Aging: There's No Place Like Home - Growing Old (cont.)

How much will this cost?

Some types of help could cost a lot. Thinking about how you are going to pay for the help you need is an important part of planning. Some things you want may cost a lot. Others may be free. Some things may be covered by Medicare, private "Medigap" policies or other private health insurance, Medicaid, or long-term care insurance. Some may not. Check with your insurance provider(s). There is a chance that paying for just a few services out of pocket could cost less in the long run than moving into an independent living, assisted living, or long-term care facility. And you will have your wish of still living in your own home.

Once you have thought about which services you need, you can find out about Federal, State, and local government benefits at If you can't get to a computer, call 1-800-FED-INFO (1-800-333-4636) for the same kind of help.

Another website to search for benefits is from the National Council on Aging. By typing in general information about yourself, you can see a list of possible benefits you might qualify for. You don't have to give your name, address, or social security number in order to use this service.

Are you eligible for veteran's benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs? The VA sometimes provides medical care in your home. In some areas they also offer homemaker/home health aide services, adult day health care, and hospice. You can learn more by going to, calling the toll-free VA Health Care Benefits number, 1-877-222-8387, or contacting the VA medical center nearest you.

What if I need more help?

At some point, support from family, friends, or local programs may not be enough. If you need help on a full-time basis, you might want to think about having someone live in your home. Or, you could have someone from a service come in for as many hours and days as you want for a fee. You might also decide to move to a senior living facility that provides many or all of the services you need. But, in the meantime, you will have enjoyed your home and neighbors for longer than you once thought. A little help from family, friends, and local services will have made that possible.

For More Information

General Government Sources

Administration on Aging
Washington, DC 20201

Department of Veterans Affairs
Veterans Benefits Administration
Veterans Health Administration
810 Vermont Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20420
VA benefits: 1-800-827-1000 (toll-free)
To speak with a health care benefits counselor: 1-877-222-8387 (toll-free)

Eldercare Locator
1-800-677-1116 (toll-free)

Federal and State Government Benefit Information
1-800-FED-INFO (1-800-333-4636/toll-free)

FirstGov for Seniors

Housing information

Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 Seventh Street SW
Washington, DC 20410
1-202-708-1455 (TTY)

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
National Energy Assistance Referral Hotline (NEAR)

National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification
3715 McClintock Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90089 1-213-740-1364

Rebuilding Together
1536 Sixteenth Street NW
Washington, DC 20036-1042
1-800-473-4229 (toll-free)

Service providers

American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging
2519 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008

Assisted Living Federation of America
11200 Waples Mill Road, Suite 150
Fairfax, VA 22030

National Adult Day Services Association
722 Grant Street, Suite L
Herndon, VA 20170
1-866-890-7357 (toll-free)

Source: National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health

Last Editorial Review: 3/24/2006