It’s common knowledge that most senior citizens in the United States live on a fixed income. Whether it be social security benefits or a pension, people who live on fixed incomes often find that there is very little financial wiggle room after bills and necessities like food are budgeted in.
Many seniors often have trouble when it comes to paying for prescriptions, especially if they are not covered by a person’s health insurance provider. With few resources at their disposal, finding services for free or discounted prices plays a vital role in helping seniors to maintain their financial independence.
Luckily, there are many free services available that will help seniors to increase their quality of life. In this article, we’ve assembled a list of various free services that every senior should be taking advantage of.
1. Medical Alert System
It is rather common for seniors and elderly persons to have health and mobility issues which increase their chances of a medical emergency such as a stroke, heart attack, and falls which could result in serious injury.
Many times this results in a big worry for both the seniors and the family of the senior. A very useful item to combat this issue at the frontline is a medical alert system. Any senior can get a medical alert system for free and have it delivered right to their home. In most cases the senior will still have to pay the monthly service fee: approximately $30 a month. However it is well worth the cost, as it could potentially save someone’s life. Some medicaid recipients may qualify for free service based on their individual conditions and care needs.
2. Meal Delivery Services
Many seniors with mobility issues have a difficult time when it comes to making regular grocery store visits and keeping a fully stocked pantry. To help combat this issue, many nonprofits and volunteer organizations such as Meals on Wheels, Mobile Meals, and Mom’s Meals have taken up the charge to provide low cost, and in some cases free meals to the elderly and infirm.
There are a wide variety of meal delivery services to choose from, each offering balanced nutrition designed around the dietary guidelines recommended by choosemyplate.gov.
3. Free Gym Memberships
For seniors who are medicaid recipients, there are programs in place that allow for free-of-charge access to exercise equipment and facilities, usually through a local YMCA or YWCA. It is important for seniors to get proper exercise in order to maintain good circulatory function and muscle tone. Regular exercise also can have an immensely positive effect on symptoms of depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood.
4. Senior Placement Services
There are quite a few organizations like Above and Beyond assisted living placement than go ‘above and beyond’ to work with seniors on a case by case basis and place them in an appropriate facility based on their particular needs. When you hear the term “assisted living” you may be quick to think of sterile, institutional living arrangements often portrayed in hollywood films and television. The reality however, couldn’t be farther away from the truth.
Assisted living communities offer services and facilities that are suited to the needs of those who reside there. While some facilities do take a standardized clinical approach to care, there are other types of assisted living options for those who may need a little bit of help with their day to day affairs, but still maintain a fair amount of their independence. Many of these communities offer a wide range of services and facilities, such as on-site gyms complete with personal trainers, as well art classes, a wide variety of leisure time activities and more to help abate boredom.
5. Free Hearing Aids
Many elderly people will develop issues with their hearing as they age. This can potentially result in the need for hearing aids. The price point of these tiny-yet-indispensable gadgets can create a great deal of difficulty for low income seniors to afford the hearing aids that they so desperately need. Many community support centers, as well as your local lions club have set up programs to provide free hearing aids to senior citizens who cannot afford the financial hit that a new hearing aid would administer. There are also programs in place at some local hospitals that allow for doctors to give patients hearing aids that would otherwise be discarded.
Most of the hearing aids available through these sorts of programs will have been previously used by another patient. However, there are charities devoted to helping people get new hearing aids. A quick google search will help you find an organization in your area that can provide you with hearing aids.
What are some other freebies for senior citizens you can think of that were not included in this article? Leave us a comment and share your experience in the section below.