10 Charities for Elderly People
With each decade of life, we learn, we grow, we struggle, and hopefully, we triumph. By the time we reach an old age, chances are we’re pretty doggone resilient. Not so resilient, though, that we never need a helping hand.
At Preferred Care at Home, we’ve rooted out 10 national charities for elderly people that help with needs and wants, health and socializing, transportation and even pets. There are many others that serve all age groups. Here, we’re singling out a few that focus mainly on our elders.
1. Honor Flight Network: flights for veterans
As a thank you to those who served, The Honor Flight Network takes veterans on free trips to Washington, D.C. Currently, they focus on escorting World War II veterans to the memorial created for them. The program also takes veterans who are terminally ill.
2. Meals on Wheels Association of America: nutritious meals
Local programs provide congregate meals (at places like senior centers) or deliver meals to homes. Some programs also distribute food for homebound seniors’ pets.
3. Independent Transportation Network: rides
A network of affiliates provides what the charity calls “door-to-door, arm-through-arm service” to people who are generally 60 and older. Adult children can even volunteer as drivers and store up transportation credits for their parents. Gift certificates are also available. The rides aren’t free, but there is a program to help low-income seniors pay for them.
4. SeniorNet: computer training
Volunteers teach seniors to use computers. Classes include “Internet and E-mail” and ”Buying and Selling on eBay.” There are also discounts on computer-related products.
5. Second Wind Dreams: dream granting
This charity grants dreams for people living in long-term care communities, such as nursing homes, assisted living communities and hospice facilities. The dreams range from simple ones like a dress for church to big ones like reuniting with family members or swimming with dolphins. Donors can choose the dreams they want to sponsor.
6. Oasis: active living
Oasis helps people 50 and older keep their minds, bodies and social lives active through a variety of programs. Some are intergenerational, such as the tutoring program in which volunteers help kids learn to read.
7. Alzheimer’s Association: support and education
If you have a disease, there’s probably a charity for it. The Alzheimer’s Association is one example. This large charity is involved in advocacy and research support. But it also offers a number of programs that directly help patients and families, including a helpline, support groups, education programs, and safety services for people who wander. The association also helps people find clinical trials.
8. Alzheimer’s Foundation of America: support and education
Not to be left out when talking about Alzheimer’s charities, this one offers a hotline, educational workshops and free memory screenings. It also provides services for people with dementia, such as intellectual stimulation programs and adult day services, along with respite care to give their caregivers a break.
9. The Pets for the Elderly Foundation: pet adoption
Pets can help combat loneliness, so this charity helps people 60 and older pay pet-adoption fees at participating shelters in 29 states.
10. Socks for Seniors: holiday gifts
This is a fun one for the holidays. Elderly people who are living alone, living in nursing homes or homeless get a visit from a cheerful volunteer and a new pair of socks—often bright, festive ones. The point is to let them know they’re not forgotten during what can be a depressing time of year.
To find more charities, or to evaluate these, here are three helpful websites: Charity Navigator, GuideStar and Independent Charities of America. And to check for benefits you or an elderly loved one may be eligible for, visit BenefitsCheckUp.org.
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