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Help for the Homebound

Q. My wife’s father is 78 and not in good health. He can’t afford all the prescriptions he needs. He also doesn’t drive and could use some help getting around. My wife has called a bunch of places to ask for help but all they do is pass the buck.

A. First, try going online to the federal government’s Eldercare Locator, which links older people to community services, or call it at 1-800-677-1116. The website offers information ranging from assistance with home care and transportation to counseling for Medicare and Social Security.

Also, the BenefitsCheckUp program, sponsored by the National Council on the Aging, can put you in touch with programs that may help pay for some prescription drugs, health care, utilities and other essential items or services. You can e-mail the program at or call 1-888-268-6706 toll-free.

Another guide for this kind of help is the Benefits QuickLINK on AARP’s website. Also have a look at the AARP fact sheet called “Public Benefits that Can Help Americans 50+.”

Carole Fleck is a senior editor at the AARP Bulletin.