How to Get the Help You Need as a Disabled Older Adult
By Lizzie Weakley
Having a disability at any age is challenging. However, older adults who are managing a disability along with the effects of aging may face more trials than others. If you have been diagnosed with a disability condition, here are some valuable services you may want to consider.
Community Social Service Agencies
Many towns and cities offer various social services to older adults with disabilities. These may include transportation, housekeeping assistance and meal preparation, among others. If a resource such as the National Aging in Place Council is not available in your area, look up services like the Area Office on Aging or home health agencies in your community. Ask your doctor for a referral or browse online local services to see what is available in your area.
Social Security Disability
Depending on the nature of your disability, your age, and your financial resources, you may benefit from contacting a social security disability attorney. A lawyer who specializes in this area of law can answer questions about your eligibility for social service disability benefits. You can also get information about the office to contact for assistance. Find out all you can to see if you qualify for government disability benefits that can make your life more comfortable and convenient.
Charities and Faith-Based Organizations
If you are a member of a particular religious congregation or group, you may be able to inquire about disability support from that organization. Even non-members are sometimes given various types of help, with members offering to run errands or do yardwork to help older people with special needs. Community charitable organizations like United Way may be able to provide assistance in a variety of ways. Contact groups like these for more detailed information.
If you live close to neighbors that you know or who appear to be friendly, you could ask about a possible exchange of services. For example if you are handy with woodworking or crocheting despite your disability, you could offer that specialty in exchange for something you are not able to do, such as cleaning floors or walking the dog. You may be able to pay the neighbor teen to weed the flower beds or unload groceries from the car.
Managing a disability is not always easy. Fortunately, there are available resources to consider as you investigate possible options. Contact medical and legal experts, as well as local professionals to learn more about the services available for older adults with disabilities.