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
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. (minute 17:05)
PatientAdvocate.org—The Patient Advocate Foundation offers a variety of services. Their website has information about how to obtain discounted lab tests, as well as how to choose a health insurance plan. They also have case management services for people who are being treated for a serious or life-threatening illness. (minute 14:00)
Home Instead—This is a private pay in-home service. Services range from companion care to more skilled care. There are franchise offices all over the world, concentrated in the US. They are known for personalized and high quality care, but any time you have outside help in your home, it may take some time to find the right provider for your situation. (minute 10:06)
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.
State Department on Aging— Search online for the appropriate agency in your state. There are agencies in each of the 50 states that are responsible for developing services for people over the age of 65. These agencies may also have services for disabled people of any age. Each state has its own criteria, but it is well worth investigating. They will have information on services in your area that can be very helpful, such as senior centers, meal programs and help with medical needs. (minute 12:48)
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
PalliativeDoctors.org — This site has information from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine.
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.
Transfer on Death Deed/Instrument— This is information from Illinois Legal Aid Online. Even if you are not a resident of Illinois you can learn about having a Transfer on Death Deed/Instrument. But if you do not live in Illinois, please search online for Transfer on Death and include your state in the search so that you can get information specific to your state. (minute 4:51)
State Bar Association List— Each state in the US has a bar association that serves the legal community in that state. Many of these organizations offer referral for free or reduced cost legal work.
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.)