Each chapter of life brings with it new challenges. Anyone who has taken home a newborn from the hospital can remember wanting advice as to how to navigate the strange new world of parenthood. There are endless books, magazines and websites offering the latest in “how to parent.”
But as we age, and health concerns add up as well as concerns about losing autonomy and independence and we may not know where to turn for help. Here are some of the best resources I have found. Bookmark this page, you never know when it will be helpful!
General Information About Healthcare and Older People
• AARP.org — Formerly known as the American Association for Retired Persons, this is a well-respected advocacy group, and their website is a comprehensive resource regarding issues facing people over age 55.
• ALZ.org —The Alzheimer’s Association website is a treasure-trove of information about Alzheimer’s and other dementia illnesses.
Benefits and Services
• Benefitscheckup.org — The National Council on Aging lists 2,500 programs, all of which offer benefits that you or your loved one may qualify to receive.
• Medicare.gov — This is the official website for Medicare. Are you wondering if a test or procedure is covered by Medicare? Here is where you can find out!
• Medicare Nursing Home- If you want to learn more about nursing homes in your area, this has some valuable information.
• Eldercare.gov — This is the part of the U.S. Department of Human Services that helps people locate care options. Its “Eldercare Locator” helps older adults, their families and caregivers find trustworthy local support resources.
Understanding Healthcare Goals and Advance Directives
• PrepareForYourCare.org — This is an easy-to-use website that can help to clarify medical decisions and making an advance directive.
• TheConversationProject.org — This website helps people to talk about end-of-life care.
• POLST.org — This site has information about an advance directive form that is appropriate for people with serious illness, frailty or who are approaching the end of life.
Information about Palliative Care and Hospice
• GetPalliativeCare.org — This website has webinars, videos, and information about palliative care and how to access it in your community, including a provider directory.
• PalliativeDoctors.org — This site has information from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine.
• FindLegalHelp.org — This is the American Bar Association’s website.
• Naela.org — This website is for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.
• JusticeInAging.org — This site is for Justice in Aging, which is a non-profit center.
In general, look for websites that end in “.gov”, which indicates they are government sites, or “.edu”, which generally indicates they are U.S. institutions of higher education, for the best information. (Any organization can now use “.org”, which, originally, was primarily for not-for-profit groups, so be sure you are comfortable with the reliability of the sponsoring group before implementing any advice.)