There's No Place Like Home - For Growing Old

"The stairs are getting so hard to climb."
"Since my wife died, I just open a can of soup for dinner."
"I've lived here 40 years. No other place will seem like home."

These are common concerns for older people. And, you may share an often-heard wish-"I want to stay in my own home!" The good news is that with the right help you might be able to do just that.

What do I do first?

Think about the kinds of help you might want in the near future. Planning ahead is hard because you never know how your needs might change. Maybe you live alone, so there is no one to help you. Maybe you don't need help right now, but you live with a husband or wife who does. Whatever your situation, start by looking at any illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, or emphysema that you have. Then talk to your doctor about how these health problems could make it hard for you to get around or take care of yourself in the future. Help getting dressed in the morning, fixing a meal, or remembering to take medicine may be all you need to stay at home.

As you read on, you will learn about the kinds of help that you might want to look for where you live. You will read about people and places to go to for more information about the resources near you-from people in your community to the Federal Government. If you are worried about how much this help will cost, you will see that we have tried to give you suggestions for free or low cost help, as well as some that cost more. There are also ways to find out if there are any benefits that apply to you. Last, there is a list of groups to contact for more detailed answers to your questions. Share this information with others in your family, and use it as a stepping stone to begin talking about your needs-now and in the future.