You are not alone and deserve to be treated right.
This is an exciting time and a wonderful opportunity to improve your health and do all the things you’ve always wanted to do.
Even if you don’t have a lot of family support, just know there are still many people who really care and would love to help you every step of the way.
Medical and Dental Care
- Even if you feel well, be sure to visit your doctor or health care provider regularly for checkups, exams and care as needed. This includes getting regular vision and hearing care, cancer screenings as well as routine tests to check blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, bone health and heart health. Talk to your doctor about how often you should visit. If you don’t have a doctor or health insurance, you can get quality care at a nearby health center.
- For help paying for health care costs or medications, you have many options.
- See if you qualify for Medicare and/or Medicaid. If you or a caregiver are in need of help understanding the Medicare program (including benefits), call 2-1-1 for 24/7 help finding your State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) for free counseling and help near you.
- Call 2-1-1 for 24/7 help finding programs near you that can help with paying for medications.
- See if there are programs offered by the companies that make your prescriptions to help lower medication costs.
- Don’t forget about your dental health. See your dentist regularly (at least once or twice a year) for checkups, exams and professional cleanings. If you don’t have a dentist or insurance, check out your options at the US Department of Health and Human Services: “Where can I find low-cost dental care?“
- If you’re sexually active, be sure to practice safe sex and use condoms. Free condoms are available. You can also get tested for any infections at a free confidential testing center near you.
- If you’re pregnant, it’s important to also get prenatal care from the very beginning of your pregnancy to protect both you and your unborn child’s health. Find prenatal care services and support programs near you.
Food and Diet Help
- Following a healthy diet: It’s important to eat and drink healthy for better health. This includes getting enough water, fruit, grains, vegetables and protein. See guide on Choosing Healthy Meals as You Get Older.
- On a tight budget? Don’t worry, you can still eat healthy and save with these easy tips. Also see Recipes and Tips for Healthy, Thrifty Meals.
- Groceries: If you have a hard time being able to afford food, see if you qualify for SNAP benefits. You can also find your local food bank or call WhyHunger hotline at (800) – 5 – HUNGRY (548 – 6479) for more help finding food pantries, soup kitchens, summer meals sites, government nutrition programs, grassroots organizations and nutritional support services.
- Eating problems: Call the National Eating Disorders Helpline at (800) – 931 – 2237 for caring help and support.
- Pregnancy and parenting: If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or have very young children, call (800) – 311 – BABY (2229) or find your local WIC office for free help with breastfeeding and food for you and your family (see if you qualify).
Physical Activity and Fitness Help
- Staying Fit: It’s important to get enough exercise and physical activity each week in order to help your body function properly. This can be as simple as going for regular walks. Remember to talk to your doctor or health care provider before starting any fitness routine or program. See Exercise and Physical Activity guide (also available in Spanish).
- Group support: You can join a fitness support group in your area. It helps to be around other people who may have the same fitness goals and enjoy the same activities as you do.
Lifestyle and Relationship Help
Unhealthy relationships, sadness, worry, drugs and too much alcohol can really make life a lot harder to deal with, but there are people who really care and want to help you no matter what you’re going through. Don’t lose hope. Things can get better.
- Senior activities: Call 2-1-1 for 24/7 help finding nearby community centers. You can also volunteer and help your community or join a senior meetup near you to meet new people, share stories and participate in group activities you enjoy.
- Home and health assistance: Call 2-1-1 for 24/7 help or Eldercare Locator at (800) – 677 – 1116 for caring help finding nearby services, programs and resources for elderly and caregiver support.
- Elder abuse: If you feel like you’re being mistreated by a caregiver, family member or any other person, call your state elder abuse hotline. You can also find help near you. You’re not crazy.
- Relationship violence and abuse: Call (800) – 799 – SAFE (7233) for 24/7 caring help near you.
- Quitting smoking: Call (800) – QUIT – NOW (784 – 8669) for caring help in your state.
- Mental health, alcohol or drugs: Call (800) – 662 – HELP (4357) for 24/7 caring support and information about treatment services near you.
- Difficult feelings and emotions: Call (800) – 273 – TALK (8255) for 24/7 caring support.
Health Information Guides (also available in Spanish)
Talking to Your Doctor (with videos)
Talking With Your Doctor: A Guide for Older People (also available in Spanish)
Menopause (also available in Spanish)
Keep in mind that it’s OK to ask for help. You are not alone and there are people who really care and want to help you.
Talk to your doctor or health care provider for more information.
If you don’t have a doctor, find a health center near you.
Call (800) – 273 – TALK (8255) for 24/7 caring support and help with difficult feelings and emotions.
Call 2-1-1 for 24/7 help finding information about health care services and in-home care near you.
Call (800) – 677 – 1116 for caring help finding nearby services, programs and resources for elderly and caregiver support.
Call your state elder abuse hotline if you feel like you’re being mistreated by a caregiver, family member or any other person. You’re not crazy.
Call (800) – 799 – SAFE (7233) for 24/7 caring help with relationship violence and abuse.
Call (800) – 662 – HELP (4357) for 24/7 caring support and help with mental health, alcohol or drugs and information about treatment services near you.
– Health screening — women– over age 65. US National Library of Medicine – MedlinePlus web site. http://1.usa.gov/1NvVXrx. Accessed May 25, 2016.
– Health screening — men age 65 and older. US National Library of Medicine – MedlinePlus web site. http://1.usa.gov/1NvVXrx. Accessed May 25, 2016.
Page last reviewed: January 31, 2017 Page last updated: January 31, 2017