Your mom’s retirement pay isn’t covering the bills. She needs more help at home than she currently has. You’re struggling with your own family’s needs, your work schedule, and your personal life. You’d love to get her a caregiver, but with her budget so tight, you fear it’s impossible. Here are some tips on getting retirement income to stretch.
Take Advantage of Senior Discounts
Call your mom’s electricity company, heating fuel provider, insurance company, and phone company. Many extend elder discounts, but they don’t always publicize them. Some also offer plans where you can spread out a year’s worth of bills into equal payments each month. This helps your mom avoid a higher heating bill in the coldest months or a skyrocketing electric bill when air conditioners are running regularly.
Talk to Her Local Agency on Aging
Call your mom’s local agency on aging. She may qualify for aid without knowing it. Programs like SNAP provide elders with financial help for groceries. As long as your mom meets the income requirements, she’ll get some money to help her afford groceries at area stores and farmers’ markets. LIHEAP is another program that helps her cut bills. LIHEAP helps low-income families afford heating fuel each winter. Again, her Agency on Aging will have information on these and other helpful programs.
Look Into a Roommate
Would your mom be willing to bring in a roommate? If she has an empty bedroom, she could have someone move in and help her with household expenses. Some states have room share programs where the person who moves in pays a lower rent in exchange for helping a senior out with household repairs. It can be a useful way to get your mom some extra cash and have someone to help with home upkeep at the same time.
Cut Unnecessary Expenses
Is your mom paying for a landline when she has a cell phone? Does she pay for the fastest internet but only goes online once a day to check emails? There are two opportunities to cut expenses. If she’s paying for a post office box at the post office, save money and have mail brought to her house. Satellite radio in her car may not be something she really needs. Look for frivolous expenses that she really doesn’t need and try to reduce them.
You’ll often find that an elder care provider can also help cut household expenses. If your mom has someone to provide transportation, she won’t need a car or car insurance, a bus pass, or taxi fares. Elder care providers can also help your mom shop for groceries without giving in to splurge purchases. Call our elder care agency to learn more about the range of services available in your mom’s area.