As you can see from the many resources listed on this page, there are literally thousands of support agencies in California, and it can be hard to know where to begin. Here are some great places to start --
If none of the resources on this webpage seem appropriate to the immediate need, search United Way's referral directory to local resource organizations through the 211.org program.
Find Free or Low-Cost Medical Equipment
These Bay Area organizations have loan closets or other programs that distribute new or used equipment in good working order:
For deaf or hearing-impaired people, these organizations help with lower-cost hearing aids and hearing assessment, accessible telephone communication devices, and more:
For how to recycle, donate, or properly dispose of used medical equipment, see:
Resources for Disordered Sleep
Sleep clinics and specialists on sleep disorders abound in our region. If you have medical insurance or coverage, check your provider lists for eligible resources for a sleep study or for other care.
A CPAP, BIPAP, or other device for preventing sleep apnea can be expensive, and many people need to try different devices (or make adjustments) before they find a solution that works for them. These resources can help locate free or low-cost equipment, but, as the article points out, communication with the healthcare team (especially sleep specialists) is key to success.
Using a CPAP for sleep apnea is one of the conditions included in PG&E's Medical Baseline Allowance program for advance notice of power outages.
Besides crisis helplines, there are also programs to encourage social connectedness and support the depressed or grieving.
In addition to the county Behavioral Health Services agency, many hospitals and health plans provide grief support groups for family members - check with the hospital social worker or with your health plan to find out what may be available.
Resources for Memory & Cognition
From a 24/7 helpline for advice and referrals, to advice on how to maintain brain health, to assessment tools and tools to exercise our minds, here are ways to support healthy memory and cognition as we age.
For resources on more advanced memory loss or cognitive loss, see our collection on Caregiving for Someone With Dementia.
Resources for LGBTQ+ Seniors
These resources offer a range of services, from crisis hotlines and social connection warmlines to supportive medical advice, community activities, and advocacy.
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