Not only are the eldest of the baby boomer generation already age 65 and over, 10 million boomers age 50 and over are providing care for one or more of their aging parents.
Many of the baby boomers and seniors who've retired are living on fixed incomes; boomers who are also family caregivers may have to work part-time or endure the anxiety of losing their jobs due to the caregiving situation. In the 2010 census, 48 percent of the population was classified as poor or low income; it can become difficult to buy even life's essentials on fixed incomes, part-time wages, or poor or low income.
Fortunately, there are programs available to provide financial assistance to the eldest baby boomers, their seniors, and family caregivers providing care to older adults. Many times, finding such assistance is just a matter of knowing where to look.
Assistance Information from a Nonprofit Group
BenefitsCheckUp.org, provided by the National Council on Aging, is a one-stop shop for locating assistance in your state for Medicare Rx extra help, health care, prescription drugs, food, utilities and more. The site states that the information provided there has assisted nearly 3.3 million people find more than $11.9 billion in benefits.
After answering a few questions at the site that aid in determining programs for which you may qualify, the site then provides a personalized report for your particular situation and needs. Information you share is not personally identifying information and all inquiries are confidential.
Assistance Information from Federal Government
Medicare.gov has a section dedicated to helping you find your way through programs such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Medicare Savings Program and more.
Assistance Information for Prescription Drug Savings
NeedyMeds.org provides a free discount drug card that can save the user up to 80 percent of a medication's cost; it cannot be combined with a drug insurance card. The site is informational in nature, providing resource information to locate assistance with the costs of prescription drugs and much more such as diagnosis-based assistance and free and low cost clinics.
HuffingtonPost explains that people age 65 and over and some low income individuals should remember to take advantage of the tax advantages available to them. For those age 65 or blind, there is a higher standard deduction is available. IRS Publication 524 explains an additional tax deduction for lower income people who are disabled or over age 65 and file a 1040 or 1040A.
These resources are a partial listing of what is available through federal, state or local sources. Take advantage of the lower cost prescription medications available at many pharmacies; ask for their list of discounted medications. Local churches and social service organizations such as the Salvation Army may be willing and able to provide assistance. Ask your doctor for any information she may have; talk with other people in similar situations and find out how they are making ends meet.
Find and make use of programs for which you, or the person you are caring for, are eligible. Don't cause yourself to choose between medications and food or utilities before you've exhausted all avenues.
- Family Health