We’ve found these to be effective resources to share with our members. We are always interested in adding new ones, so if you’ve found a book or website to be invaluable, let us know!

Senior Health Insurance Consultant Jim Benge

Jim has over 40 years experience in the insurance industry. He was hired by the RIPEA Insurance Trust on October 1, 2019 to provide expert advice to RIPEA members on all insurance matters. Jim can answer questions on Medicare A, B, C, D, supplemental Medicare Insurance Plans, Medicare Advantage Plans, and perscription drug plans. He is a salaried employee of the Trust and does not receive commissions. Jim Benge's experience is available to you as a RIPEA member at no cost. He can be reached at 1-833-351-0073 or 317-638-3008.

Medicare Resources

Click Here to download a summary of Medicare Parts A, B, C, & D

Checklist for Family Caregivers by: Sally Balch Hurme, J.D.
Caregiving is inevitably fraught with complex issues—emotional as well as medical, financial, and legal. This wonderful 240-page book has many fill-in-the-blank pages, checklists, and advice to help you organize the responsibilities that caregivers face.  It can be ordered from the American Bar Association by clicking on the book title above or through your local bookseller.

Share The Care – How to Organize a Group to Care for Someone Who is Seriously Ill by: Cappy Capossela
Whether you’re a burned out caregiver or a novice caregiver, or a friend who wants to help, you can benefit from a system that lets everyone share responsibilities, creates a strong support network among the individual caregivers and leads to making a profound difference in someone’s life.

Since 1995, Share The Care™ (STC) has been the highly regarded guidebook and resource used by caregivers and their friends, neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances as a loving, pragmatic approach to caregiving that can succeed no matter what the challenge.

You Don't Have to Do It Alone.  Whether you're prepared for it or not, chances are you'll take on the role of caregiver when a family member or friend is affected by a serious illness or injury, or when you find your elderly parent needs help. As you'll soon discover, the range of tasks and responsibilities involved are overwhelming. Share The Care offers a sensible and loving solution: a unique group approach that can turn a circle of ordinary people into a powerful caregiving team. Share The Care shows you how to: 

•  Create a caregiver "family" from friends, real family members, neighbors, coworkers, and acquaintances.
•  Hold a meeting to organize your group, and introduce members to the Share The Care systems that guarantee every job will be done and no one person will have to do too much.
•  Discover the hidden talents within the group, make the most of their resources, cope with group issues, and stay together in the face of adversity.

Included here are valuable guidelines, compassionate suggestions, and a simple-to-use workbook section that together offer support to free the patient from worry and the caregivers from burnout. Share The Care offers friends and family the best answer ever to the frequently asked question "What can I do?".

The 36-Hour Day – A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss by: Nancy L. Mace, MA & Peter V. Rabins, MD, MPH
The central idea of this book is that much can be done to improve the lives of people with dementia and those caring for them.  People with Dementia face a host of challenges, and this book will help family members and caregivers address these challenges and simultaneously cope with their own emotions and needs.  It is the trusted reference that families turn to first - and over and over - for guidance and support in caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.  It can be ordered from Amazon.com or through your local bookseller.

Downsizing The Family Home by: Marni Jameson
At some time during retirement most of us begin thinking about clearing out the clutter we have accumulated during our lives and many begin thinking about downsizing.  In her book “Downsizing the Family Home – What to Save – What to Keep” By: Marni Jameson, she offers first-hand advice about how to deal with every aspect of downsizing, and she combines her personal experience with advice from a series of experts – antique appraisers, garage sale gurus, professional organizers, psychologists, and others who have gone down the roads to downsizing.

Caring for Those Who Remain – A Practical Guide for End-of-Life Preparation by Adolf Hansen, Ph.D. & Naomi Hansen, MS
This outstanding book is a practical guide for end-of-life preparation. Written for people who want to plan for and talk with their children, brother(s), sister(s), or significant other about their wishes for their end of life. It’s also for children who want to plan for and talk with their parents about this often sensitive subject. The book guides the reader through legal documents, funeral planning, finances, conversations near the time of death, actions to take at the time of death, etc. with checklists and other helpful tips.

Checklist for My Family – A Guide to My History, Financial Plans, and Final Wishes by: Sally Balch Hurme
Put your life in order with this valuable resource from AARP and the American Bar Association. Checklist for My Family guides you through the process of gathering in one place your finances, legal documents, online accounts, wishes about medical care and more. Plus it tells you what you need, why you need it, what’s missing and where to get it.

While giving you peace of mind, this book is also a gift to your loved ones. It spares them stressful decisions and needless frustrations when you’re ill or after your death. And it presents them with your legacy, by providing specific knowledge of family history and recollections about your life, interests and accomplishments.

With this one-of-a-kind guide, you’ll stay in control of your life and feel satisfied in knowing that if anything happens to you, you — and your family — will be well prepared. 

This book is available for purchase from the American Bar Association.

Did you know organs can be donated up to age 70?  Although, if a person is healthy and their organs are in good shape, they could donate beyond age 70.  And, tissue can be donated up to age 95.  Since 1998, Donate Life Indiana is the state-authorized nonprofit organization responsible for managing the Indiana Donor Registry.

•  Each day 20 people die waiting for a transplant.
•  In the US, 95% of adults support organ donation, but only 54% are registered.
•  There are more than 114,000 children, women, and men on the national transplant waiting list.
•  One donor can save eight (8) lives!
•  One of the oldest organ donors in the U.S. was age 92. He was a liver donor and saved the life of a 69-year-old woman. 
•  Each year, the number of people on the waiting list continues to be much larger than the number of donors.

If you would like more information or to register as an organ donor in Indiana, go to: https://www.donatelifeindiana.org/about

If you live in a state other than Indiana, go to: https://www.organdonor.gov/register.html.

Lose, Love, Live – The Spiritual Gifts of Loss and Change by Dr. Dan Moseley
This book guides people through grieving of the loss of someone close to them. As the author states, “This book is for you if you’ve ever lost a lover, a friend, a dog, a job, a partner, a championship game, a leg, an eye, a baby, a dream, a breast, a house, a car, a business. It is for you if you have ever wondered what good people can do when bad things happen to them.”

The AARP Retirement Survival Guide – How to Make Smart Financial Decisions in Good Times and Bad By: Julie Jason
This book’s objective is not to revamp your habits or your life but to keep you out of trouble while making the most of what you have. This incredible book is for everyone from their 20s through their 90s, and is packed full of sound advice.

For Americans seeking safety and stability in a time of wrenching economic change, comes investment educator Julie Jason with this no-nonsense guide, which won the award for Best Personal Finance Book at the International Book Awards and was chosen as the top business book by Booklist. It offers time-tested, rock-solid retirement advice for people of every income level.

We’ve come up with a few resources to help navigate the fascinating (and ever-changing) world of retirement income and some books to help you prepare for and have a happy, fulfilling retirement with friends and purpose.

You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think – The 5 Money Secrets of the Happiest Retirees by: Wes Moss
Many people wish they could retire at an early age. Following the advice in Moss’s book will help you make an early retirement possible. 

Your Money Life – Your 60s by: Peter Dunn
The world-renowned author, newspaper columnist, nationally syndicated radio program host, and finance expert Peter Dunn (aka Pete the Planner) has written six books to guide you through each decade of your financial life: Your Money Life – Your 20s…30s…40s…50s…60s… Another of his books,  The Commissioner, is for people with variable income like sales people on commission. Each book is excellent!

The Encore Career Handbook – How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life by: Marci Alboher
If you are interested in transitioning to a second fulfilling career, this book helps outline the necessary steps. You can also visit www.encore.org for additional advice.

Great Jobs For Everyone 50+  by: Kerry Hannon
You can find profitable, fulfilling work after 50!  Kerry Hannon’s national bestseller, AARP's Great Jobs for Everyone 50+, has become the job-hunting bible for people in their 40s, 50s, and beyond. With her no-nonsense style, Hannon shows where the opportunities are and how to get them.

In this completely revised edition, Hannon offers twice as many jobs and brand-new material to market your skills in today’s job market, with expert tips on revamping a résumé, networking, interviewing like a pro, building a social media platform to stand out in the crowd, and much more. Whether you took early retirement, were laid off, seek a job that you will love, need supplemental income, or want to stay engaged and make a difference by giving back with your talents, Hannon’s book is an essential tool.

What Color is Your Parachute – A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by: Richard N. Bolles
For most of us, a happy retirement won’t be attained by freedom from duty and responsibility, leading to a life filled with nothing but passive leisure and pleasure.  Being physically, intellectually, and creatively challenged can help individuals find satisfaction and fulfillment in their leisure activities. 

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free - Retirement Wisdom that You Won’t Get from Your Financial Advisor by: Ernie J. Zelinski
This book offers inspirational advice on how to enjoy life to its fullest. The key to achieving an active and satisfying retirement involves a great deal more than having adequate financial resources; it also encompasses all other aspects of life—interesting leisure activities, creative pursuits, physical well-being, mental well-being, and solid social support.

Revitalizing Retirement: Reshaping Your Identity, Relationships, and Purpose by: Nancy K. Schlossberg, Ed.D.
Creating a happy, fulfilling retirement is about much more than money.  Nancy Schlossberg, a counseling psychologist, describes the secret to a happy retirement in this book.  She shows readers creative ways to reshape their identity, relationships, and purpose and highlights many coping skills that can help retirees continue to feel that they are vital, contributing members of their community. 

This book (Published by the American Psychological Association) is a must-read for anyone considering retirement in the near future as well as current retirees who may be struggling to find happiness in their daily lives.

The Art of Neighboring – Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door by: Jay Pathak & Dave Runyon
As we age, we all lose friends.  Some get married, and often if our friends are of the opposite sex we cannot continue these friendships.  Some move away. Some start having children and don’t have the time to maintain their friendships.  We lose some friends when we change jobs or when we retire and our friends keep working.  Some die. Some become ill and can no longer participate in the activities that bond us.  Everyone needs friends, and as we lose them we all need to continually seek new friends because having a social network is critical to our physical and mental wellbeing.    

Scientific American reported on a meta-study covering more than 300,000 participants across all ages that revealed that adults get a 50 percent boost in longevity if they have a solid social network.  To read the full article, go to:  https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/relationships-boost-survival/ 

“We choose our friends, and our friends choose us,” says William K. Rawlins, Stocker Professor of Communication Studies at Ohio University. But modern life can become so busy that people forget to keep choosing each other. That’s when friendships fade, and there’s reason to believe it’s happening more than ever. Loneliness is on the rise, and feeling lonely has been found to increase a person’s risk of dying early by 26%–and to be even worse for the body than obesity and air pollution. Loneliness wreaks health havoc in many ways, particularly because it removes the safety net of social support.

In their book, The Art of Neighboring the authors provide a practical guide for how to build friendships with those who live close to us.

One of the responsibilities many people face in their later years of life is looking after one or more parents.  Relationships between parents and their adult children are not always easy. Two excellent books that may help you with your relationship with your parent are:

Coping with Your Difficult Older Parent by: Grace Lebow and Barbara Kane
Though there's no medical definition for “difficult” parents, you know when you have one. While it's rare for adults to change their ways late in life, you can stop the vicious merry-go-round of anger, blame, guilt and frustration. Here's a common-sense guide from professionals, with more than two decades in the field, on how to smooth communications with a challenging parent. Filled with practical tips for handling contentious behaviors and sample dialogues for some of the most troubling situations, this book addresses many hard issues.

Making Peace with Your Parents by: Harold Bloomfield, MD
No matter how old you are and whether or not your parents are alive, you have to come to terms with them. This wise and practical book will show you how to deal with the most fundamental relationships in your life and, in the process, become the happy, creative, and fulfilled person you are meant to be.

How to Be a Perfect Stranger – The Essential Religious Etiquette Handbook by: by Stuart M. Matlins and Arthur J. Magida
In today’s diverse North American society we often are invited – through family, friends, or business contacts to religious ceremonies or services that are not of our own tradition or faith. This unfamiliar atmosphere can be awkward.

This book provides answers to questions like: What will happen? What do I do? What do I wear? What do I say? What should I avoid doing, wearing, or saying? What are their basic beliefs? Should I bring a gift? When is it OK to leave?

The answers are provided for 29 different religions. It addresses: Birth Ceremonies, Marriage Ceremonies, Funerals and Mourning, History & Beliefs, Basic Services, Dogma and Ideology, Holy Days and Festivals, and much more. It also includes a glossary of religious terms. This reference guide enables the stranger to hold fast to the integrity of their own tradition while stepping onto someone else’s holy ground.

Internet Resources

Below are dozens of helpful Internet sites for RIPEA members.

The Internet links below are for informational purposes only and in no way constitute an endorsement, expressed or implied, by the Retired Indiana Public Employees Association (RIPEA). Links to websites or the use of trade, firm, or corporation names are for the convenience of the user and do not constitute an official endorsement or approval of any private sector website, product, service, or privacy policy.

Cost of Living in Cities Across the U.S. (Calculators)
Bankrate.com has a nice cost-of-living calculator that compares the cost of living between two cities in the United States on their website at: https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/moving-cost-of-living-calculator.aspx.
Also, CNN Money has one at: https://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/.
And, Salary.com has one at: https://swz.salary.com/CostOfLivingWizard/LayoutScripts/Coll_Start.aspx

Personal Finance Calculators

Retirement, investment, home equity, credit card, savings and dozens of other calculators: www.bankrate.com/calculators.

RMD Calculator—The IRS requires that you withdraw at least a minimum amount (known as a Required Minimum Distribution) from your retirement accounts annually; starting the year you turn 70 ½.  To use a calculator to compute the amount you must withdraw from your retirement account(s) in order to avoid the fifty percent (50%) IRS penalty, go to: www.bankrate.com/calculators.

To read more about the Internal Revenue Service’s “Required Minimum Distribution,” go to: https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-required-minimum-distributions-rmds.


Before hiring caregiving assistance for your parent or loved one, ask them if they have a Long Term Care Insurance policy or an insurance policy with a long term care rider. If they do, find their policy and contact their insurance company to ask questions about how to initiate their policy, if the insurance company provides assistance with finding care providers and negotiating the cost of their services, how and when to file claims, if there is an elimination period and if so how long it is.

Even if they do not have a long term care insurance policy or a life insurance policy with a long term care rider, if they are terminally ill and they have a life insurance policy with an accelerated death benefit rider, they may be able to use the life insurance policy to pay for long term care services prior to their death.

Also, ask your parent or loved one who their attorney is and if they have any of the following legal documents:

•  Healthcare Power of Attorney
•  Durable Power of Attorney
•  Financial Power of Attorney
•  Health Care Power of Attorney
•  Advanced Directives
•  Living will
•  HIPAA Release

If they do not have some of these documents, you may want to contact an attorney to discuss the need for getting these and possibly other legal documents created. If you specifically want to locate an Elder Law Attorney, one source is the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys’ website located at: https://www.naela.org/findlawyer

Caregiver Action Network (CAN)
Caregiver Action Network is the nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age. CAN serves a broad spectrum of family caregivers ranging from the parents of children with special needs, to the families and friends of wounded soldiers; from a young couple dealing with a diagnosis of MS, to adult children caring for parents with Alzheimer’s disease. CAN (the National Family Caregivers Association) is a non-profit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge. Their website contains articles, advice, instructional videos, and much more. To view it, go to: http://www.caregiveraction.org/

Caregiving Guide – American Red Cross
The American Red Cross has a detailed outstanding, 39-page “Family Caregiving” guide that can be downloaded from the Internet for free by going to: http://fmaaa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/AmericanRedCrossFamilyCaregiving.pdf.

Eldercare Locator
To find care assistance for your parent(s) or other loved one, go to the Eldercare Locator website – a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging at: https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/Index.aspx or call them at: (800) 677-1116.

Family Caregiver Alliance
The Family Caregiver Alliance is a non-profit organization, and they have a Family Care Navigator website to help family caregivers locate public, nonprofit, and private programs and services nearest their loved one—living at home or in a residential facility. Resources include government health and disability programs, legal resources, disease-specific organizations and more. For more information go to: https://www.caregiver.org/family-care-navigator

Geriatric Care Manager
If your parent or loved one has complicated needs or lives in another state, you may want to consider hiring a geriatric care manager. To find one in your area, go to: www.aginglifecare.org

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (The new name is: USAging)
If you are spending time, money, and emotional capital providing care, you may need assistance. To find help in your community, contact your local Area Agency on Aging by going to The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging website at: https://www.usaging.org/

Find the best high-yield CD rates: www.bankrate.com

CDs, Checking, Savings – Best Rates
Find the best rates on high-yield checking, online savings accounts and CDs: www.depositaccounts.com and www.money-rates.com

If you work with a stock brokerage firm, also ask them to assist you in finding the best CD, Checking, Savings, and Money Market rates.

American Society of Home Inspectors
If you want to have your home inspected before putting it on the market, this ASHI website will help you locate an inspector in your area: http://www.homeinspector.org/HomeInspectors/Find.

If you want to sell something (for example: jewelry, art, coins, collectables, furniture, etc.) and need it appraised, you can find a professional appraiser by going to the American Society of Appraisers website at: http://www.appraisers.org/.

Cost of Living Calculator
If you are thinking of moving to another city, Bankrate.com has a nice cost-of-living calculator that compares the cost of living between two cities in the United States on their website at: https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/moving-cost-of-living-calculator.aspx.
Also, CNN Money has one at: https://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/.
And, Salary.com has one located at: https://swz.salary.com/CostOfLivingWizard/LayoutScripts/Coll_Start.aspx.

Estate Sales
EstateSales.org is a leading website for advertising estate sales & hosting online estate auctions in the United States, with over 750,000 registered members and estate sales from over 2,800 estate sale companies and auctioneers. Our nationwide directory of estate sale companies helps people find estate liquidators near their area.  For more information, go to: https://estatesales.org/


National Association of Real Estate Appraisers
To find a real estate appraiser near you, go to the NAREA website at: http://www.narea-assoc.org/directory.php.

National Association of Realtors – Home Inspections
This website contains helpful articles about home inspections that could save you time and money when selling your home: https://www.nar.realtor/home-inspections.

National Association of Senior Move Managers® (NASMM)
Senior Move Management is the profession that assists older adults and their families with the emotional and physical aspects of relocation and/or “aging in place.” Making a major move at any age is difficult and stressful. Recognizing and managing the stress of relocating older adults is the hallmark of the National Association of Senior Move Managers® (NASMM). Their ability to successfully manage transition trauma while helping older adults and their families through the downsizing and relocation process makes the move from their home to their new residence stress-free! NASMM members can also help people downsize and remain in their home through their NASMM@Home program.

Membership in NASMM now numbers over 900 Senior Move Management companies throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad. All general members of the NASMM must meet strict vetting requirements before approval. These requirements include:

•  Obtain general business liability insurance
•  Take and pass NASMM’s Cornerstone Courses
•  Provide NASMM with two letters of recommendation from senior clients they have moved or senior living communities with which they work
•  Provide a link to a live website highlighting their Senior Move Management Services
•  Sign and abide by the NASMM Code of Ethics and submit to oversight and guidance from the NASMM Ethics Compliance Commission

Consumers and referral sources should be confident that NASMM members represent the most qualified and capable Senior Move Managers in this growing profession.  For more information about NASMM and to find a Senior Move Manager in your community, go to: https://www.nasmm.org/about/index.cfm.

National Auctioneers Association
If you need a local auctioneer, contact the National Auctioneers Association by going to: http://www.auctioneers.org/.

Tax Map
If you are thinking about moving to another state, Kiplinger offers an excellent “State-by-State Guide to Taxes on Retirees.” To view the guide, go to: http://www.kiplinger.com/tool/retirement/T055-S001-state-by-state-guide-to-taxes-on-retirees/.

Driver Evaluation
If you would like to find a professional who can evaluate your or a family member’s driving, The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., has a website to help you locate a “Driver Specialist” near you. Their website is located at: https://www.aota.org/older-driver

Driver Improvement Course
If you would like to increase your confidence and awareness behind the wheel, consider taking AAA’s Roadwise Driver Refresher Course. For information, go to: https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/senior-driver-safety-mobility/aaa-roadwise-driver/. Automobile insurance discounts also may apply upon course completion.

Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence
Their website includes the following car-safety guidebooks that can be ordered or downloaded for FREE:

• Your Road Ahead - A Guide to Comprehensive Driving Evaluations
This guidebook describes the benefits of having a comprehensive driving evaluation from an occupational therapist with specialized driver evaluation training.

• At the Crossroads - Family Conversations About Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia & Driving
This guidebook helps families determine when it’s time for loved ones with dementia to stop driving and helps them cope with driving cessation.

• We Need to Talk - Family Conversations with Older Drivers
This guidebook gives families easy-to-use, practical information to help them plan ahead and initiate productive and caring conversations with older adults about driving safely.

To order or download one or more of these FREE guidebooks, go to: https://www.thehartford.com/resources/mature-market-excellence/publications-on-aging

Mobility Vehicles
If you have a disability and you would like to consider purchasing a vehicle that could help you to remain mobile, the Vantage Mobility International (VMI) website can help you find a vehicle, no matter where you live in the United States, that is right for you or your loved one. For more information, go to: https://www.vantagemobility.com/

American Red Cross – How to Prepare for Emergencies

Dial 211
People can call 211 in every major city across the nation to find a free and confidential service that helps people find the local resources they need in any emergency or non-emergency: www.in211.org.

Disaster Preparation

FEMA Disaster Centers
The Disaster Assistance Improvement Program’s (DAIP) mission is to provide disaster survivors with information, support, services, and a means to access and apply for disaster assistance through joint data-sharing efforts between federal, tribal, state, local, and private sector partners.

On August 29, 2006, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13411. DAIP was created in response to this order. Our goal is to improve survivor access to disaster information and make applying for disaster assistance easier. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), acts as the managing partner. 

If you need any of the following information, go to: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/about-us/overview.

•  Find disaster assistance that meets your personal needs.
•  Learn about more than 70 forms of assistance from 17 federal agencies.
•  Apply for disaster assistance and reduce the number of forms you have to fill out.
•  Check the status of your application.
•  Find a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) near you.
•  Find a hotel or a new place to live.
•  Find programs to help with food and nutrition needs.
•  Change the address for your Social Security, VA, or other federal benefits.

 FEMA Mobil App
•  Would you like to receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide?
•  Would you like to learn emergency safety tips for over twenty types of disasters, including earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, tornados, and more?
•  Would you like to locate emergency shelters in your area and find disaster recovery centers where you can talk to a FEMA representative in person?
Then download the FEMA App from Google Play or the Apple Store to your mobile phone.  See more information at: https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app.

Housing for Senior Citizens
If you have a very-low income and are in need of housing, go to this USA.gov Federal government website to find information about housing for senior citizens: https://www.usa.gov/housing-help-audiences#item-36852.

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (The new name is: USAging)
The N4A represents America’s national network of 622 Area Agencies on Aging.  They are in every community across the nation, and they provide assistance to more than eight million older Americans, caregivers, and people with disabilities annually to help them find the resources they need.   They provide unbiased, reliable information and counseling to individuals with all levels of income.  To find the office in your area, go to: https://www.usaging.org/.

Phone Service Discount
The Federal Communication Commission has information on their website about the “Lifeline Program for Low-Income Consumers.” Since 1985, the Lifeline program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family and emergency services. Lifeline is part of the Universal Service Fund. The Lifeline program is available to eligible low-income consumers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on Tribal lands. To read more about this program and to determine if you are eligible, go to: https://www.fcc.gov/general/lifeline-program-low-income-consumers.

Letter to Family and Friends
Members of Stanford University’s School of Medicine have developed a template for people to use to write a letter to friends and family members for them to read after you pass away.  They recommend you do this as part of your estate planning. 

The goal of the “Who Matters Most Letter” template is to help all Americans complete the seven vital tasks of life review while they still can. They designed this project based on years of clinical experience caring for thousands seriously ill patients and families.

The template was pilot-tested and refined after extensive discussions with patients from diverse cultures and traditions to identify the seven tasks of life review.  For more information and to use the letter template, go to: http://www.med.stanford.edu/letter/friendsandfamily.html

For additional End-of-life Preparation information see the RIPEA Books recommendations for End-of-Life Preparation located at: https://www.ripea.org/member-benefits/resources

Organ Donation
Did you know organs can be donated up to age 70?  Although, if a person is healthy and their organs are in good shape, they could donate beyond age 70.  And, tissue can be donated up to age 95.  Since 1998, Donate Life Indiana is the state-authorized nonprofit organization responsible for managing the Indiana Donor Registry.

•  Each day 20 people die waiting for a transplant.
•  In the US, 95% of adults support organ donation, but only 54% are registered.
•  There are more than 114,000 children, women, and men on the national transplant waiting list.
•  One donor can save eight (8) lives!
•  One of the oldest organ donors in the U.S. was age 92. He was a liver donor and saved the life of a 69-year-old woman. 
•  Each year, the number of people on the waiting list continues to be much larger than the number of donors.

If you would like more information or to register as an organ donor in Indiana, go to: https://www.donatelifeindiana.org/about

If you live in a state other than Indiana, go to: https://www.organdonor.gov/register.html

Jigsaw Puzzles Online by Jigidi
If you enjoy working jigsaw puzzles, this website is fabulous fun!  The puzzles are all worked online so you don’t need an empty table, there is no mess and no chance of losing a piece.  You can select from thousands of puzzles, save your progress, create your own puzzles and much more. It's free and no personal info is required!  To get started go to: Join Jigidi!

If you belong to one of the 4,000 participating public libraries that subscribe to Kanopy.com, you can digitally stream 30,000 movies to your TV, Computer, Laptop, Notebook, or other computer device for FREE. Contact your local public library to ask if they subscribe to Kanopy.com. If they do, go to http://www.kanopy.com/ for more information.

Movies, TV Shows, Music, Audiobooks, Ebooks, & Comics
If you belong to one of the 1,500 participating public libraries throughout the United States and Canada that subscribe to hoopladigital.com, you can have digital access to over 650,000 titles. Contact your local public library to ask if they subscribe to hoopladigital.com. If they do, go to: www.hoopladigital.com for more information.


How Much Physical Activity Do Older Adults Need?
This website from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention contains information about aerobic activity, muscle-strengthening activities, Balance Activities, and how much activity adults age 65 and older need.  To find this information and much more, go to the following websites: https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/older_adults/index.htm

Making Physical Activity a Part of an Older Adult's Life

Physical Activity for People with Disability

Department of Health and Human Services
Eldercare locator: https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/Index.aspx 

Department of Veteran’s Affairs
Benefits: www.benefits.va.gov/benefits

Disaster Preparation

Environmental Protection Agency
We all worry about the quality of our environment and the things and events that pollute it.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website contains hundreds of environmental topics, environmental laws & regulations, air and water quality testing data, and information about the work being done at both the federal and local levels by the EPA.  To learn about the air and water quality where you live and what you can do to help, go to the United States EPA website located at: https://www.epa.gov/.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Actions you can take to lessen the impact of disasters: www.fema.gov.

Housing for Senior Citizens
If you have a very-low income and are in need of housing, go to this USA.gov Federal government website to find information about housing for senior citizens: https://www.usa.gov/housing-help-audiences#item-36852.

Indiana’s U.S. Senators and Representatives
Indiana is a U.S. state with two senators in the United States Senate and nine representatives in the United States House of Representatives. Visit this site to find your representative: www.govtrack.us/congress

Internal Revenue Service


Medicare home page:  www.Medicare.gov

A summary of Medicare parts A, B, C, & D can be found on the Retired Indiana Public Employees Association (RIPEA) website by going to: https://www.ripea.org/view/download.php/resources/medicare-a-b-c-d

If you are new to Medicare, before you chose your coverage, learn about the different parts of Medicare and steps to get you started with Medicare.  https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/your-medicare-coverage-choices

Social Security Administration

U.S. Government Services and Information
The following Internet site is a portal into a very large list of government agencies, information, and services.  This site is very helpful when you don’t know which government agency to contact.  To access the online guide, go to: www.USA.gov

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
Resources for genealogical (family tree) research: www.archives.gov/research/genealogy

529 Plan
College Choice 529 Plan: If you would like to put money aside for your grandchildren’s college education, consider opening a 529 Plan. https://www.collegechoicedirect.com/.

ABLE Act in Indiana
On March 21, 2016, the Governor of Indiana signed into law SB 11. The ABLE Act will allow certain individuals with disabilities and their families the opportunity to contribute to a tax-exempt savings account that can be used for maintaining health, independence and quality of life.  For more information, go to: https://www.in.gov/tos/able/.

To see if your state also has an ABLE Savings Plan and to find more information, go to:  http://ablenrc.org/

Wouldn't it be great if you could leave a financial legacy to your kids or grandkids that could actually increase over time? Well, you can, with a little bit of planning on your part — and a little educating of your beneficiaries. For additional information go to: http://www.aarp.org/money/estate-planning/info-04-2011/how-to-stretch-an-ira.html .

About 20% of baby boomers are currently contributing to their parents care. To see if there are benefits you or your parents may be eligible for, go to: www.benefitscheckup.org.

Brokerage Firm Failure Protection (SIPC)
The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) had its origins in the difficult years of 1968-70.  Hundreds of broker-dealers were merged, acquired, went bankrupt, or simply went out of business.  Because the public confidence in the U.S. securities markets was in jeopardy, Congress acted swiftly, passing the Securities Investor Protection Act of 1970, 15 U.S.C. § 78aaa et seq. (SIPA) and SIPC was created.

 SIPA's purpose is to protect customers against certain types of loss resulting from broker-dealer failure and, thereby, to promote investor confidence in the nation’s securities markets.  In 1980, the level of protection for customers was raised to $500,000, including up to $100,000 for cash.  For additional information, go to: https://www.sipc.org/.

A budget is a plan for how to spend your income. Mapping Your Future provides a simple budget calculator: http://mappingyourfuture.org/money/budgetcalculator.cfm

Cost of Living in Cities Across the U.S. (Calculators)
Bankrate.com has a cost-of-living calculator that compares the cost of living between two cities in the United States on their website at: https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/moving-cost-of-living-calculator.aspx.

Also, CNN Money has one at: https://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/.

And, Salary.com has one at: https://swz.salary.com/CostOfLivingWizard/LayoutScripts/Coll_Start.aspx.

Credit Cards
To find credit cards with the benefits you want, go to: http://www.creditcardassist.com/.

Credit Freeze
The Indiana Attorney General recommends putting a FREE Credit Freeze on your three credit bureau accounts to prevent Identity Theft.  For more information go to: https://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2891.htm

If you live in other states, the Federal Trade Commission has detailed information about putting a credit freeze on your three credit bureau accounts to prevent Identity Theft.  For more information, go to: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs.

If you or a loved one is struggling with managing debt, consider the following information about Utah State University’s free debt management tool known as “PowerPay.” https://powerpay.org/.

If you get into serious financial trouble, Apprisen is a non-profit organization that may be able to help you if you need credit counseling, housing counseling, bankruptcy counseling, or debt repayment assistance. To read more about their services, go to: https://www.apprisen.com/.

FDIC Consumer News provides practical guidance on how to become a smarter, safer user of financial services. Issues and selected articles offer helpful hints, quick tips and common-sense strategies to protect and stretch your hard-earned dollars: www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news.

Financial Advisors
FINRA regulates the people and firms that sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other securities. Use the free online tool, BrokerCheck, before you invest your money: www.finra.org/investors/brokercheck

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc:  http://www.letsmakeaplan.org/.

To check the disciplinary history of a financial planner or advisor: www.finra.org/investors.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission “Check Your INVESTMENT PROFESSIONAL.  Check out your investment professional before handing over your hard-earned money by going to the following website: https://www.sec.gov/check-your-investment-professional.

How financial advisors get paid:http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-financial-advisors-get-paid.html.

Find Registered Investment Advisors at: http://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/.

Find an advisor from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) at: http://www.napfa.org/.

When you are looking for a financial advisor the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has some excellent advice. To read more, go to: https://www.sec.gov/investor/alerts/ib_making_sense.pdf.

Financial Exploitation Prevention
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) launched a new website designed to provide senior-focused resources to investors, caregivers, industry, and policymakers. The website is a resource-rich online environment for senior investors and those best positioned to provide for their care, financial security, and protection. The website is available at: http://serveourseniors.org.

Financial Literacy & Education
This website is a product of the Congressionally chartered Federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission, which is made up of more than 20 Federal entities that are coordinating and collaborating to strengthen financial capability and increase access to financial services for all Americans.  Under the “Tools” tab on this site you will find calculators, budget worksheets, and checklists to help you manage your finances:  www.mymoney.gov

If you are or would like to be involved in your grandchildren’s financial education, you can download the “National Standards for K-12 Personal Finance Education” by going to: http://www.jumpstart.org/national-standards.html.

Try these activities and conversation starters to help your grandchildren develop money skills, habits, and attitudes that can serve them well as adults. To view this information, go to: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/money-as-you-grow/.

Financial Worksheets
Department of Labor—Savings Fitness Worksheets to help you manage your financial life: askebsa.dol.gov/SavingsFitness/Worksheets

Glossary of Financial Terms
A comprehensive glossary of financial terms can be found by going to: https://www.investopedia.com/dictionary/

Current rate of inflation: www.inflationdata.com.

Insurance Problems
If the insurance company you bought your property and casualty insurance policy from becomes insolvent (goes bankrupt), the Indiana Insurance Guaranty Association can assist you. For more information, go to: https://indiana.ncigf.org/.

If the insurance company you bought your life, health or annuity insurance policy from becomes insolvent (goes bankrupt), the Indiana Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association can assist you. They can also tell you the Indiana guaranteed dollar limit of coverage. For more information, go to: https://www.inlifega.org/.

Interest Rates on Deposit Accounts
To find the best interest rates offered by banks and other financial institutions on savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit (CDs), see the “CD Rates” section of the RIPEA Internet Resources webpage.

Investment Fund Analyzer – FINRA
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is a not-for-profit organization authorized by Congress to protect American investors.  Their website has a investment “Fund Analyzer” that you can use for free to sort through and compare more than 30,000 mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, exchange-traded notes, and money market funds.  The Fund Analyzer automatically applies a fund’s applicable fees and commonly available discounts.  The Fund Analyzer does the math for you and shows how fees and expenses impact the value of your fund over time.  To view the Fund Analyzer, go to: https://tools.finra.org/fund_analyzer/

Do you have questions about investing, retirement plans, how to avoid fraud, asset allocation, and other financial topics?  Would you like to read investor alerts and bulletins?  The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website provides all of this and much more.  For information, go to: www.Investor.gov. 

Managing Someone Else’s Money
Millions of Americans manager money or property for a loved one who’s unable to pay bills or make financial decisions.  To help financial caregivers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (an official U.S. government agency) has released easy-to-understand guides.  The guides help you understand your role as a financial caregiver, also called a fiduciary. Each guide explains your responsibilities as a fiduciary, how to spot financial exploitation, and avoid cams. Each guide also includes a “Where to go for help” section with a list of relevant resources.

Their website contains guides for those who have been named as a power of attorney to make decisions about money and property for someone else and guides for those who have been named as trustees under revocable living trusts.  To view these guides or to download them, go to: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/consumer-tools/managing-someone-elses-money/

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (A U.S. Government Agency) —If you have a pension from a private-sector job, you are probably one of the 44 million Americans covered by PBGC insurance protection. PBGC insures nearly 26,000 pension plans.  They can help you with any problems with your pension: www.pbgc.gov

If you would like to search their list of 70,000 people with unclaimed pensions, go to: https://www.pbgc.gov/wr/missing-participants

In 2016 the Department of Labor (DOL) started a pilot program to address the missing pension plan participants issue in the Philadelphia office of the agency's Employee Benefits Security Administration. That has since expanded across the country, with notable results. In fiscal year 2017, the DOL recovered $326.7 million for plan participants.  

If you have lost track of a pension that is owed to you, “Pension Help America” can connect you with counseling projects, government agencies, and legal service providers that offer free information and assistance. By leading you through a series of questions, Pension Help America will put you on the path to getting the help you need.  For additional information, go to: https://www.pensionhelp.org/

The U.S. Administration on Aging's Pension Counseling and Information Program currently serves 30 states. Free legal assistance is available to individuals experiencing a problem with their pension, profit sharing or retirement savings plans.  For more information and to find help now, go to: http://www.pensionrights.org/find-help.

PERF – Public Employees Retirement Fund (INPRS)
If you are medically incapacitated and you would like to have your spouse or another person have the authority to act on your behalf to obtain your PERF account information, sign and execute documents, and conduct all business including investment allocations as it relates to your PERF account, you will need to use the INPRS “Limited Power of Attorney for Working Members and Benefit Recipients” form to grant another person this authority. To find and download the form, go to: http://www.in.gov/inprs/perfmbrforms.htm.

Required Minimum Distributions (RMD)
You generally have to start taking withdrawals from your IRA, SIMPLE IRA, SEP IRA, or retirement plan account when you reach age 70½.   Your required minimum distribution is the minimum amount you must withdraw from your account each year.   

If you do not take any distributions, or if the distributions are not large enough, you may have to pay a 50% excise tax on the amount not distributed as required.  For additional information, to determine the due date for your RMD, or to utilize a worksheet to calculate the minimum amount required, go to the IRS website located at: https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-required-minimum-distributions-rmds. 

Reverse Mortgages
If you are thinking about doing some research on reverse mortgages, the AARP website has some good information. To read about it, go to: www.aarp.org/revmort

Also, the Federal Trade Commission has information about how reverse mortgages work, the various types, shopping for one, the sales pitches to be wary of, how to report fraud, and more.  To read this information, go to: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0192-reverse-mortgages

If you would like to find a “reverse mortgage” lender” in your state, go to the following National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) website: https://www.reversemortgage.org/Find-a-Lender.  If you have already found a reverse mortgage lender and you would like to see if they are a “Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional (CRMP) go to the same webpage above, enter the name of your state and click the “Search” button.  To read about this professional credential, go to: https://www.nrmlaonline.org/about/crmp-designation .  The NRMLA’s Standards and Ethics Committee published “Code of Ethics & Professional Responsibility” documents.  You can find these documents by going to: https://www.nrmlaonline.org/about/nrmla-code-of-ethics-professional-responsibility.

Roth IRA
You can save earned income into a Roth IRA even after you are 70 & ½ years of age. To see the maximum amount you are allowed to save in a Roth IRA if you are age 50 or more and to see the income exclusions, go to the following Internet site for more details: https://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Traditional-and-Roth-IRAs. 

Social Security
If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you may be able to receive Social Security benefits on your ex-spouse's record (even if he or she has remarried).  For additional information, go to: https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-2.html.

If you would like to get a dollar estimate of your Social Security retirement benefit, go to: https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/retire-calc.html

To help you determine when you should apply for your Social Security retirement benefit, go to: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10147.pdf and https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/applying1.html

To determine what your full Social Security age is, go to: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/retirechart.html

Student Loans
Student loan forgiveness programs from the U.S. Department of Education: https://www2.ed.gov/fund/grants-college.html?src=pn.

If you, your spouse, your children, or grandchildren have student loan debt, the information in the following Internet site could save you or them thousands of dollars.  Go to www.credible.com to download Credible’s Student Loan Refinancing Guide. 

The guide explains all of the options and the pros and cons of each.  Whether you are trying to lower your monthly payment or lower your interest rate, they can help you get multiple refinancing offers from lenders.  It only takes two minutes to learn how much you could save on your student debt.  Credible’s partner lenders typically pay Credible a commission when they refer borrowers to them and they take out a loan. However, there is no cost to you, the borrower, and your rates are unaffected by any fee paid to Credible. 

Another Internet site to consider if you would like to refinance student loans with local credit unions and community banks is: https://www.lendkey.com/

IIf your children or grandchildren would like to know how they can get part of their student loan forgiven, tell them to go to the U.S. Department of Education Internet site and read about the “Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.” For more information go to: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation?src=ft. 

Tax brackets: www.bankrate.com/finance/taxes/tax-brackets.

If you would like to use free tax preparation software from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), go to: www.irs.gov/freefile

If you believe someone has filed a tax return in your name either because your return bounced back or you received a notice from the IRS about a suspicious filing, call the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at: 1 (800) 908-4490. For additional IRS information to help you prevent tax identity theft and resolve an issue, go to: https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Identity-Protection

Also, if a delay in receiving your refund will cause a severe financial hardship or you have other problems filing your federal taxes, contact the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service at: https://www.irs.gov/taxpayer-advocate

If you would like to read IRS information about tax laws related to seniors and retirees, go to: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/seniors-retirees

The IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers FREE tax help to people who generally make $58,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. (This dollar amount changes each year so be sure to check this internet site if your income is close to the dollar amount above.)  IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.  For more information, go to: https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Free-Tax-Return-Preparation-for-You-by-Volunteers.

Tax Map
If you are thinking about moving to another state, Kiplinger offers an excellent “State-by-State Guide to Taxes on Retirees.” To view the guide, go to: http://www.kiplinger.com/tool/retirement/T055-S001-state-by-state-guide-to-taxes-on-retirees/.

Unclaimed Money & Property
MissingMoney.com is officially endorsed by NAUPA and the participating states and provinces. Their Internet site will assist you in thoroughly searching all participating states to find your family's missing, lost, and unclaimed property, money and assets. Searches and claiming are always FREE. For more information, go to: http://www.missingmoney.com/.

The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) lists links to many individual state unclaimed property listings including Indiana. To view their webpage, go to: www.unclaimed.org.

US Savings Bonds
To calculate the current value of your U.S. Savings Bonds, go to: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/BC/SBCPrice.

U.S. Savings Bonds stop earning interest after a certain number of years. To see if your savings bonds are no longer earning interest, go to: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/securities/res_securities_stoppedearninginterest.htm.

To find information about redeeming your U.S. Savings Bonds, go to: https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/ebonds/res_e_bonds_eeredeem.htm


Antenna TV vs. Cable TV
Many people are considering canceling their cable TV to save money.  Before you cut your cable TV, you should decide which programming is important to you, and then check to see how many channels and stations you could receive if you switch to an antenna.  To do this, go to: https://www.antennaweb.org/ and click on “Click here To Start”. 

Childhood Education
If you have grandchildren or great grandchildren and you would like to help them learn and have a better future, try some of the “Vroom Tips” from the following FREE website:  https://www.vroom.org/

Your grandchild’s brain grows the fastest from birth through age 5.  Helping them learn now gets them ready for school, friends, and life.  The time you spend with your grandchild can help their brain grow strong. Even a few minutes count!  If you would like to learn the Five Actions that will help them grow their brain power, check out this website today! 

To develop Vroom, they worked with other leaders in neuroscience, psychology, behavioral economics, parenting and early childhood development. Their work together informs Vroom Tips—and everything else they do.  To read about the science behind the Vroom Tips and find out who the experts are who contributed to them, go to: https://www.vroom.org/behind-the-research

Estate Sales
EstateSales.org is a leading website for advertising estate sales & hosting online estate auctions in the United States, with over 750,000 registered members and estate sales from over 2,800 estate sale companies and auctioneers. Our nationwide directory of estate sale companies helps people find estate liquidators near their area.  For more information, go to: https://estatesales.org/.

Flag Etiquette, Care, and Notifications
This Internet site provides up-to-date notifications when it is appropriate to fly the United States flag at half-staff and for how long.  The rules are different for the passing of a U.S. President, the passing of a sitting Vice President, a current or former Chief Justice, a member of Congress, other legislators, foreign dignitaries, and tragic events like the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.  Did you know the U.S. flag is to be flown at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day?

The Governor of any state may order the flag to be at half-staff to honor the death of a national or state figure.  This website exists specifically to help people keep track of half-staff notices at the federal level and in all 50 states.  For information, go to: http://halfstaff.org/

To read information about the U.S. flag (That is: United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 — The Flag §7. Position and manner of display) go to: http://halfstaff.org/about/

To learn detailed rules of U.S. Flag Etiquette, go to: http://www.usflag.org/flagetiquette.html

Government Deals
GovDeals.com provides services to various government agencies that allow them to sell surplus and confiscated items via the Internet. Anyone can purchase the items: www.govdeals.com.

Ivy Tech - FREE Educational Assistance
The RIPEA Foundation Board of Directors made a grant of $10,000 to Indiana Vocational Technical College for the purpose of paying fees and books for RIPEA members who enroll in a senior citizen (age 60 or more) class at Ivy Tech: https://www.ripea.org/index.php/ripea-foundation.

Life Insurance Beneficiaries
Naming life insurance beneficiaries—10 ways to screw up: www.nasdaq.com.

Meet Up

Getting together with real people in real life makes powerful things happen. Side hustles become careers, ideas become movements, and chance encounters become lifelong connections. Meetup brings people together to create thriving communities.  Meetup was started over 20 years ago and they currently have over 55 million people in 190 countries who have joined Meetup groups.  The Meetup platform hosts thousands of online and in-person events each day to connect people and foster community.

This website will help you find people with similar interests so you can meet up with them and have more fun, social contact, personal growth, and fulfillment.  The variety of interest areas is endless.  Examples include: writing, artists, camping, language and culture, food and drink, fitness, hiking, hobbies, etc.  For more information and how to meet new people with interests similar to yours or to start your own Meetup group, go to: https://www.meetup.com/.

Microsoft FREE Tutorials
Free Microsoft Office tutorials and keyboard shortcuts for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, and more.  This website includes video training, guides, tips and more.  For more information go to:  https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Office-training-and-tutorials-b8f02f81-ec85-4493-a39b-4c48e6bc4bfb.

Next Avenue – The PBS National Journalism Service for older Americans
NextAvenue.org is part of the PBS system and public media’s first and only national journalism service for America’s booming older population. Their daily content delivers vital ideas, context and perspectives on issues that matter most as we age. 

Next Avenue has served over 40 million people on their site. Every day, they invite readers to consider what is next, what lies just ahead and what will be revealed in their lives. By exploring questions big and small, they spark action — 95 percent of readers take an action after reading their stories — and open up a world of possibilities.  They are journalists and experts passionate about serving their audience.  They have built a network of impeccable sources and prestigious partnerships.  They are not here for the bottom line, but to make a difference in the lives of their audience.  To view their site, go to: https://www.nextavenue.org/.

Older Americans Engage at Every Age

The following information is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living websites:

Participating in activities that promote mental and physical wellness, offering your wisdom and experience to the next generation, seeking the mentorship of someone with more life experience than you—those are just a few examples of what being engaged can mean. No matter where you are in your life, there is no better time than now to start. We hope you will join in and Engage at Every Age!  To find materials, activities, and resources to assist you, go to the following two websites:


Organ Donor
The Declaration of Anatomical Gift Form allows you to express your wish to donate an organ(s) for transplant or your body for medical research. To learn more about making an anatomical gift, visit: www.organdonor.gov .

The Hartford Center
Helpful information to keep you and your loved ones safe on the road and at home: www.thehartford.com.

The Indiana Business Research Center
The Indiana Business Research Center is a leader in research, data, and analysis focused on economic, demographic, industry, and education information. IU Kelly School of Business: www.ibrc.indiana.edu.

Toastmasters is a professional association dedicated to helping people become more confident in developing and giving presentations of any type.  To find a club near you that matches your schedule of availability, go to: www.toastmasters.org.

Transitioning to a Fulfilling New Career
Become part of the movement of millions of people who are using our passions, skills, and decades of experience to make a difference in our communities and the world.  If you are interested in transitioning to a second fulfilling career, the following website has proven advice for those in the second half of life: www.encore.org.

ABLE Act in Indiana
On March 21, 2016, the Governor of Indiana signed into law SB 11. The ABLE Act will allow certain individuals with disabilities and their families the opportunity to contribute to a tax-exempt savings account that can be used for maintaining health, independence and quality of life.  To learn more about the ABLE Accounts, go to the ABLE National Resource Center website linked below. To see if your state also has an ABLE Savings Plan and to find more information, go to: http://ablenrc.org/

Adult Protective Services – Elder Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation
The Adult Protective Services (APS) Program was established to investigate reports and provide intervention and protection to vulnerable adults who are victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. ALL PERSONS ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO REPORT ALL CASES OF SUSPECTED ABUSE, NEGLECT, OR EXPLOITATION TO EITHER THE NEAREST APS OFFICE OR TO LAW ENFORCEMENT. The State Hotline number is: 1 (800) 992-6978. For more information, go to: http://www.in.gov/fssa/da/3479.htm 

To find a large, rich array of helpful information from the National Center on Elder Abuse, go to: https://ncea.acl.gov/About-Us.aspx,

Advance Directives
The Indiana State Department of Health provides an Advance Directives brochure to inform you of ways that you can direct your medical care and treatment in the event that you are unable to communicate for yourself. To view and download the brochure, go to: http://www.in.gov/isdh/files/advanceddirectives.pdf 

Alzheimer's Association Caregiver Center

Alzheimer's Association - Greater Indiana Chapter

American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society, Central Indiana, Great Lakes Division, Inc.
website contains answers to questions, basic information to in-depth information about specific kinds of cancer, descriptions of cancer and its causes, treatment options, side effects, insurance, finding a free ride to treatment or a place to stay during treatment, survivor stories, and much more:  https://www.cancer.org/
Cancer Helpline: 1 (800) 227-2345 

American Diabetes Association
For diabetes-related questions or to request a diabetes information packet, email us at: AskADA@diabetes.org. In order to better serve you, please provide your name and address along with your request. You can also call their Center for Information and Community Support at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Their hours of operation are Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. EST:

American Heart Association
American Heart Association Regional Office Indianapolis, Indiana: (317)  732- 4700 http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Affiliate/Indianapolis/Indiana/Home_UCM_MWA004_AffiliatePage.jsp

American Lung Association in Indiana
You can call the American Lung Association FREE Helpline and Tobacco Quitline by calling: (800) 586-4872

American Podiatric Medical Association (problems with your feet)
The American Podiatric Medical Association website has a section with helpful articles for patients (click on the “Patients & the Public” tab).  These include, when to see a podiatrist, diagnosis & treatment, prevention, definitions, how to find a podiatrist, conditions affecting the foot and ankle, and much more:  https://www.apma.org/

American Psychological Association
This website has over 60 topics to help improve mental health and peoples' lives: www.apa.org/topics.

Arc of Indiana
The Arc of Indiana was established in 1956 by parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) who joined together to build a better and more accepting world for their children. With over 27,000 members and 43 chapters in Indiana, and 140,000 members in over 700 chapters nationwide, The Arc is on the front lines to:

•  Empower families with information and resources to assist them in their journey of raising a child with a disability to lead a full and meaningful life.
•  Inspire positive change in public policy and public attitudes.
•  Empower people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities to be self-sufficient and independent to the greatest extent possible.
•  Prevent disabilities through education about the dangers of drugs and alcohol while pregnant and advocating for all women to have quality prenatal care.
•  Serve as a spokesperson and advocate for families and their loved ones.

The combined strength of local Arcs, state Arcs and The Arc of the United States makes The Arc the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.  For more information about The Arc of Indiana and their 43 chapters, go to: https://www.arcind.org/.  To find The Arc in your state, go to: https://www.thearc.org/find-a-chapter

Arthritis Foundation
This web site contains descriptions of many types of arthritis, treatment options, pain management, arthritis diet and foods to avoid, benefits of and how to exercise, scientific discovery and much more: https://www.arthritis.org/

Assistance Dogs
If you have a physical or mental disability, perhaps you should consider a service dog.  People with disabilities such as multiple sclerosis, hearing impairments, spinal cord injuries, severe anxiety, and other disabilities may find help and comfort with a service dog.  The first step in finding a service dog is to check the membership list of Assistance Dogs International located at: https://www.assistancedogsinternational.org/members/programs-search/

Assisted Living – Nursing Homes
Dr. Bill Thomas - author, entrepreneur, musician, teacher, farmer and physician.  Named by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top ten Americans shaping aging, Dr. Thomas is internationally known for his health care system innovations. To learn about elderhood, his initiative to dramatically change the nursing home industry (aka: The Green House Project) and more information, go to: http://changingaging.org/about/

Breast Cancer
Breastcancer.org is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the most reliable, complete, and up-to-date information about breast cancer.  Their mission is to help women and their loved ones make sense of the complex medical and personal information about breast health and breast cancer, so they can make the best decisions for their lives: http://www.breastcancer.org/

Center for Medicare Advocacy
The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc., established in 1986, is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan law organization that provides education, advocacy and legal assistance to help older people and people with disabilities obtain access to Medicare and quality health care.  For more information, go to: http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/

The following Family Caregiver Alliance® National Center on Caregiving website has a very large list of helpful “Fact and Tip Sheets” about every aspect of care giving: health topics, issues and strategies, statics and demographics, recommended books, other helpful websites, and much more.  Many fact sheets are also in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. https://www.caregiver.org/fact-sheets

Caregiving and Substance Abuse
Caregiving can be a very rewarding experience and fulfilling career, but the high-stress lifestyle can put you at risk for alcohol and substance abuse. This not only hurts your health and well-being, but also the life of the person you are caring for. Using alcohol or drugs to cope with stress creates a cycle of negative emotions, leaving you constantly wracked with guilt and frequently returning to those same substances to ease the pain. You may feel isolation (because you think there’s no one to talk to) or shame (because you believe you should be able to handle this), but this is just the pressure and the addiction talking. There is help, and there is hope.  For more information, go to: https://www.DrugRehab.org

Clinical Trials
ClinicalTrials.gov is a resource provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.  This website contains a database of over 273,000 privately and publically funded clinical studies around the world.  Patients and families can search for actively recruiting studies that you may be able to participate in or learn about new interventions/treatments that are being considered.  For more information, go to: https://clinicaltrials.gov/

Also, consider the ResearchMatch.org website.  It brings together people who are trying to find research studies and clinical trials, and researchers who are looking for volunteers. Research Match makes it easier to find the right match for you or your family members.  It is a free and secure online tool created by academic institutions across the country who want to include you in their mission of helping studies improve health in the future. Research Match works by emailing you about studies that may be a good match for you.  For more information, go to: https://www.researchmatch.org/

Connect 2 Affect
Connect2Affect.org is a website to help older adults who are isolated get connected with others to avoid the health risks of isolation.  Research show that 17% of adults age 65 and older are isolated, 26% have an increased risk of early death due to a subjective feeling of loneliness, and 46% of women age 75 and older live alone.  To determine if you are at risk, find resources in your community, or to find volunteer opportunities to help others who are isolated, go to: https://connect2affect.org/

Dental Care
You can find lower-cost or sometimes free services at your local dental school or local health center.  To find these dental services throughout the United States and in your area, go to: https://www.toothwisdom.org/

Toothwisdom.org is a project of Oral Health America and serves both seniors and their caregivers by teaching about oral health in aging and by connecting individuals with affordable dental clinics.  Oral Health America (OHA) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Chicago, with a mission to change lives by connecting communities with resources that increase access to care, education, and advocacy for all Americans, especially those most vulnerable.  Find out more about OHA and our other programs at: oralhealthamerica.org.

As we get older, we and our family members may worry about our ability to drive safely.  The Hartford Insurance Company has an excellent comprehensive FREE guide that contains:

•  Who can benefit from a comprehensive driving evaluation.
•  Who can perform a comprehensive driving evaluation.
•  What happens in the comprehensive driving evaluation.
•  The things an occupational therapist may tell you including limitations, modifications, rehabilitation, retraining, shopping for a new car, when it is time to give up the keys and much more.

The guide contains a checklist, questions & answers, and recommended other readings and sources.  To view or download this FREE guide, go to: https://s0.hfdstatic.com/sites/the_hartford/files/your-road-ahead-2012.pdf

Drug Disposal
The U.S. Government’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) developed a “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day” program.  Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands. That's dangerous and often tragic. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to potential accidental poisoning, misuse, and overdose.  Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment.  If you would like to find a collection site for your unused and expired drugs or participate in a Prescription Drug Take Back Day, go to: https://takebackday.dea.gov/ 

This website also contains an anonymous and confidential Treatment Services Locator for people seeking treatment facilities for substance abuse and mental illness, or you may call the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 24 hours a day and 7 days a week at: (800) 662-4357.  

Elder Abuse
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a fact sheet that gives a general overview of elder abuse and a description of the six different types.  It also includes the effects elder abuse can have on a elders physical and emotional health, who is at risk for causing elder abuse, things you can do to prevent elder abuse, an elder abuse helpline and hotline, and resources.  For more information and to view the fact sheet, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/elderabuse/

To find a large, rich array of helpful information from the National Center on Elder Abuse, go to: https://ncea.acl.gov/About-Us.aspx

Eldercare Resources
The U.S. Administration on Aging has an Eldercare Locator that can help connect you to services in your community for older adults and their families. Their extensive website can be searched by topics.  The topics include:

•  Adult Day Programming 
•  Caregiver
•  Financial Assistance
•  Food & Nutrition
•  Health Insurance|
•  Home Repair & Modification
•  In-Home Services
•  Nursing Home & Long Term Care Facilities
•  Transportation
•  Volunteerism
•  And many other topics

For more information, go to: https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/Index.aspx. You can also reach them at: 1-800-677-1116.

Eyesight Problems
For information, go to the American Optometric Association’s website at: https://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes?sso=y  Also, see Macular Degeneration topics below.

Federation of State Medical Boards
The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) is a national non-profit organization representing all medical boards in the United States.  They were founded in 1912, and represent 70 state medical and osteopathic regulatory boards within the US, its territories, and the District of Columbia.  Their mandate is to protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare through proper licensing, disciplining, and regulation of physicians and, in most jurisdictions, other health care professionals. 

If you would like to know where a physician is licensed to practice, where she/he attended medical school, and if she/he has been disciplined by a licensing board, logon to: http://www.fsmb.org/ and click on the “For Consumers” tab.

Glaucoma Foundation
The Glaucoma Foundation has a free guide you can download from their web site for glaucoma patients and their families.  It contains what glaucoma is and the various types; the risk factors; how it is diagnosed; treatments; drugs used to treat it, their function, and possible side effects; types of surgery used to treat it; the recommended frequency of eye exams; and a detailed glossary of terms: https://www.glaucomafoundation.org/UserFiles/File/DIHAQ-Book.pdf

Health Insurance Claims Specialists
When you or a family member have been hospitalized, you don’t want to deal with medical bill issues.  If you think there is an error on your medical bill, a Health Insurance Claims Specialists can be your advocate, translate jargon and codes, help you fix errors, and build a case for an appeal.  To find a claims specialist, go to the Alliance of Claims Assistance Professionals website located at: https://www.claims.org/

Hearing Loss Association of America
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is a not-for-profit organization and is the nation’s leading organization representing people with hearing loss. HLAA provides assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families.  Their website includes information about hearing loss symptoms, diagnosing hearing difficulties, causes and types of hearing loss, and descriptions of treatment.  For more information go to:  http://www.hearingloss.org/

Hospice Care
Hospice care is end-of-life care. Professionals and volunteers provides medical, psychological, and spiritual support. The goal of the care is to help people who are dying have peace, comfort, and dignity. Hospice programs also provide services to support a patient's family. To view the U.S. National Library of Medicine – Medline Plus Internet site that contains articles, resources, research, hospice locations, and much more go to: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hospicecare.html

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) is the largest nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the United States.  They have developed some questions to help identify factors that may be important to you and your family when selecting a hospice.   To download their “Choosing a Quality Hospice Worksheet,” go to: https://www.nhpco.org/resources/choosing-hospice.  To find a hospices in your area, go to: https://www.nhpco.org/find-hospice

Hospital Comparison Tool
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services offers data on more than 4,000 hospitals on their Compare tool. To access this outstanding, easy-to-use comparison tool, go to: www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare

If you live in Indiana and need help finding care resources or information and you don’t know where to start…

Start by going to the Indiana Connect Alliance website located at: https://www.in.gov/fssa/inconnectalliance/.  Another good place to start can be found at: https://www.n4a.org/

If you do not live in Indiana and need help finding care resources or information and you don’t know where to start…

Start by going to the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging at: https://www.n4a.org/

Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) – Division of Aging
This web site contains information about reporting complaints about long term care facilities, suspected abuse of an adult, nursing facility preadmission screening, a list of all of the Area Agencies on Aging offices in Indiana and their addresses & phone numbers, details about the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly and much more: http://www.in.gov/fssa/2329.htm  

Macular Degeneration Association
The Macular Degeneration Association website has many articles about Macular Degeneration, clinical trials, Glaucoma, Low Vision, educational materials, videos, and more:  http://macularhope.org/

Macular Degeneration Partnership
If you have Macular Degeneration, there is hope and help. Whether you were just diagnosed or have had Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) a long time, you can find the information, resources and support you need right here. For more information go to the Macular Degeneration Partnership website at: http://www.amd.org/

Memory Care Residential Facilities, Nursing Homes, and Assisted Living Facilities
Long-term care ombudsmen are advocates for residents of nursing homes, board and care homes, and assisted living facilities. Ombudsmen provide information about how to find a facility and what to do to get quality care. They are trained to resolve problems.

If you want, the ombudsman can assist you with complaints. However, unless you give the ombudsman permission to share your concerns, these matters are kept confidential. Under the federal Older Americans Act, every state is required to have an Ombudsman Program that addresses complaints and advocates for improvements in the long-term care system.  For more information and to find an ombudsman in your area, go to: http://ltcombudsman.org/

National Council on Aging
To get answers to your questions about finding benefit programs that can help you pay for medications, health care, food, utilities, and more: www.benefitscheckup.org

National Kidney Foundation
The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease for millions of patients and their families, and tens of millions of Americans at risk.  This websites contains an extensive amount of information about kidney disease, treatment, nutrition, Dialysis, clinical trials, organ donation, and prevention, much more: www.kidney.org/  and the National Kidney Foundation of Indiana, Inc. (317) 722-5640 at: www.kidneyindiana.org/ 

This outstanding website contains a broad range of nutrition information related to people of all ages.  It has information about food groups, quizzes, articles on how to change your eating behaviors, physical activities, online tools, thousands of healthy recipes, food safety, and much more. This nutrition information is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:  www.choosemyplate.gov 

Organ Donation
Did you know organs can be donated up to age 70?  Although, if a person is healthy and their organs are in good shape, they could donate beyond age 70.  And, tissue can be donated up to age 95.  Since 1998, Donate Life Indiana is the state-authorized nonprofit organization responsible for managing the Indiana Donor Registry.

•  Each day 20 people die waiting for a transplant.
•  In the US, 95% of adults support organ donation, but only 54% are registered.
•  There are more than 114,000 children, women, and men on the national transplant waiting list.
•  One donor can save eight (8) lives!
•  One of the oldest organ donors in the U.S. was age 92. He was a liver donor and saved the life of a 69-year-old woman. 
•  Each year, the number of people on the waiting list continues to be much larger than the number of donors.

If you would like more information or to register as an organ donor in Indiana, go to: https://www.donatelifeindiana.org/about

If you live in a state other than Indiana, go to: https://www.organdonor.gov/register.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkdPWqKz_3AIVhEVpCh259gsyEAAYASAAEgI3SvD_BwE

Parkinson’s Disease
The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) website contains downloadable booklets, educational supplements, fact sheets about Parkinson’s disease (PD), and the Parkinson’s disease handbook.  This comprehensive handbook has been designed to help by providing valuable information about PD, including common symptoms, available treatments for disease management, practical tips on caring for someone with PD, and research currently underway in PD.  To find this information, go to: https://www.apdaparkinson.org/resources-support/download-publications/.

For veterans, the APDA published a guide called, “Helping Those Who Serve: Parkinson’s Disease Information for the Veterans Community.”  This informative manual covers everything from the basics of understanding Parkinson’s disease to finding care through the Veterans Health Administration.  It can be found by going to the following APDA website: www.apdaparkinson.org/VAManual.

Patient Resource Cancer Guides - FREE
PatientResource.com offers free cancer guides.  This website contains a huge amount of information on types of cancer, managing side effects, causes, treatments, medical definitions related to cancer and treatments, links to trusted sources of information, lists of cancer treatment centers and much more.  For more information, go to: https://www.patientresource.com/home.aspx

Prostate Cancer Foundation
The Prostate Cancer Foundation has a Prostate Cancer Patient Guide that you can download for FREE.  Their website contains many articles about screen for prostate cancer, treatment options, clinical trials, guides, diet recommendations and much more: https://www.pcf.org/

Respite Care for Caregivers
If you are a caregiver, you need to take good care of yourself both physically and mentally.  To find information about respite-care programs, adult day care, potential financial assistance for caregivers, A Consumer Guide for Family Caregivers, many other resources, and much more information, go to: https://archrespite.org/respitelocator.

Sleep Disorders
This webpage contains in-depth information about the effects of aging on sleep including sleep disorders that commonly affect our aging population, studies surrounding the need for sleep as you age, expert advice for getting better sleep, and much more.  For more information go to: https://mattresshelp.org/senior-sleep-guide/.

Substance Abuse
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline for people who would like to seek treatment.  SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.  

This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information. 

SAMHSA’s National Helpline phone numbers are: 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889.  Their website is located at: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

Substance Abuse and Caregiving
Caregiving can be a very rewarding experience and fulfilling career, but the high-stress lifestyle can put you at risk for alcohol and substance abuse. This not only hurts your health and well-being, but also the life of the person you are caring for. Using alcohol or drugs to cope with stress creates a cycle of negative emotions, leaving you constantly wracked with guilt and frequently returning to those same substances to ease the pain. You may feel isolation (because you think there’s no one to talk to) or shame (because you believe you should be able to handle this), but this is just the pressure and the addiction talking. There is help, and there is hope.  For more information, go to: https://www.DrugRehab.org

Suicide Prevention - 988 Suicide & Crisis LIFELINE
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of 161 crisis centers that provides a 24/7, toll-free hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.  1 (800) 273-TALK (8255). You don't have to be a mental health professional to help someone in your life that may be struggling.  Learn the Lifeline's 5 steps that you can use to help a loved one that may be in crisis. For more information, go to: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – (HHS)
HHS administers more than 100 programs across its operating divisions. HHS programs protect the health of all Americans and provide essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves:  https://www.hhs.gov/az/index.html

U.S. National Library of Medicine
This web site contains information on health topics related to parts of the human body, disorders and conditions, diagnosis and therapy, health and wellness articles, and much more:  https://medlineplus.gov/healthtopics.html

CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions
In Indianapolis, contact CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions at (317) 254-5465.  Their Internet address is: cicoa.org  The CICOA Aging and Disability Resource Center can be contacted at (317) 254-3660.

Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging
If your elderly parent(s) needs assistance with food, medicine, assistive technology, legal services, support groups, etc., or if you are their caregiver and you need help with finding services for them or for you (respite care, home care options, selecting a residential facility, etc.) contact the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging at: 1 (800) 986-3505 or visit iaaaa.org. They can also help you find resources if your parent lives outside of Indiana.

Modifications to Your Home
If you need modifications to your home as a result of a disability or failing health, and the modifications will help you to stay in your home, you should, get a prescription of medical necessity or a recommendation from a doctor or physical therapist describing what modification you need.  This document may help you to secure funding or reimbursement for making the home modifications you need.

Home modifications may be relatively minor and inexpensive, such as installing grab bars, handrails, and lever handles.  They may also be major and very expensive, such as installing elevators or lifts, enlarging doorways to allow wheelchair passage, modifying kitchens for easier meal preparation, or even installing emergency communication systems.

If you live in Indiana, The Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA) provides opportunities for qualifying Indiana homeowners to receive assistance in order to make much needed repairs to their homes.  For more information, go to: https://www.in.gov/ihcda/2410.htm

To find financing ideas for remodeling, a checklist to help you evaluate your remodeling needs room by room, tips on hiring a contractor, and other helpful information, go to the ElderCare.gov website located at:  https://eldercare.acl.gov/Public/Resources/Factsheets/Home_Modifications.aspx

To find other helpful information about making home modifications, go to the University of Southern California - Leonard Davis School of Gerontology webpage located at: https://homemods.org/resources/

To find a NARI Certified Remodeler in your part of the country, go to the “National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI)” webpage located at: https://www.nari.org/

Attorney General’s Office
The Indiana Attorney General's Office is dedicated to protecting consumers from deceptive and predatory business practices. It is also committed to educating consumers to make wise choices when buying products or entering into contracts.

Placing a “Credit Freeze” (also known as a security freeze) on your credit bureau reports can block an identity thief from opening a new account or obtaining credit in your name: www.in.gov/attorneygeneral

Do Not Call list—The Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division is dedicated to protecting consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls: https://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/consumer-protection-division/id-theft-prevention/do-not-call/

Department of Health, State (ISDH)

The Division of Long Term Care is responsible for state licensing and federal certification programs for long-term care facilities: www.in.gov/isdh

Department of Insurance

The Indiana Long Term Care (Insurance) Partnership Program:

Department of Natural Resources

Department of Revenue

Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA)
The (IDVA) aids and assists "Hoosier" veterans, and qualified family members or survivors, who are eligible for benefits or advantages provided by Indiana and the U.S. government. (See "Benefits" tab): www.in.gov/dva

Indiana General Assembly
To find your legislator, see the bottom of the screen: iga.in.gov

Indiana Money Wise
Indiana Money Wise is a financial education program designed to increase financial literacy in Hoosiers and educate them about smart money management and how to avoid being the victim of investment scams: www.in.gov/sos/indianamoneywise

Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS) – (PERF)
The INPRS is among the largest 100 pension funds in the United States. The fund serves the needs of approximately 450,000 members and retirees: www.in.gov/inprs.

Legislative Process in Indiana
To learn:

How legislative bills are processed during sessions of the Indiana General Assembly.
How to keep track of bills of interest to you.
How to find your Legislator.
How to find committees and their schedules.
And much more, go to: the Indiana General Assembly website at: https://iga.in.gov.

Public Employees Retirement Fund (PERF)
PERF member forms: www.in.gov/inprs/perfmbrforms

Secretary of State
Duties include regulation of the financial securities industry and many other areas: www.in.gov/sos.

Secretary of State Securities Division

State Health Insurance Assistance (SHIP) - Department of Insurance
The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a free, unbiased counseling program provided by the Indiana Department of Insurance for Medicare beneficiaries in Indiana. SHIP provides health insurance counseling for people with Medicare: www.in.gov/idoi.

State Information Center
The Indiana State Information Center is your single point of contact for questions about any office of Indiana State Government.  You can reach this office by phone at: (317) 233-0800 or 1 (800) 457-8283 or at: www.in.gov/core/help.

Voter Registration
If you need to register to vote or if you would like to encourage a friend or neighbor to get registered to vote, go to this webpage for helpful information: https://indianavoters.in.gov/.

Center for Medicare Advocacy
The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc., established in 1986, is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan law organization that provides education, advocacy and legal assistance to help older people and people with disabilities obtain access to Medicare and quality health care.  For more information, go to: http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/.

Finding Lost Insurance Policies
MIB, Inc., offers information, suggestions, and a “Policy Locator Service” that helps executors, administrators, or next-of-kin identify lost or unknown life insurance policies for deceased individuals. To read more about this service, go to: http://www.mib.com/facts_about_mib.html.

Several major life insurance companies have established online lost policy finders. If you have reason to believe a policy may have existed with one of these insurers, you can use these websites to search directly by company at no cost. To view these company names and their policy finder Internet pages, go to: http://www.mib.com/lost_policy_finders.html.

Glossary of Insurance Terms
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners website has a very detailed glossary of insurance terms: http://www.naic.org/consumer_glossary.htm.


Insurance Information Institute
Since 1960 the Insurance Information Institute has had a single mission: To improve public understanding of insurance—what it does and how it works.   If you would like to understand the basics of insurance and read articles about insurance related topics, go to: https://www.iii.org/insurance-basics.

Insurance Products
Life Insurance – Accelerated Death Benefit: Terminal Illness Insurance (known as Accelerated Death benefit in North America) pays out a capital sum if the policyholder is diagnosed with a terminal illness from which the policyholder is expected to die within 12 months of diagnosis, by a physician who specializes in that illness or condition. Terminal Illness Insurance is a form of insurance that is often added to a life insurance policy or a mortgage life insurance policy by the insurance company issuing the policy. Terminal Illness Insurance is not available as a separate insurance policy. 

Most insurance companies offer policies with accelerated benefit options and they are usually added to universal life insurance policies or other permanent life insurance policies. Some insurers are beginning to offer them with term life insurance policies sold to individuals. Accelerated benefits may also be available through group term or group permanent life insurance policies. Accelerated benefit options are usually offered when you purchase a new life insurance policy, but many insurers will also add them to existing policies. Contact your insurance company for additional information. For helpful information about buying insurance, go to the following Indiana Department of Insurance website: http://in.gov/idoi/2576.htm.


Another good website to learn about insurance is located at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Types_of_insurance

National Flood Insurance (FEMA)
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website has detailed information about flood insurance.  For example:

•  How to buy it or renew it
•  Why you need it
•  The Flood Map Service Center
•  How to reduce your cost
•  How to file a claim, and a toll free help line

For more information go to: https://www.floodsmart.gov/.

State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs)
The State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) provide free, in depth, one-on-one insurance counseling and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries, their families, friends, and caregivers. SHIPs operate in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and are grant-funded projects of the federal U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL).

SHIPs answer questions about Medicare and assist people in obtaining coverage through options that include the Original Medicare program, Medicare Advantage (Part C) Plans, Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) Plans, and programs designed to help people with limited incomes pay for their health care, such as Medicaid, the Medicare Savings Program, and the Low-Income Subsidy.

SHIPs also help people compare Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) insurance policies and explain how these and other supplemental insurance options -- such as insurance plans for retirees -- work with Medicare.

In addition, SHIPs provide information on long-term care insurance and, when needed, refer beneficiaries to agencies such as the Social Security Administration and local Medicaid offices for additional assistance.  To locate the SHIPs in your state and for additional information, go to:  https://www.shiptacenter.org/.

Umbrella Insurance
Do you need an umbrella insurance policy to protect your assets if you are sued? To get helpful information about this insurance, go to: https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/homeowners-insurance/umbrella-insurance/.

You will find many excellent articles and other information about performing an effective job search on the AARP.org/work website.  They also have a Job Board that is tailored to people who are age 50 plus.  Registration is required to apply for jobs but not for using the site’s other resources.  For more information, go to: https://www.aarp.org/work/

CareerBuilder.com is one of the largest job search websites in the country.  They have thousands of job postings that you can easily search through by entering a job title, skill, or company and entering the name of the city where you would like to work.  You can upload your resume, create an account, and apply to all jobs through this web site.  

This website also has articles about creating a resume, career advice, salary negotiation, interviewing, and many other topics.  For more information or to start your job/career search, go to: https://www.careerbuilder.com/

Cost of Living Calculator
If you are thinking about finding a job in another city, Bankrate.com has a nice cost-of-living calculator that compares the cost of living between two cities in the United States on their website at: https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/moving-cost-of-living-calculator.aspx

Also, CNN Money has one at: https://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/

And, Salary.com has one located at: https://swz.salary.com/CostOfLivingWizard/LayoutScripts/Coll_Start.aspx

Encore Careers
If you are interested in transitioning to a second fulfilling career, the following website has proven advice: www.encore.org.  If you’re interested in finding an encore career, volunteering your experience to help the next generation, curious about encore transition programs and other ways to get involved in the encore movement, The Encore Career Handbook will provide you with ideas to make a positive change in the world and in your life.  For more information, go to:  https://encore.org/for-encore-seekers/

Indeed is an employment-related search engine for job listings launched in November 2004.  In October 2010, Indeed.com passed Monster.com to become the highest-traffic job website in the United States.

The website collects job listings from thousands of websites, including job boards, staffing firms, associations, and company career pages.   Job seekers can apply directly to jobs on Indeed's website, and it offers resume posting and storage.  

Performing a FREE search for job openings in your city of interest is extremely simple!  Login to the Indeed.com website, then type in a job title, company, or key word.  Next, enter the name of the city where you would like to work, and click  the “Find Jobs” button.  To learn more and begin your search, go to:  https://www.indeed.com/

Jobs at Nonprofits
If you are looking for a job in the world of nonprofits, go to the following websites:

•   https://www.idealist.org/en/?type=JOB
•   https://www.philanthropy.com/jobsearch
•   https://www.workforgood.org/
•   http://www.philanthropynewsdigest.org/jobs

LinkedIn is the most popular business networking website in the United States, and it operates via websites and mobile apps.  There are over 130 million users in the United States and over 500 million in the world.  LinkedIn is a place where hundreds of millions of people from around the world hang out, connect, and network. It is a business person’s social network that is used for business reasons like finding a job or new career.

If you have not been in the job search market for many years, this is the new way job searchers build relationships in order to find employment.  To find more information and open an account, go to: https://www.linkedin.com/

The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is developed under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration.  The O*NET Program is the nation's primary source of occupational information.  Central to the project is the O*NET database, containing hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors on almost 1,000 occupations covering the entire U.S. economy. This data base, is available to the public at no cost.  

O*Net’s “My Next Move” interactive tool is for job seekers and students to learn more about their career options. The site has tasks, skills, salary information, and more for over 900 different careers. Users can find careers through keyword search; by browsing industries that employ different types of workers; or through the O*NET Interest Profiler, a tool that offers personalized career suggestions based on a person's interests and level of work experience.

While O*NET OnLine offers the widest range of search options and career reports, “My Next Move” is a streamlined application with key O*NET information for job seekers. The guided approach helps career explorers find the information they need without being overwhelmed. Career reports also link back to O*NET OnLine, for those interested in learning more about a specific career.  

For more information or to get started using their “My Next Move” tool to help you discover the kind of occupation you would enjoy, go to: https://www.onetonline.org/help/onet/mynextmove

The O*NET® Interest ProfilerTM (IP) is a family of self-assessment career exploration tools that can help clients discover the type of work activities and occupations that they would like and find exciting. Clients identify and learn about broad interest areas most relevant to themselves. They can use their interest results to explore the world of work.  For more information and to use one of the web based self-assessment tools, go to: https://www.onetcenter.org/IP.html

If you need to know the average current salary of a specific job, consider using the following website to find the average pay:  https://www.indeed.com/career/salaries?from=gnav-homepage

This website has job openings linked to the specific job titles you looked up for salary information.

What Color Is Your Parachute? By: Richard N. Bolles
“What Color Is Your Parachute?” is the number one selling book on job searching and career changing in the world.  It is so good that 10,000 people buy the book every month.  More than 10 million copies have been sold worldwide in 22 languages.

It is updated annually and has been published every year since 1970.  To read free job search advice from the author and find other books he has authored, go to: http://www.jobhuntersbible.com/  
It is available through your local bookseller, or to order the book “What Color Is Your Parachute?” from Amazon.com, go to: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=what+color+is+your+parachute&i=stripbooks&crid=3FRDM0KIX91DP&sprefix=what+color+is+your+parachute%2Cstripbooks%2C98&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_1_28

My Plate for Older Adults
In 2011, the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) released MyPlate for Older Adults as a icon to provide food, fluid and physical activity guidance specifically tailored for older adults.  In 2015, the HNRCA partnered with AARP Foundation in conjunction with the updated 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to revamp MyPlate for Older Adults. The new plate gives special attention, with the expertise of AARP Foundation, to fully target various demographics and food access issues relevant to the 50+ population.  For more information, go to: http://hnrca.tufts.edu/myplate/.

Nutritional Advice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) “Choose My Plate” Internet site offers ideas and tips to help you create a healthier eating style that meets your individual needs and improves your health. This excellent site offers many helpful tools like their “SuperTracker,” BMI Calculator, quizzes, videos, recipes & menus, food safety, dietary guidelines, advice for older adults, and much more. To view their site, go to: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/.

Seafood Selection Guide
EDF Seafood Selector Guide: The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Seafood Selector stands apart from other seafood guides because they work with troubled fisheries to improve management and conservation, which can improve their ratings over the long run. The guide covers the kinds of fish and shellfish you are most likely to see in your local supermarket or restaurant. Low-contaminant fish are an important part of a healthy diet, and EDF encourages people to consume fish that are caught or farmed in an environmentally responsible manner. Their scientists collect the latest information on omega-3s and mercury in seafood to provide the best recommendations possible. To view their guide, go to: http://seafood.edf.org/.

Catholic Churches in the United States
This website contains a searchable database of Catholic churches, schools, colleges & universities, cathedrals, organizations, and many more topics related to the Catholic religion: https://www.catholicdirectory.com/

Christian Churches in the United States
This website contains the largest directory of Christian churches in the United States.  This is an excellent resource for people who would like to find a church to attend while away on vacation: https://www.churchfinder.com/christian-churches-united-states

Hindu Temples in the United States
This database contains a list of Hindu temples in the United States and other information related to the Hindu religion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hindu_temples_in_the_United_States

Masjids, Mosques, and Islamic Centers in the U.S.
This searchable database contains the Masjid's name, its denominational affiliation, its address, contact phone number, email, and if it has a web site: http://hirr.hartsem.edu/mosque/database.html

Mormon Temples World Wide
This website contains a list of Mormon (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) temples throughout the world and information on many other topics related to the Mormon religion: https://www.lds.org/temples/list

Synagogues in the United States
This website contains a list of over 130 Jewish synagogues in the United States.  This is an excellent resource for people who would like to find a synagogue to attend while away on vacation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_synagogues_in_the_United_States

Ballpark E$timate
The Choose to Save® - Ballpark E$timate is an easy-to-use, interactive tool that helps you quickly identify approximately how much you need to save to fund a comfortable retirement. The Ballpark E$timate takes complicated issues like projected Social Security benefits and earnings assumptions on savings, and turns them into language and mathematics that are easy to understand.  For more information and to use the FREE tool, go to: https://www.asec.org/tools.

Pre-retirement Planning Guide
This Pre-retirement Planning Guide was prepared by the Retired Indiana Public Employees Association (RIPEA) to help its members who are nearing retirement.  To download and print the guide, go to: https://www.ripea.org/index.php/resources/pre-retirement-planning-guide.

Retirement Income Calculator
Use this calculator to determine how much income you will need in retirement. Compare what you may have to what you will need: https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/VGApp/pe/pubeducation/calculators/RetirementIncomeCalc.jsf.

Retirement Toolkit
This article contains detailed retirement planning advice and many Internet links to related topics.  This retirement toolkit is brought to you by the three federal agencies involved in key elements of your retirement planning and security: the Department of Labor, the Social Security Administration, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/ebsa/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/publications/retirement-toolkit.pdf.

Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Before hiring a contractor, or making a donation to charity, contact your local Better Business Bureau to get their advice.  For a directory of BBBs throughout the United States and Canada, go to: https://www.bbb.org/en/us/bbb-directory.
Have you found a business or offer that sounds like an illegal scheme or fraud, report them to the BBB by using their BBB Scam Tracker at: https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/us.
To read about dozens of common scams and ten steps you can take to avoid most scams, go to the BBB Scam Tips at: https://www.bbb.org/scamtips.

Charity Navigator
Before making a donation to an organization that claims to be a legitimate charity, consider researching the organization using Charity Navigator.  It is the largest and most-utilized charity evaluator in America. The organization helps guide intelligent giving by evaluating the Financial Health, Accountability and Transparency of over 9,000 charities and provides basic data on the rest of the 1.8 million U.S. nonprofits. Charity Navigator accepts no advertising or donations from the organizations it evaluates, ensuring unbiased evaluations, nor does it charge the public for this trusted data. As a result, Charity Navigator, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) public charity itself, depends on support from individuals, corporations and foundations that believe it provides a much-needed service to America's charitable givers.

Founded in 2001, Charity Navigator has become the nation's largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. Their team of professional analysts has examined tens of thousands of non-profit financial documents. They have used this knowledge to develop an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 9,000 of America's best-known and some lesser known, but worthy, charities.  For more information go to: https://www.charitynavigator.org/.

Do-Not-Call Lists
The Indiana Attorney General maintains a Telephone Privacy List that will eliminate most telemarketing calls, but not all telemarketing calls.  Under Indiana law, certain groups may still contact you.  They include insurance agents, realtors, newspapers, and most charities.  To list your landline and cell phones for free, go to: https://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/consumer-protection-division/id-theft-prevention/do-not-call/.

The Federal Trade Commission maintains a National Do Not Call Registry.  Once your phones are registered, they never expire.  You can check to see if your phone is registered or register your home or mobile phone for free at: https://www.donotcall.gov/.

Federal Communications Commission - FCC

The FCC website has information about many scams, frauds, and alerts.  To read this information go to: https://www.fcc.gov/general/frauds-scams-and-alerts-guides.

The FCC also has a robust “Scam Glossary” (including robocall scams, spoofing scams, & others with detailed information about each item.  To find it, go to: https://www.fcc.gov/scam-glossary.

Fraud, Scams, & Financial Exploitation
One way to protect yourself against fraud, scams, & financial exploitation is to subscribe to a monitoring and alert system such as EverSafe.  Their personalized technology alerts you to signs of irregular activity, and their consolidated dashboard simplifies monitoring across accounts and institutions.  To protect yourself, or if you’re an adult child of an aging parent, a caregiver or a professional serving an older client, EverSafe’s exclusive “trusted advocate” feature enables you to serve as an ‘extra set of eyes’ in guarding against fraud, scams, and financial exploitation.  To find out more information about this service and the cost, go to: https://www.eversafe.com/.

Guide Star
Each year, millions of people use GuideStar information to make decisions about nonprofits and the work they do. Donors explore charities and issues they want to support. Nonprofit leaders benchmark their organizations against their peers. Funders research grantees. They strive to provide the highest-quality, most complete nonprofit information available on over 2.7 million nonprofits.  Their mission is to revolutionize philanthropy by providing information that advances transparency, enables users to make better decisions, and encourages charitable giving.  If you would like to research a charity or not-for-profit, go to: https://www.guidestar.org/Home.aspx.

Prevent ID Theft
The Indiana Attorney General recommends putting a FREE Credit Freeze on your three credit bureau accounts to prevent Identity Theft.  For information on how to do this, go to:  https://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2891.htm.

If you live in other states, the Federal Trade Commission has detailed information about putting a credit freeze on your three credit bureau accounts to prevent Identity Theft.  For more information, go to: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs.

Air Travel by Direct Flight
If you would like to fly direct to avoid layovers, the Kayak website will show you destinations you can fly to directly from airports around the world.  Each destination shows which airlines offer this service including flight numbers, departure, and arrival times.  To use the Kayak internet tool, go to: https://www.kayak.com/direct.

Churches, Temples, Mosques, & Synagogues
If you would like to find a place of worship while traveling, please see the Religion category on this RIPEA Resources and Links webpage.

Currency Converter
For a good world-wide currency converter website, go to: http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/
When using the converter, USD stands for US Dollar.

Department of Natural Resources, Indiana
If you enjoy fishing in Indiana, you are going to love this Internet site.  http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/2348.htm.
If you like hunting, this website has the information you will want to hunt in Indiana. http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/2344.htm.
Indiana has some of the most beautiful State Parks in the country. http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2392.htm.
The DNR home page http://www.in.gov/dnr/

The visit Indiana website has a list of 183 Indiana golf courses.  https://visitindianagolf.com/courses.

Indiana Office of Tourism Development
If you are interested in fun things to do in Indiana, the outdoors, sports, shopping, food and drink, discounts, attractions, tours, museums, zoos, antiques & flea markets, and so much more, you’ll enjoy reviewing this website. https://visitindiana.com/.

National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands – Lifetime Senior Pass
The National Parks Service sells a lifetime pass for seniors.  You may purchase one by going to: https://store.usgs.gov/senior-pass.

National Parks Foundation (NPF)
The National Parks Foundation has a FREE National Park Owner’s Guide.  It is filled with detailed maps, travel tips and inside information on what not to miss.  The Owner’s Guide is your one-stop resource to discover all of your over 400 national parks.  To download the guide, go to: https://www.nationalparks.org/explore-parks/travel-ideas?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIi-_Mw5GO3QIVCHZeCh2wJQitEAAYASAAEgJVj_D_BwE.

Also, to use their search tool to find information about each of the National Parks, go to: https://www.nationalparks.org/explore-parks/all-parks.

State Parks
To find information about the following state and national areas in your state:

•  Parks
•  Forests
•  Fishing Areas
•  Nature Preserves
•  Wildlife Areas
•  Memorials
•  Wild Life Refuge & more, go to: ttps://www.stateparks.com/.

The Center of Intercultural Learning
The center contains country facts and cultural information on the countries of the world that go beyond the do's and don'ts: www.intercultures.ca.

Trails and Bikeways
Indiana State trails, greenways, and bikeways: www.in.gov/dnr/outdoor.

Travel Alerts and Warnings
Travel advisories

To receive security and other important updates from the State Department while traveling, U.S. citizens can enroll their travel plans in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (step.state.gov).

Travel Discounts
For travel discounts from RIPEA, please see the “Additional Membership Benefits” section of the RIPEA Internet site at: https://www.ripea.org/additional-membership-benefits.

U.S. Passports and International Travel

World Time Clock
For a very detailed world time clock with comparisons with other cities around the world, go to: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/?sort=1.

Burial Program
The Veterans Administration (VA) can help with some burial expenses, and it provides a free headstone or marker and burial flag.  Veterans can apply for burial benefits in advance, so they and their families can plan in advance.  For more information, go to: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/conditions/index.asp

Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
DAV is a nonprofit charity with almost 1,300 chapters across the country that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, helping more than 1 million veterans in positive, life-changing ways each year.   DAV empowers our nation’s heroes and their families by helping to provide the resources they need and ensuring our nation keeps the promises made to them.  For more information, go to: https://www.dav.org/

Eligibility for Benefits
Veterans who served before 1980 need only have 90 days or more of active duty and a discharge other than dishonorable to qualify for many benefits.  Veterans who served after 1980 must have 24 continuous months of active duty or the full period for which they were called to active duty.  To check your eligibility for benefits, go to: https://www.vets.gov/health-care/eligibility.

To apply for veterans’ benefits, manage your veterans’ benefits, or manage your health, go to: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/homepage.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.  If you have Mesothelioma and think you have it because of your service in the military, and would like to apply for benefits related to it, contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for assistance by going to: https://www.va.gov/health-care/how-to-apply.

Military Records and Medals
To find information about how you can obtain military records and replacement medals, go to: https://www.cem.va.gov/recmed_records.asp and https://www.archives.gov/personnel-records-center/military-personnel

National Resource Directory
The National Resource Directory (NRD) is a government resource website that connects wounded warriors, Service Members, Veterans, their families, and caregivers to programs and services that support them.  

It provides access to services and resources at the national, state, and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation, and community reintegration. Visitors to the NRD website can find information on a variety of topics that supply an abundance of vetted resources.  For more information, go to: https://nrd.gov/.

Parkinson’s Disease
The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) website contains downloadable booklets, educational supplements, fact sheets about Parkinson’s disease (PD), and the Parkinson’s disease handbook.  This comprehensive handbook has been designed to help by providing valuable information about PD, including common symptoms, available treatments for disease management, practical tips on caring for someone with PD, and research currently underway in PD.  To find this information, go to: https://www.apdaparkinson.org/resources-support/download-publications/.

For veterans, the APDA published a guide called, “Helping Those Who Serve: Parkinson’s Disease Information for the Veterans Community.”  This informative manual covers everything from the basics of understanding Parkinson’s disease to finding care through the Veterans Health Administration.  It can be found by going to the following APDA website: www.apdaparkinson.org/VAManual.

State Veteran Benefits
Most people know about the federal benefits available to veterans, but did you know many states also offer great benefits to their veterans? State benefits range from free college and employment resources to free hunting and fishing licenses. Most states also offer tax breaks for their veterans and specialized license plates, some states even provide their veterans with cash bonuses just for serving in the military.  To see a summary of the veteran benefits your state offers, go to: https://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-state-benefits/state-veterans-benefits-directory.html

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
To visit their website, go to: https://www.va.gov/

Veteran-Direct Care Program
Some disabled veterans are able to hire family and friends to help with daily living tasks.  The VA provides as much as $2,000 a month on average to pay caregivers and aides you choose.  The program is available through VA Medical Centers in many states.  To see if it is offered in your state, go to: https://www.dav.org/caregiver/veteran-home-service-program/

Veteran Service Officers
Veteran Service Officers can help you identify benefits you may be eligible for, help you apply, and assist in appeals.  The following veterans groups can help you find a Veteran Service Officer in your area:

•   American Legion: https://www.legion.org/
•   Veterans of Foreign Wars: https://www.vfw.org/
•   Disabled American Veterans: https://www.vfw.org/
•   Vietnam Veterans of America: https://vva.org/

Veterans’ Health Problems 
The Veterans Administration (VA) has recognized certain cancers and other health problems as presumptive diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service. Veterans and their survivors may be eligible for benefits for these diseases.  To see the list of diseases and other information, go to: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/conditions/index.asp

If you would like to give back, serve others, pay it forward, make new friends, eliminate loneliness, and make a difference in this world - consider volunteering.

Catchafire matches skilled professional volunteers with nonprofits to help them increase their capacity and achieve their missions.  For more information and to find a volunteer project that matches your interests, go to: https://www.catchafire.org/

Create the good.org connects you with volunteer opportunities to share your life experiences, skills, and passions in your community.  For more information go to:  http://createthegood.org/

Empower Success Corps
Empower Success Corps (ESC) was established in 1964.  Their consultants volunteer their professional experience to make a difference.  ESC connects experienced professionals with rewarding opportunities to volunteer in nonprofit consulting.  If you have valuable career skills to share, and want to give back in a meaningful way, join the ESC community of 150+ talented consultants who help nonprofit clients make a lasting difference.

There is much to gain from working as an ESC consultant.  You’ll use your significant career skills for a worthy cause, learn new skills, make lasting connections with peers, and contribute to a dynamic professional organization.  For more information, go to: https://www.empowersuccesscorps.org/.  To consider becoming a consultant or ESC Fellow, go to: https://www.empowersuccesscorps.org/get-involved/

Generation to Generation
A new campaign powered by Encore.org is inspiring adults over 50 to make a positive difference in the lives of children and youth.  Generation to Generation (Gen2Gen) is a diverse, action-oriented community of people who believe that experience matters, and that the goal of later life isn’t trying to remain young: it’s to be there for those who actually are. Because every child deserves a web of support, and every older adult has something to give.

The campaign shines a light on the mutual benefits of intergenerational relationships already happening, and features countless opportunities for people to get involved.  For more information, go to: https://generationtogeneration.org/about-us/

Kiwanis International is a global community of clubs, members and partners dedicated to improving the lives of children one community at a time. Today, they stand with more than 600,000 members from K-Kids to Key Club to Kiwanis and many ages in between in more than 80 countries. Each community has different needs, and Kiwanis empowers members to pursue creative ways to serve the needs of children through local service projects and fundraising.  Kiwanis clubs host nearly 150,000 service projects each year.  

The people at Kiwanis are passionate about making a difference. Helping kids grow and succeed is at the heart of everything they do. They believe our neighborhoods and our world are best served when people of all ages and different backgrounds work together to share their time and talents.  For more information, go to: http://www.kiwanis.org/about

Lions Club International
Where there's a NEED, There's a LION.  Whenever a Lions Club gets together, problems get smaller. And communities get better. That's because they help where help is needed – in our own communities and around the world – with unmatched integrity and energy.  Lions Club is the World's Largest Service Club Organization.  There are 46,000 clubs and 1.4+ million Lions members. Their members do whatever is needed to help their local communities. Everywhere they work, they make friends. With children who need eyeglasses, with seniors who don’t have enough to eat, and with people we may never meet.  For more information, go to: http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/index.php

Peace Corps
Did you know the Peace Corps has no upper age limit?  Peace Corps Volunteers serve in over 60 countries.  The Peace Corps is a service opportunity for motivated changemakers to immerse themselves in a community abroad, working side by side with local leaders to tackle the most pressing challenges of our generation.  For more information or to talk with a recruiter to find the right volunteer opportunity for you, go to: https://www.peacecorps.gov/about/

Points of Light – Hands On Network
Points of Light’s network of volunteer action centers inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. They put people at the center of change and connect them to their power to make a difference.  For more information or to find a volunteer project, go to: http://www.pointsoflight.org/handsonnetwork

SCORE is a nonprofit association supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration. They offer the nation's largest network of FREE, expert business mentors:

Sertoma is one of the oldest service clubs in the United States. They operate nationwide, with deep roots in the communities they serve at the local level. They seek to transform lives and, in doing so, They also transform themselves. They are men and women who understand that they can accomplish more together than they can alone. They know they can make a difference with their national mission of hearing health and in the other important areas of service their clubs provide. They are people who have heard the call to help. They answer that call every day, all across the country. For more information, go to: https://sertoma.org/who-we-are/

Volunteer Match
VolunteerMatch.org is a huge, robust website that helps not-for-profits find volunteers and helps volunteers find hundreds and sometimes thousands of volunteer opportunities in every city in the United States.  To use their web based volunteer matching tool, go to: https://www.volunteermatch.org/.  When the page opens, enter your city name in the search window in the center of the page and click, “Get Started.”