Is it getting harder to turn a door knob or put on your socks? Devices are available to make daily activities easier. The Department of Education’s website, www.abledata.com, has information on more than 30,000 assistive-technology products designed to make it easier for people to do things for themselves. If you can’t use a computer, you can call 1-800-227-0216 (toll-free) to learn more.
Getting around—at home and in town. Are you having trouble walking? Perhaps a walker would help. If you need more, think about getting an electric chair or scooter. These are sometimes covered by Medicare. Do you need someone to go with you to the doctor or shopping? Volunteer escort services may be available. If you are no longer driving a car, check if there are free or low-cost public transportation and taxis in your area. Maybe a relative, friend, or neighbor would take you along when they go on errands or do yours for you.
Safety. Are you worried about crime in your neighborhood, physical abuse, or losing money as a result of a scam? Talk to the staff at your local Area Agency on Aging. Do you live alone, and are you afraid of becoming sick with no one around to help? You might want to get an emergency alert system. You just push a special button that you wear, and emergency medical personnel are called. A monthly fee is charged.
Housing. Would a few changes make your home easier and safer to live in? Think about things like a ramp at the front door, grab bars in the tub or shower, nonskid floors, more comfortable handles on doors or faucets, and better insulation. Sound expensive? You might be able to get help paying for these changes. Check with your local or State Area Agency on Aging, State housing finance agency, welfare department, community development groups, or the Federal Government (see the resources in For More Information).