WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In honor of Family Caregivers Month,the National Council on Aging (NCOA) is sharing six resources that can help the estimated 44 million Americans who care for a loved one.
"Dec. 7—the end of Medicare open enrollment—is approaching, and this time of year offers a perfect opportunity for caregivers to use holiday gatherings to help their loved ones select coverage and find other assistance," said Nora Dowd Eisenhower, senior vice president of Economic Security at NCOA.
Anna*, a caregiver for her 86-year-old mother in Oregon, did just that. Anna found her local aging services agency via the Eldercare Locator, and got help to complete a BenefitsCheckUp® screening for her mother. Now the elderly woman, whose income is only $813 a month, gets help paying for food, prescriptions, utilities, and more. Anna's mother no longer has to rely on free samples or split her heart medication to be able to afford it.
"We hope that by sharing these resources with family caregivers, they can better access the services that meet their and their loved one's needs—whether those needs are emotional, financial, or health related," Eisenhower added.
- BenefitsCheckUp® (www.benefitscheckup.org) is a free, confidential, online service that screens for over 2,000 public and private programs that can help people with Medicare pay for prescriptions, health care, food, housing, and more. Last year alone, BenefitsCheckUp® helped over 180,000 apply for and receive $380 million in benefits.
- My Medicare Matters (www.mymedicarematters.org) offers an easy-to-understand guide to Medicare and how to select coverage during open enrollment (Oct. 15-Dec. 7). My Medicare Matters can guide people to review their prescription drug coverage and decide what plan best meets their needs.
- Home Equity Advisor (www.homeequityadvisor.org) helps older homeowners explore how they might be able to use their home equity to stay healthy and secure as they age. More than 2,400 older homeowners have used the site's Quick Check in the past year to find solutions appropriate to their situation.
- The Eldercare Locator (www.eldercare.gov) from n4a and the U.S. Administration on Aging offers a toll-free hotline (1-800-677-1116) and free website that help connect people to local services.
- The Family Care Navigator from the Family Caregiving Alliance (www.caregiver.org) provides state-by-state information on government, nonprofit, and private programs for caregivers and their loved ones.
- The VA Caregiver Support Line (www.caregiver.va.gov) at 1-855-260-3274 assists caregivers of veterans of any age with supportive services.
*not her real name
The National Council on Aging is a nonprofit service and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. NCOA is a national voice for millions of older adults—especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged—and the community organizations that serve them. It brings together nonprofit organizations, businesses, and government to develop creative solutions that improve the lives of all older adults. NCOA works with thousands of organizations across the country to help seniors find jobs and benefits, improve their health, live independently, and remain active in their communities. For more information, please visit: www.ncoa.org | www.facebook.com/NCOAging | www.twitter.com/NCOAging
SOURCE National Council on Aging