There are a lot of things that are available for seniors nowadays. The problem is that they are not advertised enough. Even some health care professionals are not aware of what is available.
Did you know that as a senior you have an opportunity to call a number that is staffed by people that can help in many ways?
In B.C., the province that I live in, we have a number that you can dial for information for seniors. It is 2–1–1. They offer numerous programs that you can participate in free of cost.
We have a new Safe Seniors, Strong Communities program. This program matches seniors who need support with non-medical essentials, with volunteers in their community who are willing to help. These are with agencies that are vetted, like the United Way.
This number can also refer you to where you need to go for what you want. Not sure of how to replace your lost medical card or have never filled out a tax form as your husband had always done that. These and numerous other questions can be answered for you.
Each province in Canada has this type of service.
In The United States, they have a website you can go to that will let you know what help is available for you, especially as a senior or if you have health issues.
After you have gone through all the resources that the federal government can help you with, you can check out the state agencies available near you.
They can help you in many ways. They can assist you in finding and filling out forms for example. Usually a big job!!
Senior Centers operate in many towns, cities, and counties. They can provide free and low- cost health screenings. To find out the things that they offer, you can go to this website https://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/senior_assistance_programs.html
After reading what is available, they offer an option to click on the state you live in and see what specifically is offered by your state.
1. These programs offer information regarding Medicare, help with prescription drugs, food programs, and senior health insurance assistance and counseling. They may even be able to help pay for food for your pet.
2. There is a Senior Medicare Hotline that will do a free assessment and based on the results you can learn about programs to help to pay your medical bills.
3. There is a Senior Citizen Legal Assistance program. This is for civil cases only and is run by Elder Law Attorneys.
4. Apply for a free cellular or home phone, as well as discounts on monthly bills if you are a lower-income senior.
5. Check out subsidized housing or assisted living homes.
Money management advice for paying routine bills, budgeting, and keeping track of financial matters can be offered by the AARP Foundation. The goal of this group is to promote independent living for individuals and senior citizens.
Scams and Frauds
Sadly, many older Americans are the targets of scams or fraud. It is estimated that as many as one million elderly people fall victim to one or more scams each year in the US. Fraud can hit people of all backgrounds, races, and religions. The best prevention is to remember:
1. Do not sign an agreement with any individual or business without checking with family or friends. If it sounds too good to be true … it probably is.
2. Never give out any personal or financial information ever.
3. Never give out or write down passwords and then keep the passwords in your purse.
4. Scammers will pressure you for information. Remember it is your phone so hang up.
5. If you do not recognize a phone number or a name that comes up, do not answer. If it is legitimate or important, they will leave a message.
There is a free service that is known as Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) that can help individuals detect billing errors and fraud, even when it comes to Medicare!
These are only a few of the opportunities that can help seniors in our countries. The last three things are for any senior whether you need help or not.
1. Remember that a senior can be anywhere from 50 to over 65 years of age depending on the service. Check it out.
2. Always ask stores or restaurants if they have a seniors rate. If you do not ask, they most likely won’t offer you one.
3. Call your city or town hall and ask if they have a designated Seniors Advisory Committee. Ask to be put on their email list and be notified regarding things of interest for seniors. Better yet ask if you can be on the committee!