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Free Stuff For Seniors - Information and Examples

No need to wonder where to turn for help, or even if help is out there. Uncle Sam realizes that the over 50 crowd is growing by leaps and bounds, and he's taking action to provide needed services for you.

You can find out about meal programs, home health assistance, insurance, and more with just a phone call. You can even learn what your own state is doing to help out those in your age group. Read on to find some good starting places you can try.

Your Private Concierge

Need help finding out about local meals on wheels programs? Want to know about home health aides?

The Eldercare Locator provides access to an extensive network of organizations serving older people at state and local community levels. This service can connect you to information sources for a variety of services including: home delivered meals, transportation, legal assistance, housing options, recreation and social activities, adult daycare, senior center programs, home health services, elder abuse prevention, and nursing home ombudsman.

You can contact

Eldercare Locator
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
1112 16th St., NW
Washington, DC 20024
800-677-1116 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST

Keep Current on Free Stuff

Ever wonder who is behind most of the programs serving the elderly? Probably not, but in case you did it's the Administration on Aging (AoA). They're the ones who develop the government's aging programs and coordinate community services for older people.

Seniors can participate in AoA sponsored homemaker, nutrition, housing, employment, counseling, legal aid, transportation, and consumer affairs programs. You can also get your blood pressure checked and workout like Jane Fonda.

Most of these programs are handled through a national network of State Agencies on Aging. You can locate services near you through the

ElderCare Locator Hotline
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
112 16th St., NW
Washington, DC 20024

AoA also publishes a quarterly subscription magazine titled Aging, covering a variety of topics of interest to seniors, and the free Aging America: Trends and Projections, a statistical compendium covering every aging issue.

For more information about AoA, contact

Administration on Aging
330 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20201

Stop Getting Taken

Starving kids in Bolivia? You've just won a bizillion dollars? Precious gem stones available only to you? These are just some of the common telephone scams con artists are using these days.

The Federal Trade Commission protects consumers from unfair or deceptive business practices. Seniors who find themselves victims of mail schemes or theft should contact their local Postmaster for an investigation. Remember also that many communities offer a Carrier Alert Program, where mail carriers watch post boxes for any unusual accumulation of mail that might indicate a need for help. They will also bring your mail to your door if your mail box is located some distance from your home.

The U.S. Postal Services have put together a booklet, A Consumer's Guide to Postal Crime Prevention, which offers tips on how to avoid being victimized by mail fraud and theft.

Contact your local post office for more information, or contact:

Public Affairs Branch
U.S. Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Room 5541, Washington, DC 20260

Bennies For Vets

You have done your duty, and now it's time to take advantage of some of the great benefits available to you and your family. The Department of Veterans Affairs can answer all your questions about benefits for veterans and their families.

They can provide information and help you apply for programs such as education assistance, vocational rehabilitation, home loan programs, life insurance, comprehensive dental and medical care in outpatient clinics, medical centers, and nursing homes around the country.

They also provide burial services, including cemeteries, markers, and flags, to veterans and others who are eligible.

For more information on benefits and eligibility requirements, contact

Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of Public Affairs
810 Vermont Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20420

When You Don't Get No Respect

Some people missed the lesson about treating seniors with respect, and now prey on their elderly relatives (and maybe even their own spouses). Abuse of the elderly can be both physical and psychological, such as demanding their checks or not giving them their medications.

If you suspect someone is being abused, you should report it immediately to the proper authorities. The Clearinghouse on Family Violence can help refer you to state and local resources, as well as provide you with information on elder abuse.

For more information, contact:

Clearinghouse on Family Violence Information
P.O. Box 1182
Washington, DC 20013

Seniors Are Less Crime Prone...But

According to a special report published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), people age 65 and older are the least likely of all age groups to be the victims of crime. For those seniors who are victims, they are more likely to be victimized at or near their home, and less likely to use measures of self-protection.

BJS can answer all your crime questions, and they publish statistics on crime, victims of crime, and criminal offenders. They have a free series of reports that describe some of the research they have available. Some of the titles include:

 Violent Crime by Strangers and Nonstrangers
 The Crime of Rape
 The Risk of Violent Crime
 Crime Victims: Learning how to help them
 Lifetime Likelihood of Victimization
 Robbery Victims
 Elderly Victims

For more information, contact:

Justice Statistics Clearinghouse
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20850

Send It Directly To Your Account

Rather than worry each month whether or not your check will arrive in time, many programs will directly deposit your check into a bank account. You can even have this done with your tax return in some places! It allows you to access your funds on the same day each month without the fear of your check being stolen or misplaced.

For those interested in having their Social Security checks directly deposited, contact your local Social Security office or call their hotline at 800-772-1213.

Elvis Presley Personally Delivered To You

Well, actually Elvis' face on a postage stamp. You do realize, of course, that the real Elvis stopped doing house calls in1977. Anyone, especially homebound elderly, can order stamps and other postal items that will be delivered right to their door. Request an order form from your mail carrier or local post office. Orders normally take 2 to 3 business days, with no extra charge.

Postal products can also be ordered by phone by calling the Postal Service's 24-hour toll-free number: 800-STAMP-24. To order over the phone a VISA or Master Card is needed, and there is a $3 service fee per order. Orders are normally delivered within 3 to 5 business days.

Where To Find People Like You

Did you know that during colonial times half the population was under age 16? Now less than 25% are under age 16. The number of people who are 100 or older numbered 35,808 in 1990, mostly females.

If you want to hang around with people your own age, head to California or Florida. California has the largest number of persons 65 and older (3.1 million), but Florida has the largest proportion of elderly at 18%. You can learn more interesting facts, such as the diversity of the elderly, the general health of the group, living arrangements and more. These facts are all included in a series of reports published by the Bureau of the Census. You know, the guys who come knocking on your door every ten years, asking how many people live in your house, how many rooms do you have, etc. They have published a series titled, Profiles of America's Elderly, which looks at growth of America's elderly, the racial and ethnic diversity, and living arrangements of this group.

For your copies or more information, contact:

Bureau of the Census
U.S. Department of Commerce
Washington, DC 20233

Discounts on Your Phone Bill

A house, a car, 2.3 kids, and a phone is the average American family. If you don't have a telephone because of the cost, and you're eligible for social service assistance programs, your local telephone company may offer you reduced connection and installation fees.

Under the Federal Communication Commission's Link-Up America program, low-income households seeking telephone service are given a 50% discount for connection charges, and may be able to pay installment payments on the remaining charge.

If you have trouble locating this service, contact:

Common Carrier
Federal Communications Commission
1919 M St., NW
Washington, DC 20554

$7 Off Your Bill

Now that you've got the phone, here is some help with the monthly bill. The Federal Communication Commission's Federal Lifeline program helps low-income subscribers reduce their monthly telephone bill by waiving or reducing the line charge, up to approximately $7 per month.

To date, over 40 states and the District of Columbia have federally approved Lifeline programs. Eligibility varies from state to state, with some having income and/or age requirements.

For more information on Lifeline assistance, contact your local telephone company, or you can contact:

Common Carrier
Federal Communications Commission
1919 M St., NW
Washington, DC 20554

They Have The President's Ear

Mental health and aging, health care reform and long-term care, income security, housing and living arrangements, and even the problems faced by minority elders are just some of the topics that have been investigated by the Federal Council on Aging.

The Council is a special advisory group of a cross-section of rural and urban older Americans, national organizations with an interest in aging, business, labor, and the general public. The Council reviews and evaluates federal policies, programs, and activities that affect the lives of older Americans. The Council collects and distributes information on aging, as well as publishes an annual report to the President.

For more information on how to keep up to date on these issues, contact:

Federal Council on the Aging
Room 4280 HHS-N
330 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20201

For a current listing of all publications, or to obtain one of the free publications listed below, contact:

Special Committee on Aging
United States Senate, SD-G31
Washington, DC 20510

Below is a partial listing of free publications:

Health Care Reform: The Time Has Come, Serial No. 102-16 February 10, Fort Smith, AR, Long-Term Care and Prescription Drug Costs February 11, 1992, Jonesboro, AR, Skyrocketing Health Care Costs and the Impact on Individuals and Businesses February 12, El Dorado, AR, Answers to the Health Care Dilemma

Continuing Long-Term Care Services February 10, 1992, Lauderhill, FL, Serial No. 102-17*

Elderly Left Out in the Cold? The Effects of Housing and Fuel Assistance Cuts on Senior Citizens, March 3, 1992, Washington, DC Serial No. 102-18

Medicare Balance Billing Limits: Has the Promise Been Fulfilled? April 7, 1992, Washington, DC, Serial No. 102-19

Skyrocketing Prescription Drug Costs: Effects on Senior Citizens, April 15, 1992, Lewiston, ME, Serial No. 102-20

The Effects of Escalating Drug Costs on the Elderly, April 22, 1992, Macon and Atlanta, GA, Serial No. 102-21

Roundtable Discussion on Guardianship, June 2, 1992, Washington, DC, Serial No. 102-22

Aging Artfully: Health Benefits of Art and Dance, June 18, 1992, Washington, DC, Serial No. 102-23

Grandparents as Parents: Raising a Second Generation, July 29, 1992, Serial No. 102-24

Consumer Fraud and the Elderly: Easy Prey? September, 24, 1992, Washington, DC, Serial 102-25

Roundtable Discussion on Intergenerational Mentoring, November 12, 1992, Washington, DC, Serial No. 102-26*

The Federal Government's Investment in New Drug Research and Development: Are We Getting Our Money's Worth? February 24, 1993, Washington, DC, Serial No. 103-1

Prescription Drug Prices: Out-Pricing Older Americans, April 14, 1993, Bangor, ME, Serial No. 103-2

Workshop on Innovative Approaches to Guardianship, April 16, 1993, Washington, DC, Serial No. 103-3

Controlling Health Care Costs: The Long-Term Care Factor, April 20, 1993, Washington, DC, Serial 103-4

Workshop on Cataract Surgery: Guidelines and Outcomes, April 21, 1993, Washington, DC, Serial No.103-5

Workshop on Rural Health and Health Reform, May 3, 1993, Washington, DC, Serial No. 103-6*

Preventive Health: An Ounce of Prevention Saves a Pound of Cure, May 6, 1993, Washington, DC, Serial No. 103-7

How Secure Is Your Retirement: Investments, Planning, and Fraud, May 25, 1993, Washington, DC, Serial No. 103-8

The Aging Network: Linking Older Americans to Home and Community-Based Care, June 8, 1993, Washington, DC, Serial No. 103-9

Mental Health and the Aging, July 15, 1993, Washington, DC, Serial No. 103-10*

Health Care Fraud as It Affects the Aging, August 13, 1993, Racine, WI, Serial No. 103-11

The Hearing Aid Marketplace: Is the Consumer Adequately Protected? Washington, DC, September 15,1993, Serial No. 103-12

Improving Income Security for Older Women in Retirement: Current Issues and Legislative Reform Proposals, September 23, 1993, Washington, DC, Serial No. 103-13

Long-Term Care Provisions in the President's Health Care Reform Plan, November 12, 1993, Madison, WI, Serial No. 103-14

Pharmaceutical Marketplace Reform: Is Competition the Right Prescription? November 16, 1993, Washington, DC, Serial No. 103-15

Home Care and Community-Based Services: Overcoming Barriers to Access, March 30, 1994, Kalispell, MT, Serial 103-16

Medicare Fraud: An Abuse, April 11, 1994, Miami, FL, Serial No. 103-17

Health Care Reform: The Long-Term Care Factor, Washington, DC, April 12, 1994, Serial No. 103-18

Elder Abuse and Violence Against Midlife and Older Women, May 4, 1994, Washington, DC, Serial No.103-19

Long-Term Care, May 9, 1994, Milwaukee, WI, Serial No. 103-20

Health Care Reform: Implications for Seniors, May 18, Lansing, MI, Serial No. 103-21

Fighting Family Violence: Response of the Health Care System, June 20, 1994, Bangor, ME, Serial No. 103-22

Uninsured Bank Products: Risky Business for Seniors, September 29, 1994, Washington, DC Serial No.103-23

$150 A Month Just For Being Over 65

You get a special "Longevity Bonus" if you live in Alaska and make it to 65. The state of Alaska will pay you $150 a month just for the heck of it. Other states offer you a special state tax benefit to help you on your way to a possible refund. Contact your State Department on Aging.

No Car, No License, No Problem

Getting around town without a set of wheels is a big problem for many seniors. Fortunately, many transit systems offer free or reduced fares to those over 65. They even offer special pick-up services for those who have trouble making it to the nearest bus stop or who are in wheelchairs.

New Jersey offers the Senior Citizen and Disabled Resident Transportation Assistance Program which provides door-to-door service, fixed route service, local fare subsidies, and more to those over 60.

Free Deadbolt Locks

You can make breaking into your home a little harder by using a deadbolt lock. The Senior Lock Program provides locks and installation for Wilmington, Delaware homeowners, age 60 and over, whose income is under $10,000.

For more information, call the

Wilmington Police Department Crime Prevention Unit
300 N. Walnut St.
Wilmington, DE 19801

For those outside of Delaware, contact your local police or fire department to learn what similar services they offer to seniors.

Free Fans
Turn 65, And Get A Discount

I bet you didn't realize that just by turning that magic number, you would actually be saving money left and right.

Golf courses, parks, beaches, fishing and hunting licenses, and even automobile tags are often provided to those over 65 at a great discount. All you need to do is ask.

You can:

 Save 1% on sales tax in South Carolina
 Save $100 on hearing aids in New Jersey
 Get free admission to state parks in many states
 Get free hunting and fishing licenses in most states
 Get a discount on cable television in New Jersey
 Save 15% on groceries in some stores in Ohio
 Get cheap tickets to the movies
 Go to the ballpark for half-price at many ballfields
 Get books of airplane tickets at cheap rates from most airlines
 Choose from lower-priced menus at many restaurants

Your state Department on Aging (see the Directory of State Information contained in this book) can tell you about many of the state programs that provide these services to seniors, as well as many private enterprises.

The preceding reprint is only a small fraction of what you will learn in "Free Stuff for Seniors" Order your 693 page copy today for only $25 postpaid


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