smiling senior looking at elder care resources on laptop

What Are Community Resources and How to Find Them

Many people, especially seniors, are on limited funds and struggle to pay monthly bills, not to mention for things such as medications, mobility aids, health insurance, and nutritious meals. In this post we review what are community resources and provide a list of community resources for elderly and others. It is important to understand how to find elder care resources in your community so that you can apply and receive any assistance that  you are eligible for.

 

Below we provide a list of community resources for elderly and others to help you find what you may be available and what you may be eligible for. Anyone at any age can use these tools and contact these agencies to see what is available in their area!

 

 

 

community on chalk board signifying community resources for elderly

 

What are Community Resources?

Community resources are assets that each community has to meet the needs of the people in that area. The resources available can include a wide range of things intended to help people in that community. Usually, a community resource refers to an organization that serves a specific location or group, by providing tools to help improve quality of life. These community resources can be funded by the state, government, non-profit organizations, or sometimes by private individuals.

 

Elderly Care Resources – Community Resources for Elderly 

Many elderly (and others) struggle financially. For example, to pay bills, afford adequate housing or pay costs associated with health care. In addition, many elderly want to age at home. However,  they may need help in order to stay in the community verses living in a facility. Elderly care resources, and mostly all community resources, vary depending on the community. We provide a list of community resources for elderly and others below.

 

How to Find Resources in Your Area

To find what elder care resources are available in your community, review the organizations listed below. Click on the links to bring you to the resource’s website. You can review the organization’s website for information. If you want to apply for resources, the organization will provide eligibility information and instructions on how to apply. For some of the organizations below, if you provide your location, it will bring up local resources in your area.

 

How to Find Resources in Your Community – Check Out this Interactive Tool for Government Benefits!

For an interactive tool that is responsive to how to find resources in your community, check out BenefitsCheckUp.Org. It is a pretty user-friendly tool made available by the National Council on Aging. Insert your zip code, answer a some questions, and identify what type of benefits you are interested in. They can provide information on available resources in your area for such things as medication assistance, income assistance, housing and utilities, transportation, tax relief, veteran assistance and more.

How to Find Resources in Your Community – This Interactive Tool is for Finding Social Services

Aunt Bertha’s social network,  now called Findhelp.org, is a huge social network that connects people and programs. This makes it easy for you to find what social services are available in your community. You can find food assistance, help to pay bills, and other free and reduced-cost programs. Plugin your zip code and click search, it is that easy!

 

 

List of Community Resources for Elderly (and Others)

 

senior couple reviewing paperwork list of Community resources for elderly while sitting at kitchen table

 

 

Community Resources for Elderly

Area Agency on Aging (AAA) 

A good starting point to find available elderly care resources is your local  Area Agency on Aging.

Each county has a local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) that help coordinate services for seniors that want to stay living in the home. The type of support provided varies depending on where you live. Some AAA will have a care coordinator come to the house and assess what services the senior may need. For example, services may include health insurance consultation, legal aid, meals on wheels, transportation, respite, adult daycare information, and caregiver support services.  Find your area local Area Agency on Aging here.

 

 

Community Resources for Elderly

Eldercare Locator 

The  Eldercare Locator is a handy tool that helps find community resources for elderly. The U.S. Administration on Aging provides the locator.  It can help you find services for older adults and their families, including transportation, income tax assistance, nutrition, respite services, legal assistance and more. They have a wealth of information on their website. You can plug in your city and state or zip code to find local agencies that actually provide the community services.  Visit the  Eldercare Locator or call 800-677-1116.

 

Community Resources for Elderly

Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) 

Another option when looking for elderly care resources is contacting your local Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). It is a terrific resource because it can provide information and assistance to older adults and people with disabilities. The ADRC can help you learn about public and private programs available and how to access the services you need. Click here to locate the ADRC near you.

 

Centers for Independent Living

Your local centers for independent living (CILs) helps people with disabilities of all ages. CILs are community-based centers run mostly by people with disabilities and over a range of services to help people live independently. To find a CIL near you, the Independent Living Research Utilization created this interactive map.

 

Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs

Let’s face it, medications can be costly, and it doesn’t seem like they will get much better very soon. Many states have a State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program to help pay for prescription medications. This is one of the extremely valuable community resources for elderly with out of pocket costs for medications.   Click Here to see if your state has a medication assistance program and if so, this site will provide additional information such as who is eligible and how to apply.

It is also worth checking out PhRMA’s Medicine Assistance Tool (MAT). This tool is a search engine that helps you find resources offered by the biopharmaceutical industry. Insert the name of the medication and other information requested into the Medicine Assistance Tool (MAT) and it will provide the contact information of the pharmaceutical resources it finds you qualify for.

 

Government Benefits

Benefits.Gov is the official government benefits website, which has a free, confidential tool that will help anyone find government benefits that they may be eligible for. This includes health and medical assistance, disaster relief, loans, and financial assistance.  You can filter by state and categories. It also provides links for additional information regarding each benefit, including what it is and how to apply.

 

 

Group Consoling Man Speaking At Support Group Meeting

 

 

SUPPORT AND THERAPY

To find a support group near you,  go to findhelp.org  insert your zip code, click on ‘care’ than ‘support network’ it should bring up support groups near you.

Some tips on finding an affordable therapist:

  • Contact your insurance plan to find a therapist that is in your plan’s network.
  • Find out if your work has an employee assistance program (EAP). If they do, you may be able to get a limited number of free counseling sessions. (your therapist will keep the information you discuss confidential).
  • If you have a large university near you, you can ask if they have low cost or free therapy available. Sometimes grad students may work a clinic.
  • You can call some therapists and ask if they have a sliding scale fee. In addition, ask if they offer any pro bono services (free). If they don’t, they may be able to tell you where you can get free or low-cost sessions.
  • https://openpathcollective.org/ is a non-profit nationwide network of mental health professionals dedicated to providing in-office and online mental health care—at a steeply reduced rate—to individuals, couples, children, and families in need. OpenPath works through a one-time membership fee of $59.00. After paying the membership fee, you get reduced session rates, the price vary between $30 to $60 per session)

 

 

COMMUNITY RESOURCES FOR NUTRITIONAL ASSISTANCE 

Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)

The federal program called The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)  provides nutrition benefits to low-income people and families that are used in stores to purchase food (this program used to be called ‘food stamps”).  To be eligible for these benefits, your household must meet specific requirements. To apply for benefits, or get information about SNAP, contact your local SNAP office. Find the contact information for your SNAP state agency for more information or to apply.

 

Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)

The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is a federally funded program that provides low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruit, vegetables, honey, and herbs.  If eligible, the program provides seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods at some farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture programs, and roadside stands. Click here for contact information regarding your state’s Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.

Feeding America

Local food banks, soup kitchens, and other local meal programs are also available. Feeding America is a great site to find local food programs, whether you need food or want to volunteer to help others.

 

 

DEMENTIA & ALZHEIMER’S HELP

The Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association is a great resource that provides a lot of information about Alzheimer’s Disease and all Dementias. They provide disease specific information and insight for caregivers. They have virtual support groups and online community and message boards. If you or someone you know has Alzheimer’s disease or any type of dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association is an excellent resource to use. The association also has a 24/7  help line (800) 272-3900 24/7.

The Alzheimer’s Association has a huge amount of helpful information, including information and support specifically for caregivers. 

Community Resource Finder

The Alzheimer’s Association and AARP Community Resource Finder is dementia and aging-related resources database to help find available programs and services in your area.

 

 

ADVANCE CARE PLANNING

Aging With Dignity

Aging With Dignity is a nonprofit organization that has developed an easy-to-read advance care planning program called Five Wishes.  They make available an advance directive document legal in most states and is available in at least 30 languages.  You can access the document online or order it in a hard copy format. For more information: http://www.agingwithdignity.org
1-850–681–2010

Advance Directive Forms By State

AARP makes it easy, click here to find Advance Directive Forms by State.

NHPCO provides Advance Directives by State, along with additional information including preparing advance directives and selecting your health care agent.

 

doctor with senior patient in office

Community Resources for Elderly (and others)

HEALTH INSURANCE

Medicare

If you are 65 years and older, you are eligible for Medicare, a federal health insurance program. Other things may make you eligible for Medicare, including certain younger people with disabilities or people with end-stage renal disease.  Because Medicare does not cover some services, and there are out-of-pocket expenses such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles with Medicare, many people buy a Medigap policy.  Medigap is a private insurance plan that only supplements Medicare, to help pay for your out-of-pocket costs.

Medicaid 

Some people may qualify for Medicaid, which is a combined federal and state program for low-income people (and families). Medicaid covers the costs of medical care and may cover some types of long-term care. Eligibility and what services are covered vary by state.

Usually, nursing services and personal care are covered benefits, but room and board are not typically covered. However, many states have additional programs that help with long-term care costs.

Medicaid and In-Home Care

In most states, Medicaid will cover in-home care for those seniors who qualify. Typically this coverage is through a 1915(c) waiver program, also known as the Home & Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers. Waiver programs are helpful because they provide expanded coverage from your state’s standard Medicaid, and HCBS waivers are available specifically to give seniors more long-term care choices instead of defaulting to a nursing home. What HCBS waivers are available and what they cover may vary significantly between states, so look into your state’s Medicaid program for additional information on coverage for assisted living services.

For detailed information about health insurance, read our post:  Health Insurance: Everything You Need to Know. 

 

Health Insurance Marketplace – Federal or State Marketplace (Exchanges)

If you do not get medical insurance through your work, you can buy health insurance on the health insurance marketplace. The health insurance marketplace is also called the health insurance exchange.

To enroll in health insurance marketplace coverage and see if you qualify for help paying for health coverage, it is a good idea to start on the website  healthcare.gov.  You can apply and enroll yourself. In addition, you can get help with applying for healthcare coverage. If your state has its own state marketplace, you’ll be redirected to your state’s website. If you apply using the healthcare.gov website, you will find out if you are eligible for a subsidy to help cover the monthly cost.

 

Dental Care for Medicaid Recipients

Finding a dentist who accepts Medicaid can be a big challenge. States are only required to provide dental benefits to children covered by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). For adults,  states can choose whether to provide dental benefits. States have the flexibility to determine what dental benefits are provided to adult Medicaid enrollees.  Click here for an overview of adult Medicaid dental benefits in your state.

Per Medicaid.Gov, most states provide at least emergency dental services for adults, but not all the states currently provide comprehensive dental care. If you can’t find a dentist who is willing to accept Medicaid, try contacting your state’s department of health, they may be able to help find a dentist near you that accepts Medicaid. Another way to find one is by using the American Dental Association’s Find a Dentist Tool. After you click search, click on payment options, and then Medicaid Accepted, and that way, you are filtering to see local dentists who accept Medicaid.

 

 

TAX DEDUCTIONS FOR CAREGIVERS

If you have been caring for a family member, some caregivers may qualify for tax credits and deductions.

The IRS  interactive tool  helps determine if caring for your loved one qualifies for a tax credit. You can also  visit the IRS website or call their helpline at 800-829-1040.

It is also a good idea to talk to you accountant or tax preparer and ask if you qualify for any tax breaks.

 

 

Need a Break From Caregiving? 

COMMUNITY RESOURCES FOR RESPITE CARE

National Respite Locator

ARCH has a National Respite Locator tool, a database that helps caregivers, parents, and providers find local respite services.

 

Adult Day Care – Respite Care

Adult Day Care (ADC) generally provides daily services for aging adults and the disabled. They usually operate during the day, and they typically offer activities for adults who have lost independence. An adult daycare facility differs from a senior community center. Senior community centers are usually for more independent and mobile seniors. Adult daycare is a good option for family caregivers if they work during the day or need a break. In addition, some ADCs provide caregiver education on a variety of caregiving topics.

To find adult day care near you, search the National Adult Day Services Association locater.

 

 

Caregiver Support

If you are a family caregiver, it may be very helpful to everyone to know what community elder care resources are available. The list of community resources for elderly above should help how to find resources in your community.

Finding community resources for elderly may alleviate some caregiver stress. For example, look to see what respite care or adult day care is available in your community. For more information about stress and how it impacts your body, read our post What is Stress?  Caregiver self-care is essential to ensuring that you stay healthy without burning out from stress and exhaustion. Read more about caregiver self-care in our post Self-Care Tips For Caregivers.

For a supportive environment where caregivers support each other, please join our Facebook group: Family Caregiver Support 

Please note, circumstances are different for everyone, and sometimes a senior is not able to continue living at home. For more information about the different types of senior housing available, read our post Senior Living: The Complete Senior Housing Guide.

 

 

Have you used any helpful tools lately to find resources? What did you think about the list of community resources for elderly above? Let us know!

 

Conclusion

So, what are community resources?  Basically they are assets in your community to help improve people’s quality of life. There are many organizations that provide elderly care resources such as transportation, legal aide, housing assistance, respite care and much more. Community resources for elderly and others vary on what is available in your area. Regarding how to find resources in your community, you can use an interactive tool like  Benefits.Gov. to find government benefits and Findhelp.org  makes it easy to find social services in your area. Review our list of community resources for elderly so you know how to find available elder care resources in your community.


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