I have been homebound for many years, and for almost all of them I had no idea that there were programs out there that could help. If you are homebound, or bedridden, or have difficulty leaving your home, please take a look and see if there is there is something out there for you. You do not need to be on disability to apply for most of these programs.
Many areas have meals-on-wheels or similar programs that deliver meals to you. These programs will often be free or low cost. Even if the program says it is for Seniors, you should still call them. Sometimes they will deliver to younger people with disabilities. Contact meals on wheels or your local area agency on aging to see if there is a program in your area.
Home Nurses & Doctors
Both Medicare and Medicaid may provide home visits from doctors. Some other insurance programs will also pay for this service. As you may have figured out, it is not that easy to find a doctor who will come to your house! Here are some ideas for: How to Find a Nurse or Doctor who Can Come to Your House
Home Aides and Caregivers
There are a variety of programs that provide services in the home. Many programs are free, but you would need to meet certain criteria to qualify. Caregiving services may include personal care (bathing, eating, dressing), household help (shopping, cooking, cleaning), medication management, driving to doctor’s appointments, and mental health support. Learn more.
If You Already Have a Caregiver
If you have a formal paid caregiver, or an informal friend who helps you, here’s a few things that you may not know that may really help you out: Read this if you have a Live-In Caregiver and read this if you have a caregiver funded through a Medicaid Waiver program (may also be called IHSS or Home and Community Care)
Don’t Ask Your Doctor
Many people start looking for help by asking their doctors. This is usually a dead end. Doctors are not Social Workers and do not know what is available or how to help you qualify. Find out for yourself, then bring your the doctor forms to sign, and explain to your doctor how the program works.
Finding the Best People to Live With
When you are homebound, the people in your house matter a LOT. Those are the only people you see! Here’s How to Find Wonderful Housemates & Caregivers
Some local pharmacies will deliver to your home. You can also fill prescriptions through online pharmacies, and some will accept insurance. I have heard good things about pill pack.
So many people wrote me with good ideas for grocery shopping, I had to create a new page! How to Shop Without Standing Up
Most cities, and some rural areas, have para-transit programs that will take you anywhere. Many will go anywhere in your city, and sometimes they will travel to other areas. These programs are free or low-cost. In some areas, these programs are difficult to qualify for and in other areas they are very easy to get into. Contact the public transportation agency in your area. How Roselyn Got Approved for Paratransit by Using the Magic Words
Taxis to Doctors (Medicaid)
Medicaid may be able to provide free transportation to all your doctor’s appointments. Contact your Medicaid provider for more details. In some areas, you will need to apply for this and it may be more difficult to get. In other areas, you do not need to apply and if you are on Medicaid, you can get this automatically.
This is an important time for people with disabilities to be included. You can vote at home by absentee ballot. You can also make your voice heard. You do not have to leave the house, or even leave your bed! How to #Resist Without Using All Your Spoons.
It’s hard for homebound people to meet other homebound people! There are several great Facebook groups: Here is a wonderful Support group for people with ME or CFS who are homebound or bedridden. And here is a Long List of My Personal Favorite Facebook Groups for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme, Mast Cell, natural healing, and many other areas.
If you are interested in connected with other advocates with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, there are many ways to get involved from home: How to be Part of the #MEAction
Many areas have local organizations and groups that assist people in need. Your local area agency on aging can be a great resource (call here even if you are young). I cannot find a national directory. Try googling the name of your state and the words: area aging agency. You can also try contacting Centers for Independent Living in your area, or directly reaching out to senior centers, religious groups, and local charity groups.
Tips from the Pros
Tips from readers on how to make life easier at home: How to Get the World to Come to You