Whether we like to admit it or not, we’re all growing older. It is one of life’s biggest inevitabilities. Furthermore, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we’re living longer and growing older than ever before. CDC data shows that Americans live an average of 78.8 years, an notable increase from a life expectancy of about 70 back in 1963. That’s a substantial improvement in just 50 years. As we live longer, we get to spend more time with family and loved ones and experience the finer things that life has to offer.
However, it is a good probability that as we age, we are going to need to find ways to stretch a dollar farther in order to have enough money to avoid hardship and maintain the comfort that we have grown accustomed to. Most seniors live on a fixed income, whether it is social security, pension, etc, it is becoming increasingly important that we save money in order to make our nest egg last as long as possible.
Luckily, there are a multitude of programs and services for senior citizens which offer a variety of services and items for little to no out of pocket cost. In this article we are going to share a few great options that will help seniors save a little money and help them stretch a dollar just a little bit further.
Free Hearing Aids
As you progress in years, you may come to realize that your hearing isn’t what it used to be, and you may require the use of a hearing aid. The price point of these tiny-yet-indispensable gadgets can create a great deal of financial hardship for low income seniors. The good news is that in some states, medicaid will completely cover the cost of these life-changing devices.
Many community programs and outreach groups such as March of Dimes, Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions Clubs may be able to help you obtain new or refurbished hearing aids at no cost to you if you meet income requirements. There are also programs in place at some local hospitals that allow for doctors to give patients hearing aids that would otherwise be discarded.
If you are a veteran of the U.S. armed forces, and at least 50% of your hearing loss is related to your service, the U.S. Veterans Administration may be able to provide you with free hearing aids. Most of the hearing aids available through these sorts of programs will have been previously used by another patient. However, there are charities devoted to helping people get new hearing aids. A quick google search will help you find an organization in your area that can provide you with hearing aids.
As we age, our teeth suffer from quite a bit of wear and tear. Even those who maintain proper oral hygiene rarely make it to old age with all of their teeth intact. Many opt to have their remaining teeth removed and opt for dentures. If you require dentures and are considered a low-income senior, you can contact the Office for the Aging in your state and receive advice on agencies that may be able to help provide you with dentures free of charge. If you don’t know how to contact your state’s Office for the Aging, simply find your state on this list.
Senior Placement Services
There are quite a few organizations and agencies that work with seniors on a case by case basis to help place them in an appropriate assisted living facility based on their particular needs. Many such organizations also provide free emergency placement if such a need arises.
Assisted living communities offer services and facilities that are suited to the needs of those who reside there. While many such facilities do take a standardized clinical approach to care, there are other kinds of assisted living facilities for those who may need a little bit of help with their day to day affairs, but still maintain a fair amount of independence. Many of these communities offer a wide range of services and facilities, such as on-site gyms complete with personal trainers, as well art classes, a wide variety of activities and meal planning services to help seniors maintain a healthy balance in life.
Medical Alert Devices
It is not uncommon for seniors and elderly persons to have health and mobility issues which increase their chances of a medical emergency such as a stroke, heart attack, or a fall which could result in serious injury.
This often results in a big worry for both the seniors and their loved ones. A very useful item to combat this issue at the frontline is a medical alert system. Any senior can get a medical alert system for free and have it delivered right to their home. In most cases the senior will still have to pay the monthly service fee: approximately $30 a month. However it is well worth the cost, as it could potentially save someone’s life. Some medicaid recipients may qualify for free service based on their medical conditions, as well as their income.
There are a number of ways for low income seniors to receive free or subsidized food or meals. The federal government’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program, or CSFP, can help by delivering nutritious foods courtesy of the U.S. Agricultural Department to seniors’ homes each month. There are also many nonprofit and volunteer organizations such as Meals on Wheels, Mobile Meals, and Mom’s Meals who have taken up the charge to provide low cost, and in some cases free meals to the elderly and infirm. There are a wide variety of meal delivery services to choose from, each offering balanced nutrition designed around the dietary guidelines recommended by choosemyplate.gov.
These are just a few of the programs and services that are devoted to helping ease the financial burden of aging senior citizens. What are some other services that can help seniors offset the cost of living, and ensure that they do not fall under undue economic hardship?
Leave a comment with your thoughts in the space provided below.