About 150,000 seniors live in Rhode Island, but that relatively small number accounts for nearly 15% of the total population. Our nation?s smallest state is one of 11 states that are comprised of at least 15% seniors. Unfortunately, 10% of Rhode Island?s seniors are living in poverty, one of 17 states with poverty rates of at least 10%.
So seniors are a major concern in Rhode Island. The state’s Department of Elderly Affairs is responsible for seniors, and it is trying to make their lives better by offering a wide array of programs and services, including:
-- Adult Day Services: Care and supervision in a safe atmosphere for seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related illnesses.
-- Community Action Programs: Services to combat poverty including community organizing, counseling and winterizing homes.
-- Home and Community Care Programs: Such services as home health aide, meals, personal care and minor home modifications designed to keep seniors in their own homes.
-- Legal Services: Free legal advice for seniors.
-- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program: Helping low-income seniors pay their heating bills during the winter.
-- Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island Program: Delivery of midday meals five times a week to the homes of frail seniors.
-- Mental Health Services of Rhode Island: Information and referral for mental health services and support groups.
-- Ocean State Senior Dining Program: Nutritious lunches served five days a week at 75 locations around the state.
-- Protective Services: Investigating allegations of abuse and neglect of seniors.
-- Rhode Island Community Food Bank: Various programs to provide food to low-income seniors.
-- Rhode Island Housing: The state oversees some 20,000 apartments for low-income seniors.
-- Rhode Island Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Elderly: Helping seniors pay for prescription drugs.
-- Transportation: The RIde program provides transportation for seniors to get to medical appointments and seniors centers.
Rhode Island has a program that provides medical alert systems to low-income seniors. But even if you do not qualify for a free system, it is advisable that you use your own money to get a system.
A medical alert system can literally be a lifesaver some day. Let’s say you fall down in your home and cannot get up to get to a phone and call for help. You are stuck there until someone comes to check up on you. That could take hours or days, and by that time, your injuries might be irreversible.
With a medical alert system, all you would have to do is press the medical alert button that is always around your neck or wrist and help will arrive in minutes. The sooner you get medical attention, the more likely it is that you will make a full recovery.
How to shop for a medical alert system? Well, you could start at this link, where you can compare the services from more than a dozen top medical alert providers.