Regardless of the source of your disability, you are likely facing a difficult change and some tough decisions. However, you could have access to more resources than you know. You may feel alone, but by reaching out to knowledgeable professionals, you can get the help you need to live a full life.
Give Yourself Time to Adjust
Getting old isn’t easy. You may be having a hard time getting around or struggling to hear and see as well as you did before. This can be depressing, and it causes many people to become isolated because they don’t want anyone to know of the change in their circumstances. Additionally, some older citizens consider it a failing to need help or to ask for it. However, by admitting to needs and using assistive devices, you can maintain your mobility and stay out in the world. Assistive devices come in many forms such as a doorbell that includes a flashing light so you know when you have company or a walker to help you keep your balance and keep others from bumping into you.
Understand Your Rights
You may be entitled to benefits you weren’t aware of. These benefits can include help with paying for healthcare, housing or utilities. In addition, you may be able to get your assistive devices covered by supplemental security income (SSI), Medicaid or Medicare. The Americans with Disabilities Act also offers you protection. Your employer may have provided you with long- or short-term disability insurance. In addition, you may have a personal policy in place for either long-term care or long-term disability insurance. Be aware that long-term care insurance can cover part of skilled nursing expenses, and long-term disability insurance provides replacement income. Know the difference between long-term care vs. long-term disability insurance.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
You’ve worked hard for your benefits, and you deserve full access to them. If you don’t understand what you’re entitled to, ask. If the explanation is confusing, ask again. Request written documents that explain the assistance you can receive and study them carefully so you can fight for what you’ve earned if necessary. Be stubborn and stick with your questions until you get answers that you clearly understand. Also, be prepared to ask for help with daily activities. If you can physically get around your house but don’t have the ability to drive yourself to appointments anymore, contact local senior centers for transportation options. There are helplines that can put you in touch with all sorts of available services. You might also receive assistance from volunteers. Many high schools now strongly recommend that young people working on college admission essays have a history of volunteering. The elderly get the help they need, and the youngsters get the experience they require.
Aging and incurring disabilities will certainly change your life. It may also limit some of your activities. However, by being willing to reach out for help, you can expand your social circle and make connections you never would have forged had you struggled on alone. Thankfully, there are lots of resources for seniors that can help you out.