Health Resources for Seniors

As a senior, you will need access to resources but may have trouble paying for these resources due to financial constraints.

While receiving benefits from Social Security can ease the financial burden, there are other ways you can find necessary resources at an affordable price. Utilizing services provided by local charities or non-profit organizations can help you receive the care you need without spending a high amount for it. Additionally, there are several discounted services available for seniors you can use as a resource if you do not wish to seek assistance through an organization.

In addition to discounted wellness services, you can find numerous resources for assistance with your physical health, as well. Whether you are prone to slips and falls or you need to receive physical rehabilitation care, the information below will provide you with the information you need for the best available health resources for seniors.

Durable Medical Equipment

Many adults may require additional assistance with daily tasks as they grow older. Mobility can be a challenge for many seniors, limiting their ability to do tasks for themselves. However, there are ways in which you can improve your mobility and ease daily tasks that have become increasingly difficult. Durable medical equipment refers to devices and other products that are usually larger and used to help individuals with mobility issues and daily tasks. Some of the most common of these items include wheelchairs, walkers and canes. Additionally, items like shower stools, bath benches and raised toilet seats can help you with daily self-care.

Medical and Wellness Discounts for Seniors

If you need to gain access to medical or wellness services but have a limited income, utilizing discounted services can provide you with the care you need without breaking your budget. One of the primary ways you can achieve this goal is to contact the Area Agency on Aging nearest you to speak with someone about benefits counseling. Counseling services provided by the Area Agency on Aging are free, and the representative you speak with can help you receive benefits from numerous resources. Through benefits counseling you can gain access to income assistance, healthcare coverage, and food stamps. Regardless of your needs, speaking with someone about getting benefits counseling can help you take the right steps to receive the assistance you need.

For those who require dentures and have difficulty affording them, the Area Agency on Aging can assist you in this matter as well. If you are considered a low-income senior, you may qualify for a free set of dentures. The Area Agency on Aging can redirect you to a local program providing free dentures for seniors who have a limited income. You can also speak with a dental college located in your area to determine where you can receive a free dental program or a low-cost dental program. Through these programs you will be able to receive new dentures as well as any outstanding dental work you may need.

Fall Prevention for Seniors

Seniors are at an increased risk of slipping and falling and can incur serious physical harm if falling at home when no one else is present. Utilizing fall prevention resources can help ensure this does not happen to you or your loved one. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this goal is to conduct a walk-through safety check of your home or the home of a loved one. During a safety check, you will need to properly assess each area of the home to determine whether a slipping, tripping, or falling threat is present. Installing grab bars near the toilet and shower of your home or the home of a loved one can help prevent falls in the bathroom. Additionally, you should ensure there are sturdy handrails equipped on each staircase inside and outside of the home to prevent falls on the stairs. Increasing the lighting throughout the home can also help to prevent falls from occurring.

Preventing falls for seniors can also be achieved through completing a medical assessment to ensure any existing medications or conditions are not causing the potential for falls to occur. Certain medications you or your loved one may be taking can cause dizziness as a side effect which can lead to an increased risk of falling within the home. Speak with your doctor about any negative side effects that you may be experiencing as the result of your current medication. If you feel dizzy after taking medication, you may want to find an alternative prescription or means of dealing with a health condition.

Health Care Surrogates and Living Wills

Few people want to think about what will happen in case of a medical emergency. However, it is important to make plans well in advance so that your family and medical professionals will know what to do if you suddenly become incapable of making a conscious decision about your health care. Choosing a health care surrogate and preparing a living will are two processes that most health care professionals agree is vital for seniors to do. A health care surrogate can help make important decisions on your behalf if you become incapable of doing so on your own. This can happen in instances of a coma or when you cannot communicate to a medical team. A living will mainly involves your choice to continue with artificial life support when you are hospitalized and can no longer survive without the use of medical equipment. By selecting a health care surrogate in advance and finalizing your living will, you can avoid confusion and unnecessary health care costs in the case of an emergency.

Physical Rehabilitation Centers for Seniors

If you have suffered an injury recently, you may need to seek assistance from a physical rehabilitation center to recover fully from your accident. Physical rehabilitation centers are one of the primary health resources for seniors and should be used to ensure a timely recovery from an injury. You will need to consider a few key factors to ensure you are choosing the right physical rehabilitation center for your personal needs. When selecting a center to help you recover from an injury, you should be mindful of:

  • Programs offered by the center and whether these programs align with the resources you need direct access to. The physicians who work at your local rehabilitation center will specialize in certain areas, and you will need to ensure an onsite physician can help you recover from your ailment. Whether you have suffered a stroke, heart attack or organ transplant, you will need to gain access to a rehabilitation center providing services that encompass your recovery needs.
  • Treatment plans and how they are developed by the staff and by your physician. Treatment plans offered by rehabilitation centers include a variety of recovery methods, and you will need to select the options that work best for you. Treatment plans can include physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. You may also gain access to a psychologist through a rehabilitation center if you need to do so.
  • How often services are provided and whether this works with the schedule you need to be on to achieve full recovery. The recommended timeframe for receiving therapy through a rehabilitation center is three hours per day, five days per week. If the rehabilitation center you are interested in does not operate within this schedule, you may want to speak with a healthcare professional to determine how often you should be receiving therapeutic care. You may not need to go as often as recommended for others, or you may need to receive care above the recommended time to ensure your full recovery.

Finding a Nursing Home or Hospice

There may come a time when adults may no longer be able to take care of themselves independently. Sometimes, simply having a home health aide or living in an assisted living facility may be enough to provide the appropriate level of care that a senior may need to live healthily and safely. However, there are times when an individual’s health is severely compromised, and he or she may need round-the-clock health care. In these instances, a nursing home or hospice care can offer the best solutions. Nursing homes are equipped with medical staff at all times and are able to take care of ill and/or disabled seniors. Hospice care can exist in an individual’s home or in a facility. Like a nursing home, hospice care provides 24-hour medical attention for seniors experiencing severe illnesses, as well as for seniors nearing end of life.

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