Everyone should be entitled to long-term care and accessible social services, especially our aging loved ones.
While these should be a no-brainer, finding the right program and facilities is tough for our elderly people.
Health care can be very expensive, and many aging adults in the U.S. do not have enough income to afford it, let alone looking for social workers is time-consuming.
So, we will give you a reliable list of the available services and assistance in your community and programs offered by the government that you can review yourself.
This will help you to make your retirement days worth it!
What Are the Different Social Services for the Elderly?
You can look for government-administered agencies such as the VA and AoA, but you can also find private entities that offer long-term care and social services.
Now, we will delve into the offices that will assist you, particularly if you want to be aware of your legal rights and seek monetary services if your income is insufficient.
Department of Veteran Affairs
If you are a military veteran experiencing service-related disabilities, you can be eligible for subsidiary disability support from the VA.
This is true if the disabilities had intensified, the VA provides a health care program to military veterans who require regular medical care because of service-related disabilities.
Two VA programs that offer monetary services:
The Aid and Attendance (A&A) is an increase in pension if you’re eligible for the conditions below:
- If you need help in your daily functions, such as bathing, making meals, and dressing
- You are bedridden
- A patient in a nursing home
- Eyesight is restricted to a corrected 5/200 visual acuity or if you have concentric contraction of 5 degrees or less.
Geriatrics is a form of health care covered for elderly Veterans with complex needs who require day-to-day support.
Seniors can obtain geriatrics at home, in VA medical care centers, and in communities.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
The HIPAA act was enacted in 1966, giving you full privacy as your medical records are concerned.
An elderly person will receive benefits from the Act if they sign the HIPAA authorization form, as they can bestow access to their family caregivers.
The caregivers or any designated family members with adequate knowledge of their medical and treatment history can ensure the utmost decisions on their well-being and social welfare.
The considerations in allowing access to health records concerned include:
- Caregivers should effectively communicate with the senior’s doctor to coordinate treatment between medical agencies.
- It is also the caregiver’s job to discuss and pay the medical bills on behalf of the elderly person.
The privacy regulation can restrict access to families to medical data if that member has not been appointed as a personal representative, along with a valid healthcare power of attorney.
Administration on Aging (AoA)
The AoA is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ leading agency designated to perform the provisions of the Older Americans Act of 1965.
It aims to offer services that will help aging adults to live independently.
It develops systematic and cost-effective programs to help them maintain their dignity and avoid abuse.
The Act also empowers the federal government to dispense funds to the states to benefit elderly people over the age of 60.
The AoA is a great course for people with old age who wish to be aware of their legal rights, especially if they encounter abuse and neglect.
Moreover, the administration offers a range of evidence-based programs, food and nutrition services, behavioral health, HIV/AIDS, and more.
Know more about their programs at acl.gov.
How Does a Social Worker Help the Elderly?
Geriatric social workers help the elderly handle psychological, emotional, and social struggles.
The role of social workers is to provide social services through counseling and therapy.
They also create a valuable relationship with the older person, their children, and their family by helping them assist their loved ones with old age.
Social workers are a vital part of the health care team, for they serve as the bridge between the clients and the interdisciplinary team.
Your social worker will adjust to problematic setups, so they can lead a positive impact on the lives of our seniors and refer them to community resources.
This ensures they receive quality social services when transitioning between inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.
How Can You Avail of Social Services for the Elderly?
There are tons of programs you can avail of, visit a series of websites such as HHS.gov and find out about the regional services and resources by state.
Go online and answer some basic questions, and they will give you a pathfinder to help you connect to a specific program and find online tools and advocates.
You can avail if you’re eligible and can meet the conditions. Usually, this is based on your health, military service, income and properties, education, etc.
You can also find a social worker through an area agency on aging. They will let you look for a list of local social workers and geriatric care managers.
Each state has its area agency that offers basic services like insurance counseling, care management evaluation, food and nutritional delivery, and caregiver resources.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We will give you the additional information that will answer some frequently asked queries:
Is Home Care Suitable for Older People With Cognitive Issues?
Older adults with cognitive issues may need extensive supervision, specialized communication, and behavior administration.
Home care is suitable for senior adults with cognitive issues, but find care providers ready to attend to your loved ones outside the hospital and in your home.
Seniors with cognitive disabilities require person-centered and goal-directed planning to ensure their safety, reduce risks of harm, and situate their care with their choices.
Does Insurance Pay For In-Home Care or Services?
Yes, as federal health insurance, Medicare extends short-term medical assistance for seniors who are 65 years of age and above.
You may be eligible for Medicaid waiver programs, which will shelter most medical care and some in-home services.
The Medicare benefits include medical necessities provided in a home setting over the short term.
If you belong to the low-income bracket and utilize the Social Security benefits as the only source of income, Medicare may fund all but about $10 of your premium.
However, if the aging adult needs non-medical assistance such as aid in bathing and housekeeping, they will not be eligible for the Medicare coverage of the said benefits.
Deciding where to spend your golden years is one of the most important things to plan for later in life.
Your income and accessibility may impede your decision-making.
But you can always ask for help and turn to families searching for long-term care.
Many agencies can provide health insurance counseling, protection from elderly abuse, legal benefits, and aid with long-term care needs.