Help at home: Community programs

Help at home: Community programs

For nonmedical support, check out community programs. Many are provided by nonprofit organizations. Others by faith communities. And still others by local government. Most offer discounts or a sliding-scale fee.

Transportation. Check if there are volunteer driver programs sponsored by a senior center or faith community. If bus service is available, there is usually an additional service called “paratransit.” It provides door-to-door transportation. This is ideal for people who can’t walk to a usual bus stop. Find out about local options at ridesinsight.org. Or call 855-607-4337, toll-free.

Adult day programs. An ideal solution for a much-needed daytime break for you. Adult day programs offer engaging activities for older adults who need a lot of help. Also, knowledgeable support for you. Staff are trained to work with memory loss conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke. Activities are adapted to the attendees’ abilities. Most programs run about four hours. They provide lunch and social and recreational opportunities. Your loved one is safe and active. You get time for yourself.

Meals. Another social option is “congregate dining.” These are meals—typically lunch—provided in a group setting. There may be one or more centers in the community that host meals. It’s a great opportunity for your relative to have a hot meal and socialize. Cost is minimal and sometimes free. If your loved one is homebound or the pandemic is flaring, meals may be delivered to the house.

Find programs where your loved one lives

  • BenefitsCheckup.org provides links to national and local programs. Listings include financial assistance, legal aid, veterans’ benefits, etc.
  • The Eldercare Locator is similar. It puts you in touch with your local Area Agency on Aging. You can usually make an appointment to talk with an information specialist. Call 800-677-1116, toll-free.
  • Let us help. We know all the local resources. Call 248-798-6914.