July 02, 2012

We live in trying times to be sure, but take heart — there are still a number of helpful resources available to seniors, the disabled, and the chronically ill.  Many pharmaceutical companies offer financial assistance programs enabling low income patients to obtain medications for free.  For example, Genzyme and Amgen offer grant programs to dialysis patients who qualify to obtain their medications at no charge.

And while the nightly news reports are filled with gloom and doom about budget cuts, our local county Area Agency on Aging is funding programs that offer free legal services for seniors, respite for caregivers, insurance advisors to assist seniors with Medicare and Medicaid, ombudsman services related to long-term care facilities, and funding for home modifications, such as the installation of wheelchair ramps and bathroom grab bars.

How do I find these resources, you ask?  Be proactive and search the Internet.  Talk to your doctors, pharmacist, friends and family to get help.  The more people you connect with the larger your circle of helping hands will become.  By all means, ask questions.  Education and information are power.  Empower yourself!

Linda Sussman-Swiller is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in California providing Counseling, Coaching, and Case Management services with a specialty in Geriatric Social Work from the National Association of Social Workers. You can contact her through her website at www.therapyandlifecoach.com.

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