COVID and Elder Care Benefits
By now you’re probably used to the new normal. You know how to stay safe: limit your in-person interactions, wash your hands often, keep 6 feet or more from people outside your pod, wear a mask when running errands or visiting with service providers and use hand sanitizer often. Perhaps you’re already visiting with family and friends via video chat and going shopping during hours designated for seniors. You’ve become a pro at avoiding the coronavirus. However, because there’s no way to completely eliminate your risk of contracting COVID-19, it’s good to know what senior help services are out there and benefits you might have.
For instance, with Medicare, you should have no out-of-pocket costs should you need a COVID-19 test. Should you test positive and require a hospital stay, your benefits should cover that as well. And although there’s not currently a vaccine available for the public, when one does become accessible, that too should be covered.
However, there are senior help services available that were created to make your life safer and easier during the pandemic even though they’re not specifically pandemic related. For instance, you can talk to your health care professionals about the possibility of visiting over the telephone or video – this is called telehealth. Some services that may be available in this fashion include general office visits and preventative care. Many struggling with the isolation and anxiety associated with these challenging times may find that telehealth sessions are also available for mental health care such as counseling. For those with Original Medicare, these services should be available without a co-payment. For other types of Medicare plans or to discuss the possibility of having your prescriptions delivered by mail, talk to your Medicare benefits representative. You may also want to check with your local pharmacy to see if they’re offering free prescription delivery during the pandemic. Consider asking for refills up to two weeks early to ensure you have what you need, when you need it. If you don’t have Medicare, check with your specific providers to learn about COVID-19 related benefits as health insurance providers continue to respond to the Coronavirus.
Of course, it’s good to know there are senior help services and resources for other needs as well. For a good meal and a bit of safe companionship delivered right to your door, consider Meals on Wheels. Find the provider closest to you at https://www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/find-meals.
Also consider a “Benefits Check Up” via the National Council on Aging to see if you quality for programs that help pay for food, medicine, tax relief, utilities and more at https://benefitscheckup.org/resources/
For information on COVID-19 in Oregon, or to be connected with additional elderly assistance, health and social service organizations, call 211 or visit https://www.211info.org. You can also dial 1-866-698-6155 or text your zip code to 898211.
Keep yourself safe and help stop COVID-19 from spreading by washing your hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, avoiding contact with people who are sick, staying home if you yourself are sick, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing and wearing a mask when in public.
COVID-19 elder care websites and resources:
To explore your housing options and to find the perfect senior living community during the pandemic and beyond, call us for a free consultation. Our knowledgeable team has your best interest at heart.