get help in picking the best Medical Alert System here.

Life alert necklaces and bracelets

Life alert necklaces and bracelets work best during emergencies.

It features an emergency calling service. It connects the user to an emergency operator who will notify the authorities or the family.

To use this, you must purchase the device and then pay for a monthly subscription.

powered wheelchairs

How To Get Free Mobility Aids for Seniors

Mobility aids for the elderly can be expensive. But there are ways for you to get the best bang for the buck. 

There are also organizations that provide mobility equipment for elderly people.

They can help you secure a wheelchair and even senior mobility scooters for free.

Your health insurance can help cover the costs.

You may also reach out to grants, charities, and other organizations for help. 

The American Outreach Foundation can also give financial support to low-income families.

Latter-day Saint Charities provide assistance to the elderly as well.

This organization gets its contributions through member donations. And they have been providing for indigent communities worldwide.

One of their projects includes providing wheelchairs, senior mobility scooters, and walking aids.

Taking care of the elderly need not be expensive. All you need to do is to know where to look. 

Get more tips about how to find financial support for seniors here

Conclusion

There are different mobility aids for seniors available in the market. 

The key is to find the best ones that suit your loved one’s needs and comfort. 

It’s recommended to use smart devices along with these mobility aids. This way you’ll get notified in case of emergencies. 

Get more tips on keeping your mom safe at home.

Subscribe to get updates straight to your inbox. 

JOIN MY EMAIL LIST
For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions
And a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression.



That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. AGE IN PLACE DESIGN GUIDELINES MADE ACHIEVABLE FOR THE ELDERLY
  2. THE NEED FOR CAREGIVER SELF CARE WHEN CARING FOR THE ELDERLY
  3. HOME CARE FOR SENIORS TO HELP THEM LIVE INDEPENDENTLY

We often think that designing a safe home for the elderly is way beyond our budget. 

As caregivers, we need to provide ample space for the elderly to keep them safe. We also need to provide them with enough freedom to age in place. 

So today, we’ll be sharing budget-friendly renovation ideas to help you create a safer home for your loved one. 

Why Home Modifications for Aging in Place is Important

Most seniors want nothing more than to keep their independence. And those who choose to age in place are usually in good health and shape. 

However, accidents can happen at any time. 

Avoid falls to keep home for the elderly safe

Falls are the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related admissions for older people globally. It’s also the leading cause of fatal injury for seniors in the US. 

Statistics show that falls account for 25% of elderly hospital admissions and 40% of all nursing home admissions. 

40% of those admitted never return to independent living. Unfortunately, 25% of those die within one year. 

Seniors with disabilities also have challenges moving around. And it can be a challenge if they’re living alone in a typical home environment. 

As people age chronic illnesses such as diabetes, arthritis, vision impairment, and other cardiovascular diseases can affect their health. This can hinder them from performing normal tasks at home. 

The thing is most home designs are not accessible as a home for the elderly. 

Features such as stairs, traditional bathroom layouts, narrow doors and corridors, and not enough lighting pose a danger for seniors. 

In fact, only 3.5 percent of US housing units provide the features that a disabled person needs. That includes single floors, wide doorways and hallways, and a zero-step entrance that can accommodate someone in a wheelchair. 

It is challenging to work on home modifications and renovations. But it doesn’t always need to be expensive. 

Sometimes it needs just a little bit of thoughtfulness and practicality. After all, we want our moms to avoid accidents and maintain their independence. 

Read more about preventing falls here

How to age in place at home safely 

Families who choose aging-in-place options have unique requirements. 

Some elderly folks choose to live with pets. Some have to live with their children with kids for a while. 

Others want to keep on living alone and doing their own thing. 

And while these scenarios pose different challenges, safety is still the number one priority. 

So changes do you need to make sure that your parents are aging in place safely? 

How to keep home for the elderly safe

In general, you need to make sure that seniors can perform their daily tasks with ease. And a good first step involves forming a plan and paying attention to their habits and needs. 

This may be as simple as eliminating common home hazards first. 

Create a home safety checklist so you won’t miss minute details, especially if your parents are living alone. 

Here are some of the things to put on your checklist: 

Some elders may not be as open to changes in their homes. So prioritize practicality over aesthetics.

Combine essentials on the first floor for easier navigation. You can also opt for open spaces instead of cramped rooms and narrow hallways. 

It’s also practical to choose the right furniture at home. 

Seniors often have erratic sleeping patterns so consider replacing their beds for better sleep.

Hospital beds usually do the job. But also consider alternatives such as adjustable beds with customizable features. 

These minor tweaks need not be expensive. And it can help keep you and your family safe and at ease.

The key is to try to walk in their shoes so you could plan and prepare for their safety at their own home. 

5 Must-Have Home Modifications for Aging in Place

There are three major areas in a home for the elderly that may require more renovation. That’s the bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. 

And as I said, the best aging-in-place house plans focus on practically first. 

So here are five must-have home modifications for aging in place. 

Kitchen Modifications 

Keep the kitchen for home for the elderly at their levels

Common kitchen countertops are usually 34-inches off the floor. Lowering it to 30-inches would be much more elderly-friendly. 

Install pullout pantries instead of high cabinets and cupboards. 

Pullout pantries make it easy to see everything at a glance. It’s convenient and provides easy access for them. 

You can also use pullouts to store appliances like blenders and toasters. 

Round the edges of countertops and open shelves to avoid hitting hips and elbows. 

Keep the sink close to the stove but provide enough workspace in between. 

Consider using an induction cooker instead of an electric or gas range. 

You also need to ensure slip-resistance floors. 

Oil splatters and water drips can cause slippage. So choose the flooring that offers good slip resistance. 

Modifications in the bathroom

Most homes are designed with a tub and a shower. But these pose a great risk for those aging in place. 

Tub cuts are a convenient and inexpensive option to convert a traditional tub to a walk-in shower. 

You can also go for a curbless shower instead. This is also a great option for the disabled so they could navigate better. 

Raised toilets are also practical to use. You can choose raised toilet seat attachments based on your needs. 

There are simple ones that you just install. There are also seats with removable handles for extra assistance. It can also be adjusted, especially for those with hip replacement surgery. 

Provide raised seats or grab bars for toilets for home for the elderly

Grab bars are also vital for movement assistance.  

It’s also important to widen doors to 36 inches to provide room for walking aids. 

Non-slip tiles make it safer for elders too. 

Rubber flooring is also ideal. It’s easy to clean, doesn’t get slippery, and provides padding in case of falls.

Smart Home Devices for Seniors 

Smart home assistants and devices make living today much easier. And the best part is, it’s accessible and easy to use. 

Smart devices are practical additions for home for the elderly

Smart home hubs like Amazon Echo and Google Home can connect and automate all your devices. 

And because it’s hands-free, it can be a great option for seniors suffering from arthritis. 

Smart speakers can also act as virtual assistants. You can set it up with voice commands to help around the home or call people in case of emergencies. 

Smart door locks also provide an extra layer of security who often forget their keys. 

Robot vacuums and other smart gadgets can keep homes clean and debris-free. These come with sensors that avoid obstacles. It also works on any type of flooring. 

I’m sure seniors with pets will love it too. These vacuums are powerful enough to pick up pet hair as well, saving them time and effort in cleaning. 

Home modifications for seniors with disabilities 

Mobility is key especially for the elderly who are suffering from issues like arthritis, vision and hearing impairment, or recent surgeries. 

Proper lighting is necessary at home. Elders who are experiencing vision changes can easily trip and fall from glares and reflections. 

To avoid eye strain, consider pull-down shades and draperies to reduce sunlight glares. Window tints also let you see outside while reducing glares. 

Installing smart light bulbs and smart plugs can let you control the household remotely. You can even put it on schedule and automate it at night. 

Avoid using sealants and waxes that leave a glossy finish to limit their reflections. 

Elderly people can also be sensitive to flickering lights and humming. Check on fluorescent fixtures and change them periodically. 

Smoke alarms should also be equipped with flashing lights for the hearing impaired. 

Nowadays, tactile tools and gadgets can also make living independently much easier. 

There are liquid level sensors and indicators for cups and glasses to limit spillage. Knives with adjustable guides are also available for safe use. 

Decluttering and Organizing Tips in a Home for the Elderly 

Seniors are often sentimental. It can get difficult for them to let go of mementos and trinkets that hold meaning to them. 

Decluttering is a challenge for most homes for the elderly

Sadly, clutter also causes accidents and falls. 

You might find it hard to convince moms to let go of 30-year-old macaroni cards, but it’s the best way to go. 

So how do you manage this difficult process? 

Take it a step at a time. Start with one corner or room and have boxes ready for segregation. 

There will always be resistance since they hold these things dearly. So it’s best to offer options on how to keep the memories without the mementos. 

Take photos of these items instead of keeping them. Decide which items are still good for donations. 

Declutter and organize to have a better home for the elderly


Discard anything too bulky or impractical like broken appliances and couches. 

And keep in mind that it’s OK to ask for help. 

Decluttering doesn’t have to be a one-time big-time thing. You can schedule it in advance so you could also do it at your own pace. 

It also helps to put organizing baskets with labels around the house. This strategy will assist seniors in knowing where to find things and where to put them back. 

Set and store important documents in a secure, designated area. 

Take note of the common items they often use and make sure it’s easily accessible to them. 

Most of all, make sure your loved ones are involved in the process. You can even use this time to catch up or talk about happy memories together. 

Try and make the experience enjoyable and not stressful for them. 

Read more about design guidelines for elderly homes here

Best tips to minimize costs for renovating homes for the elderly 

Home renovations for the elderly can be costly. But there’s always help available when you need it. 

Here are my best tips to help you minimize home renovation costs. 

  1. Focus on easy changes you can do immediately

Like everything else, start with ample planning. 

You don’t have to spend so much time and resources to get started. But you need to plan how to maximize your energy and still be at peace. 

Any change can be difficult, so start with small changes. 

Decide on decluttering and organizing the space first. Creating an open, breathable space can make a huge difference. 

  1. Check for financial support per state 

You can always check for benefits and financial assistance options available to you. 

Nonprofits and groups like Rebuild Together and AAA can provide help with repairs and home modifications. 

You can also ask your state about these benefits. 

  1. Speak with experts before making home modifications 

Avoid DIYs as much as possible because they may cause more problems than fix them. 

Talk to experts like occupational therapists, interior designers, and contractors for practical designs and manageable costs. 

You might think that hiring professionals is expensive. But injuries and medical bills can cost more. 

It’s best to consult with experts so you could save time, energy, and resources to keep your loved one safe at home. 

Conclusion

Having a safer home for the elderly doesn’t require as much as you think. 

Sometimes you just need to make little tweaks here and there to keep your loved ones safe. 

And if you need major renovations, working with experts will save you more. 

Let me know how I can help you make your home safer for your mom. Email [email protected] with any questions or to schedule a consultation.

JOIN MY EMAIL LIST
For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions
And a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression.


That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. AGE IN PLACE DESIGN GUIDELINES MADE ACHIEVABLE FOR THE ELDERLY
  2. HOW ELDERLY HOME CARE MAKES AGING IN PLACE POSSIBLE FOR SENIORS
  3. AT HOME CARE FOR THE ELDERLY: HOW TO CARE FOR LOW INCOME SENIORS

Everyone from friends, family, and caregivers find it hard to deal with end-of-life issues. It sure is challenging to know what to say to someone who is dying. One of the most important things to keep in mind is to treasure the time you have left with this person. Therefore, it is crucial to act now rather than later and offer words of comfort for the dying as these will provide you with loving memories and no regrets later on.   

We all want to remember the good times, such as when you said "I love you" and sharing some laughter and good cheer with loved ones. The last thing on your mind should be thinking about what to say to someone who is dying. We know death is part of life, and our loved ones' happiness and health depend on us. Unfortunately, the time will come when we have to confront their death and move on with our lives afterwards.   

How to Prepare Yourself for What to Say When Someone Who is Dying is Close to You?  

Hugging a loved one

Very few of us know how to offer support to someone who is dying. We may have a lot in mind about what you would like to say to your loved one, but when it comes to doing it, we can be lost for words.   

Preparing in advance what to say to someone who is dying will help for sure. This way, you will not leave anything out.   

Also, you will be able to prepare yourself emotionally. People tend behave very differently once they are aware they are close to dying. Do not be shocked to find them either depressed or joyful as they will go through all kind of mood swings. You may not even recognize them at times.   

The best way to prepare yourself for any notable changes is to keep on reminding yourself that they are still near and dear to your heart. Use a moment of the happier times you shared with them if you feel overwhelmed by what is happening.

To avoid any feelings of regret and worry that you have left something out, make a list of things to say and take it with you. Call it your cheat sheet, as it will help you overcome any discomfort of what to say to your loved one who is dying.   

Besides being ready on what to say, you must also be prepared to hear them out. In some cases, people who are busy dying become talkative. In other instances, they cannot speak much as they are busy processing what is going on at that moment.   

Words of Comfort on What to Say to Someone Who is Dying

Hard to know what to say to someone who is dying

All too often, we offer words of comfort based on what makes us feel comfortable. But when those dear and near to us are at the end of their life, we should focus on their needs rather than our own.   

Following are four ways we may comfort someone who is dying:  

Tackle practical duties: On certain days, the person who is dying may worry less about themselves and more about how to settle matters regarding what they wish to leave behind for their loved ones. They may have a favorite plant, a pet, or family heirloom they want to give to someone. Listen to what they have to say and offer to make the necessary arrangements to make it happen.   

Provide physical assistance: This can take the form of having caregivers offer comfort by rendering physical aid where needed. It could be something like adjusting their bed or turning the room temperature up when they feel cold. How about bringing their favorite treat to them or applying special lotion to their skin?   

Taking care of spiritual needs: Often, those who are dying wish to come to terms with issues that were left unresolved. They may want to meet with a family member they did not get on with in the past, so they may lay to rest any discrepancies or hard feelings. As a close family member of the person dying, you can accommodate their request and make it happen.   

Meet emotional and mental needs – When your loved one who is dying, ask you certain questions that may seem uncomfortable to address at first, be the first to address any fears or concerns they might have and let them know they can call on you anytime.   

What You Should Not Say to Someone Who is Dying  

It is just as important to know what you should not say to someone who is dying as it is to know what to say. There might be some sensitive issues or topics you need to address, like how they want to be buried.   

Even though it is a topic you are within your right to bring up, let the person who is dying state how they feel about it without being judged by you. Besides, you love them and only want the best for them at this stage of their life. Allow them to meet their fate in a way that they feel is appropriate.   

For the sake of the loved one who is dying, do your best to get along with other relatives who will also be visiting the dying person. You may have issues with a cousin or sibling, but the deathbed is not the place to harbor resentments. Do not speak down to each other in front of the loved one who is dying.   

Last but not least, be there for your loved one during his or her final hours. Celebrate their life and talk about the good times, reassure them of your love and do not forget to say goodbye as it is one of the most important things to say to someone who is dying.   

JOIN MY EMAIL LIST
For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions
And a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression.



That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. NEED FOR CAREGIVER SELF CARE WHEN CARING FOR THE ELDERLY
  2. HOSPICE VS. PALLIATIVE CARE, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
  3. CAREGIVER BURNOUT AND STRESS - SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

Introduction

More families are opting for at-home care for the elderly in recent times. 

But due to the pandemic and other financial factors, life has been harder for all. 

Then there's the harsh reality that most seniors are financially unstable and living in low-income households. 

So today, I'm giving you tips on how to make at-home care for the elderly much easier on the pockets.

What is considered low-income for seniors? 

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), “low-income families are defined as families whose incomes do not exceed 80% of the median family income for the area.”

On average, an income of $25,760 per year per single person is considered part of low-income seniors.

Recent studies also show that over 15 million Americans aged 65+ are living at or below the federal poverty line (FPL). 

At-home care for the elderly is not an easy thing. Most caregivers who are also family members know this so well. 

Read more about the sandwich generation and their challenges here. 

at-home care for the elderly

Caregiving can be physically and emotionally exhausting. It requires a lot of patience, energy and empathy. But most of all, taking care of seniors can be costly too. 

In an ideal world, the elderly should have enough funds to sustain themselves throughout their retirement. 

But due to inflation and other factors, this is nearly impossible. 

Research shows that 23% of family members acting as caregivers report financial difficulties when caring for their elderly. 

Senior care can mean shouldering medical costs, mobility equipment and medications.

And for most, this would mean splitting their income between two households. 

Caring for the elderly requires attention, especially for those who suffer from medical conditions. 

Because of this, caregivers may be forced to decline new financial and career opportunities. Most even give up their jobs altogether. 

Costs also add up when your loved one has existing debt that needs to be paid for. These out-of-pocket expenses can result in the reduction of a caregiver’s financial resources.

Some may say it’s just money. But in reality, financial problems affect all of the relationships inside the family unit. 

Caregivers can feel isolated and insignificant due to the lack of finances. They may also feel burdened because of a lack of support. 

One of the common concerns caregivers have is the contributions they get from other family members. 

These financial talks also tend to spark conflicts with other family members, especially siblings. 

Often, the main caregiver is expected to provide for everything. And when they ask for help, minimal assistance is provided. 

Not to mention the physical, mental, and emotional strain on the elderly. 

Seeing family members in disagreement causes additional stress to seniors. Unfortunately, such stressors can manifest into more illnesses and medical issues. 

The great thing is, there are government units, NGOs, and other private organizations that help low-income families manage at-home care for the elderly. 

These services range from subsidized services to free items. 

All you need to know is where to look. 

What programs are available for low-income seniors?

According to Jemma Financial, 53% of caregivers felt they had little or no choice to take on the responsibility of caregiving. 

At-home care for the elderly can be easy even for low-income households

Approximately 3 out of 10 caregivers have stopped depositing money into their savings accounts, 25% have taken on more debt, and 1 in 5 reported having unpaid or late bills.

Despite all the available information online, sometimes it’s still difficult to know where to start. 

Agencies such as Area Agency on Aging is a great resource to learn and find the help you need. 

What’s great about AAA is that they offer varied solutions for different living situations. 

There are programs that can help the elderly move out of their nursing homes to better living options. 

There’s also the MI Choice waiver program designed to help seniors receive the care they need in their homes or other community settings.

There are also other channels that can help take care of seniors while you earn a living. 

From adult care, assisted living, or home care, you can find and get the help you need. 

Check here to find out more about these options. 

Financial Assistance

Seniors aged 65-67 can also take advantage of disability insurance through SSDI.

It’s an entitlement program offering benefits to disabled workers younger than the retirement age. 

The benefits received will be based on the elderly’s work history and tax contributions. Once awarded this, the beneficiary will automatically qualify for Medicare after a two-year waiting period.  

On the other hand, SSI offers financial assistance to the elderly based on strict financial limitations. Getting this benefit automatically qualifies your loved one for Medicaid. 

The elderly can also receive SSI and their retirement benefits simultaneously. 

Here are some of the age-related health conditions approved by these agencies: 

To see a complete list of illnesses and health conditions, check here. 

Medical Assistance

At-home care for elderly with low-income homes can also benefit from discounted medical services

This part is essential for senior care in homes, especially if you’re a new caregiver. 

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older. It covers different services including hospital insurance, medical insurance and prescription drug coverage. 

You can choose from two cost options. 

Original Medicare lets you pay for services as you get them. 

Here you pay a deductible amount per year. There’s also coinsurance, where you pay 20% of the service cost according to Medicare approval. 

This plan lets you add a separate drug plan if you want it as an add-on service.  

Another option is through Medicare Advantage. This plan offers extra benefits like vision, hearing, and dental services.

MA may offer additional benefits, but reduces the most needed benefits such as hospital reimbursement and rehab reimbursement. This leads to faster discharge home due to ending payment for these services sooner in most cases than traditional medicare.

Be careful of programs offering additional benefits to your medicare. I tell my loved ones that traditional medicare is their best option if they qualify.

Medicaid is another agency that can help lower medical costs. It’s also a great option for long term care services coverage for low-income families.  

While Medicare is managed by the federal government, Medicaid is managed by the states. Its benefits also depend on one’s income. 

Beneficiaries are entitled based on two guarantees. All Americans that meet eligibility requirements are guaranteed coverage. And states are guaranteed matching dollars without capping for eligible enrollees. 

Learn more about the benefits of Medicaid here. 

Food and Nutrition Assistance

There is also food and nutrition assistance available for low-income families. 

To avail of SNAP benefits, you need to apply in the state where you currently live and meet certain requirements. A net monthly income of $1,064 for one person is what you need to qualify.

There are also other organizations that can provide nutritious meals especially for caregivers providing at-home care for the elderly.

These services range from access to locally grown fruits and vegetables, emergency food assistance, access to cooked food and even meal delivery services.

Some of these organizations are the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, Meals on Wheels, Commodity Supplemental Food Program and The Emergency Food Assistance Program

Housing Assistance

Housing assistance for low-income seniors is also available. Start with federal aid and local housing agencies to find affordable housing.

If you're looking for affordable public rentals, visit the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Most of the time, the rent will be 30% of your monthly adjusted income, and HUD will cover the other 70%.

Public housing is available only to low-income families and individuals who are U.S. citizens or eligible immigrants. To apply for a voucher, check this guide.

The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage is a reverse mortgage program that enables you to withdraw some of the equity in your home. You can choose how you want to withdraw your funds. It can be in a fixed monthly amount, a line of credit or a combination of both.

A person must be at least 62 years old to be eligible for this benefit. 

They must also be currently occupying the property, have paid it in full or have a small mortgage balance. If they owe the federal government money, they have to be good payers. 

To apply for grants to elderly very-low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards, reach out to USDA Housing Repair Program.

You can also check here for more information.

Community Services

Those providing at-home care for the elderly living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia may also be concerned about challenging behavior and wandering risks. 

You can prevent these by signing up for Wandering Support Programs. These programs offer 24/7 support to help find missing elderly and get them home safely.

Silver Alert Programs are also available. 

Local and statewide authorities, as well as the general public, can get information that may be crucial to the person's safe return. 

It does not require registration and anyone with cognitive impairment can participate in the program.

For caregivers needing help with looking after their loved one during the day, adult care centers can help. 

You can check the Eldercare Locator or the National Adult Day Services Association to find an elder care center near you.

Housekeeping services are also available for those living far away from their aging parents. 

You can also hire a trained aide to assist them with personal hygiene like bathing and dressing up. Home health aides can also assist in temporary nursing care and managing medications.

If you’ve never hired help before, this resource can help you choose the right provider.

Free legal help

Around 1 in 6 people 60 years old and older has experienced elder abuse in the past year. 

And most of these are from communities, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities. 

Because of this, there’s also a need for subsidized legal services for those who suffered abuse. 

Long term care ombudsman services are available for legal help. 

Approach them if a senior resident is being neglected, exploited or abused. The program advocated for the quality of life and care of individuals living in long-term care facilities.

This can include improper discharge of a patient, poor quality of care, food quality, poor staff attitudes, lack of respect for residents and a hazardous environment.

Check here to find the nearest local ombudsman in your area. 

If you're confused, this resource provides you with a detailed list of services by State along with the agency names and how you can qualify. 

You can also visit Benefits Checkup and Benefits.gov for other benefits for the elderly. 

Conclusion

At-home care for the elderly may be expensive. The good thing is, there are so many options available to help alleviate the burden and financial costs. 

All you have to do is know where to find them. 

Do you have any tips for lowering costs for at-home care for the elderly? 

Share it with us below.

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That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

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  2. ELDERLY CARE IN HOME AND ELSEWHERE
  3. PREVENTION OF FALLING AT HOME - STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO PREVENT FALLING