Did you know that just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean there aren’t any resources or programs to help you navigate through this next stage of your life?
In today’s society, you’re never alone and never at a loss for information with the internet so readily accessible to anyone and everyone.
As such, there are a few websites and programs that every senior should know in order to assist them in their daily activities.
Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, and keep reading to discover some of the websites and programs that you should know and be able to navigate with ease as a senior!
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
What are the Medicare and Medicaid programs?
- Medicare is a federally funded insurance program for those who are aged 65-years or older, suffer from End-Stage Renal Disease, or are disabled – under the age of 65 and collecting Social Security Disability Insurance.
- Medicaid is a jointly funded (federal and state) assistance program to help low-income individuals of every age.
The CMS is under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). As such, the CMS coordinates with the HHS as well as other federal agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the Social Security Agency (SSA), etc.
The CMS is also responsible for managing and overseeing the contractors who process Medicare claims. In addition, CMS also works with states to fund and support each state’s individual Medicaid program.
If you have questions regarding your Explanation of Benefits from your healthcare provider or if feel you’ve been a victim of Medicare or Medicaid fraud, waste, or abuse, call CMS at 1-800-Medicare or contact the OIG.
The Social Security Administration
The SSA provides a wealth of resources for people – including seniors. This federal agency works with CMS in order to enroll seniors in the Medicare program, provides retirement benefits, disability benefits, survivors benefits, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits that support those who are disabled and have limited income and resources.
If you’re disabled and in need of financial assistance, visit SSA.gov to see if you qualify for SSI benefits.
What is Benefits.gov you may ask?
Benefits.gov is a website that provides a wealth of information as to how to find Federal Government benefits that would be applicable to you.
Benefits.gov provides you with the following information:
- Disaster Relief
- Family and Children’s Services
- Education and Training
- Financial Assistance
- Food and Nutrition
- Healthcare and Medical Assistance
- Housing and Public Utilities
- Immigration and Refugee Assistance
- Military: Active Duty and Veterans
- Social Security and Retirement
- Volunteer Opportunities
The list goes on!
As a senior, some of the benefits that would be great for you to check out even further would be your Social Security and retirement options, public assistance and housing options, veteran’s benefits, and healthcare and medical assistance.
Visit Benefits.gov to determine your eligibility for certain programs and assistance that are offered.
Medicare.gov is a website that’s managed by the CMS. Through this website, you’re able to have all of your questions regarding Medicare answered.
The website provides you with the following information:
- How to enroll in the Medicare program.
- The types of Medicare health insurance plans that are offered.
- Costs for Medicare health insurance plans.
- How to file appeals and complaints regarding your Medicare treatments and procedures.
- How Medicare is responding to the Coronavirus pandemic.
- What is and isn’t covered by Medicare.
If you find yourself needing additional information regarding the Medicare program, visit Medicare.gov for additional resources and guidance.
The Eldercare Directory has information for seniors and their caregivers. This website contains a wealth of information that will help you not only in your daily activities, but has resources to assist those who help you in your daily routine.
Within the Eldercare Directory, you’ll find information, such as:
- Finding certified Medicare and Medicaid in-home care.
- Finding nursing homes and retirement communities.
- Finding financial assistance programs.
- Providing help in understanding how the Medicare and Medicaid program works.
There’s also a great deal of information on how to create a living will, how to navigate probate, wills, and trusts, as well as how to prevent falls and manage your diabetes (if applicable).
The Eldercare Locator, courtesy of USA.gov, is administered by The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a).
The Eldercare Locator is a free resource of the Administration of Aging that provides seniors with an immediate pool of resources that aid them in living independently within their own communities and gives support to their caregivers.
Within the Eldercare Locator, you’re provided with information on the following topics:
- Support Services
- The Coronavirus
- Elder Rights
- Insurance and Benefits
Have a question?
Call them at 1-800-677-1116 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Council on Aging
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a one-stop shop containing everything that seniors need to know.
The NCOA maintains a blog with up-to-date news and information regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, food safety, self-care, Medicare, and other topics that can really benefit you and other aging seniors.
The websites also show events that the NCOA is holding, and it has a donations page in which you’re able to get monetarily involved with the NCOA. The NCOA takes the monies raised and uses them to help other aging seniors in need with food, heat, medicine, etc.
Visit the NCOA’s website to see what they’re all about and what they can do for you!
Area Agencies on Aging
The Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) is a public and private non-profit organization (depending on the state) that addresses any concerns or necessities for seniors at the local and regional level.
The AAA is responsible for a specific geographic area; a city, a county, or a district.
Coordinating and offering services which aid seniors to stay in their homes, if they prefer, is one of their main priorities. If you prefer to remain in your home rather than moving into a nursing home or long-term care facility, the AAA will coordinate services, such as meal delivery, homemaker assistance, and support of other activities of daily living so that you can stay in your home.
Now You Know
The websites and programs listed above don’t even scratch the surface on the amount of information that’s available online for seniors.
Start with just one resource on this list per week and you’ll find that you’ve learned something new that can benefit you and your family.
Maybe there’s a program that you’re eligible for and you don’t even know it.
Maybe there’s a way for your caregiver to better care for you, and you don’t even know it.
How will you know if you never find out?
Take a look through this list of resources.
You’ll be surprised by what you discover.