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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.


If you are home bound, even for a short period of time, it's advisable to take reasonable steps to make your home safe and friendly.

If family and friends aren't available to take care of personal and/or household chores there are services available. Groceries, and even meals, can be delivered to your home.

Stay connected with people. In adidtion to people who may live with you or who come to visit, don't wait for other people to contact you. Telephones, e mail and text messages work both ways.

You can stay connected with your doctor by telephone. Many doctors also connect to patients via email and video over the internet. There are even doctors who will make house calls if needed. To find a doctor who makes house calls, go to offsite link

NOTE: It's important to start getting exercise as soon as your doctor permits. Exercise helps prove physical and emotional health. There are exercises to do in bed and others to do while sitting in a chair.

If you are home bound for an extended period of time, keep in mind that your caregivers need "respite care" - a break from taking care of you. If no one can be found to cover you, it is likely that you could find a residential nursing facility where you can stay overnight. There are programs for child care or after-school programs.

"Just in case:" it is advisable for everyone to keep an emergency bag packed in case of an emergency trip to a hospital.

For more information, see:

How To Make Your House Or Apartment More Friendly To Your Needs

Your home may present hazards that were not important before, or there may be steps to take to make it easier to get around. Ask a family member or friend to take a tour of the areas you use to look for hazards and for ways to make the space more useful to you during this period.

For example:


  • Is it bright enough for you to navigate around safely?
  • Alternatively, can the lighting be dimmed when you need it for safety or for someone to tend to you yet be soft enough not to disturb you?


  • Consider adding a simple handrail be added to the bathtub.
  • Remove rugs that you can trip on.
  • Add safety treads where you stand for a shower.

General areas

  • Remove scatter rugs
  • Eliminate loose electrical cords and other trip hazards
  • Add a runner to wooden stairs that can be slippery

If modifications to your home are neeeded, you can find tips at National Aging In Place Council at offsite link  Click on "Practical Advice" on the pull-down menu.  Scroll down to "Making Your Home Senior Friendly"

To locate a contractor with experience in modifying homes for seniors see:

  • The National Association of Homebuilders:, offsite linkTel.: 800.368.5242. Type "Hire a Certified Aging in Place specialist" (CAPS) in the search box. 
  • The National Resource Center On Supportive Housing And Home Modification,, offsite link, Tel.: 213.740.1364 

Help With Housekeeping, Cooking, Laundry And Other Household Chores

Chores can be difficult if family and friends aren't on hand to step in and take over.

Online grocers provide free or low-cost delivery. Check with your local grocery stores.

Organizations such as Meals On Wheels provide free or low-cost meals to people with a low income. Contact Meals On Wheels at http:// offsite link, Tel.: 703.548.5558.

Reputable home care companies can provide part time housekeepers and home health aides. Alternatively, you can hire aides on your own.To learn about home health care aides, click here.

Other organizations that can help locate resources are mentioned below.

Minor Repairs

If minor repairs are needed and a family member or frirend can't handle it, ask your carpenter, plumber or electrician if they know of a trustworthy person who does minor repairs.

Your local disease specific nonprofit organization, religous group or local senior groups may know of people to do small jobs.

Consider national franchises that may be able to provide the needed service. For example, Rent-A-Husband. offsite link, Tel.: 877.994.8229.

Entertainment Alternatives In The Home

Today, an incredible amount of entertainment can be brought into your home including television, movies, video games and downloadable books -- all of which can be accessed on your computer.

A huge amount of television programming is still free and can be accessed with the old fashioned, inexpensive, antenna. 

While most cable or satellite hook-ups require a long term commitment,  there are services that do not require a long term commitment.

Likewise you can download movies as pay-per-view, or get an unlimited amount of movies from a company like Netflix ( offsite link)  for the period you want without a long term aqreement. You can cancel when you are able to get around.

You can also view premium channels by signing up and then cancelling at any time.

NOTE: Keep in mind that humor apparently helps with healing. Even if it doesn't, it makes you feel better. Dr. Normal Cousins used t.v. programs such as I Love Lucy.  Humorous programs and movies are available online and through movie rental companies. (For information about the benfits of humor and laughter, click here.)

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Banking From Home

Most banks now offer online banking that you can do from home. Online banking allows you to pay your bills through the internet. You can even set recurring bills to be paid automatically at the same time each month.

You may even be able to make bank deposits from home by scanning checks into your computer or taking a photo with your smart phone.  Check with your bank. (There may be a maximum on the amount of the check that can be deposited this way.)

Organizations That May Be Able To Help Make Life Easier

Area Agency On Agency: These agencies were created as part of the Older Americans Act in the early 1970s to arrange services for senior citizens either directly or through contractors. While these agencies are meant to help older people rather than people living after a diagnosis, the resources they know about serve both groups of people or can refer you to agenices that do. (Of course, many people are both older and dealing with a health condition). To find your local Agency, contact Eldercare Locator, a free referral service administered by the National Association of Area Agencies On Aging., offsite link, Tel.: 800.677.1116.

Catholic Charities USA: Serves over 10,000,000 people of all religious and ethnic backgrounds. offsite link, Tel. in Virginia:  703.549.1390.

United Way of America: offsite link, Tel.: in Virginia: 703.836.7112.

Local resources such as:

  • Civic organizations such as B'nai B'rith, Elks, Kiwanas, Rotary
  • Community Chest organizations
  • County department of social services
  • Disease specific non-profit organizations
  • Doctors and nurses
  • Religious organizations - particularly ones to which you or your loved ones belong.
  • Social workers at hospitals, nursing homes and hospices.
  • Union clubs

How To Stay Connected

Being housebound can be lonely and isolating. Thanks to modern technology, you can stay connected. In addition to the telephone (both land lines and mobile phones), consider the following ideas:

Video chats

If your computer has a web cam, you can sign up at offsite link for free video chat. If your computer doesn't have a web cam (camera), a web cam can be purchased separately for increasingly lower prices.

Online games 

Games that you can play with other people literally all across the globe are available for free through such sites as: 

Online social sites
Join one or more social sites such as offsite link.  You can create your own page and post information about your days and thoughts. You can also post your needs. You can also check on what your friends and family members, both near and far, are doing.  

If you do not have a computer, you can buy one inexpensively. A laptop can be used no matter where you are in your home - including in bed. You can get a connection to the internet through your telephone or cable. You may even have a neighbor that has wi-fi that you can link into for free.

Medical connection

 your condition weakens you or increases the chances of a fall, consider wearing a device that will allow you to obtain help 24/7 with the push of a button. 

an electronic monitor that can monitor your activities and automatically call for assistance if there is a fall. While the prices of such systems are falling, they are still expensive.