Help for the Older Patient

CURE, Spring 2007, Volume 6, Issue 2

A listing of several resources targeted at older patients for a variety of support issues.

Resources targeted to seniors vary greatly in their services. While some organizations provide information about wills and assisted living, others include information about job hunting and travel.

AARP is the largest national organization for people over 50, and although the organization does have a membership arm in which members can receive a monthly newsletter and magazine, financial advice and discounted services, there is also non-fee-based information on its website, including articles on insurance, financial planning, health, nutrition, travel and legal issues.

The National Council on Aging is a nonprofit that provides assistance to older people to stay healthy, find jobs, volunteer and take advantage of government and private benefits programs for prescription drugs and other health care costs. The federal government also sponsors several sites, including the Administration on Aging and FirstGov for Seniors that provide information on Social Security, Medicare and retirement.

A number of elderly cancer survivors live independently, either in a community- based environment or in a private residence. The Assisted Living Federation of America provides information on whether assisted living is needed and how to choose a residence. The National Senior Citizens Law Center is a nonprofit that advocates for the legal rights of elderly and disabled Aamericans, especially those with a low income. Eeven for healthy survivors, it is a smart idea to get financial and legal papers in order, including a will and medical power of attorney.

Specific to research in aging cancer patients, the International Society of Geriatric Oncology, a professional organization, and the Senior Adult Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center provide information on clinical trials and new research that may be useful to older patients.