Many of us who are homebound have never been told there are resources or help available. If you are housebound, or bedridden, or have difficulty leaving your home, we hope something on this page may be helpful for you. You do not need to be on disability to apply for most of these programs.
Wheelchairs, Scooters or Medical Equipment
Common types of medical equipment in the home: Shower chairs, manual wheelchairs, electric wheel chairs, walkers, canes, mobility scooters, hospital beds, toilet rails, bath tub safety frames, bath tub lifts, bed pans, walk in bath tubs, and commode chairs. Learn more: How to Get Medical Equipment
Programs that help make changes to your home to make it more disability friendly. Some are available to renrters: How to Get Free Home Modifications
Home Aides and Caregivers
In some situations, you may be eligible for free or low cost home aide services. Home aide services may include personal care (bathing, eating, dressing), household help (shopping, cooking, cleaning), medication management, driving to doctor’s appointments, and mental health support. How to Get a Caregiver.
If You Are Already in a Home Aide Program
If your caregiver is paid through a state home aide program (Such as a medicaid waiver or home and community based care or IHSS) there are a lot of helpful stories, tips and tools on this page: The Sleepy Girl Guide to State Home Aides.
If You Live with a Friend, Family Member, or Aide
If you live with a friend or family member who helps in your home, or you have a paid home aide who lives with you: Special Benefits If You Have a Live-In Caregiver.
Many areas have meals-on-wheels or similar programs that deliver low cost meals to you. Even if the program says it is for Seniors, you should still call them. Sometimes they will also help 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.
Have More Fun in Bed
Check out this list of brilliant ways to use technology and devices to make life in bed more fun: Ricky Buchanan: geek-creative-disabled-bedridden-internet-citizen
It’s hard for homebound people to meet other homebound people! Here is a long list of Great Facebook Groups for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme, Mast Cell, MCS, homebound people, bedridden people, natural healing, and many other areas. From Lori Madeira: How To Make Friends Online in the Chronic Illness Community
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. This page also includes tips for getting eyeglasses.
Medicaid, Medicare, and some private insurance will pay for home therapies under the right circumstances. How I Got Physical and Occupational Therapy at Home
More and more options for home delivery keep popping up every day: How to Shop Without Standing Up. If you have Food Stamps, options are not as great, but possible in a few places: How to Get Groceries Delivered with SNAP Food Stamps
If you are able to leave your house a little, but cannot manage public transportation some areas have para-transit programs that are free or low cost and will come to your front door and take you to any location. How to Apply for Paratransit. Also see options for: How to Get Free Transportation to the Doctor
If you are on disability check out: Everything No One Ever Tells You About Living on Disability. If you are not on disability (and want to be) check out: The Sleepy Girl Guide to Social Security Disability
HUD has housing dedicated to people who are elderly and/or disabled. In many cases, you can apply even if you are young. Quality varies, but some readers here have found housing that is safe, nice, disability accessible and super affordable this way: How to Find Yourself a Nice, Affordable HUD Apartment (for People with Disabilities)
Find Your People
Where do homebound people meet other homebound people? 26 Great Facebook Groups (Plus a Few Other Things)
Learn From the Pros
Tips from readers on how to make life easier at home: How to Get the World to Come to You
Veterans & Widows
If you are a veteran or survivor eligible for a VA pension, you may also be eligible for a special program called Aid and Attendance
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.
Paperwork & Meetings from Home
Disabled people have a lot of meetings and paperwork! It’s like a job (for people too sick to work). No matter what you are applying for or what program you are in, you can always get a disability accommodation apply from home. Often all you have to do is ask. You can ask by email or phone. Here’s a few ideas for: How to Have a Good, Helpful, Pleasant, Reasonably Successful Phone Call With a Social Service Agency.
Did Someone Say No?
If you ask to apply from home, and someone says no, here’s a few: Magic Sentences That Can Turn a No to a Yes
Put it In Writing
Another option is to ask in writing. You can start by just sending a simple email stating you are homebound and would like to apply by phone, email, mail or home visit. If that doesn’t work, you can make a more formal written request. These pages are for housing, but you can make similar requests for any program:
Applying for Disability from Home
You can apply for Social Security disability from home. Your entire application can be done online or on the phone. If needed, you can even do a hearing by phone. The trickiest part is what to do if you are asked to go to a Social Security doctor. A few pages that might help:
- Prep for the Social Security Doctor
- Request the Doctor Come to Your House
- Request that Your Own Doctor Perform the Exam
Many areas have local organizations and groups that assist people in need. Your local area agency on aging (call here even if you are young). Also try contacting your Aging and Disability Resource Center (in some areas this is the same as the area agency on aging). You can also try contacting Centers for Independent Living in your area.
For People with ME or “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”
Ways to conserve energy, avoid crashes and feel better by doing less: How To Save Spoons. Facebook group for people who are homebound or bedridden, and their caregivers: Facebook Group for Severe ME. Global, grassroots network for people with ME and CFS. Participate from home: #MEAction
Bradley Simmonds has created this list of Activities for Housebound People.
Sarah Stanton has a created this great Severe ME Bedbound Activity Masterlist
Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. If you found this page helpful, please share it with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons