Staying home has become a common practice this year because of COVID-19. But there are many people who are forced to stay indoors for various other reasons as well. Some just don’t have the energy to get out much due to illness or medical treatment, and some are immunocompromised and can’t take the risk.
Whatever the reason for staying in your own home, there are some common necessities, and even conveniences, that are harder to come by. And if you don’t have a lot of help at home, it’s important to find ways to get your needs met. Fortunately, there are plenty of services for people just like you, and more have become available during the coronavirus pandemic.
Viatical Settlement Companies
If you are forced to stay at home much of the time due to a terminal illness, your finances could be taking a toll on you and your family. You’re probably not able to work and might be living on a small fixed income or what you have left in savings. In these cases, it’s important to explore all your options. One service that can help is a viatical settlement company.
The way a viatical settlement works is that a broker buys your whole life insurance policy from you for an agreed-upon lump sum amount. This lump sum payout will be a percentage of your policy’s face value. The broker will then, in turn, become the beneficiary of your death benefit upon your passing. The third-party broker will be responsible for any premiums on your life insurance policy going forward once the viatical settlement is agreed upon. This way, you will have the money upfront to use for living, medical, or other expenses as they come up. Many people find this third party settlement beneficial as it allows them to spend more time with family without all the stress of their finances. Of course, how you spend your viatical settlement is up to you, but it can certainly help you out of a financial bind when you have few other options.
One thing modern technology has brought us is the ability to get takeout from almost any restaurant without ever leaving our homes. There have always been some restaurants that would deliver their meals with a phone call. Chinese and Pizza eateries were the most popular of these. But recently, food delivery apps have changed the way we do takeout. Popular services like DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats allow you to order whatever you want from any restaurant you want. These services allow people to sign up as drivers and earn extra cash and tips to deliver food to local residences. They simply sign up and go through the proper application process. And if they meet certain requirements, they can use their own cars to pick up and deliver food.
Aside from having access to full restaurant menus with food delivery, many grocery stores have also expanded their services to include delivery. For many years, it’s been common to offer home delivery to the elderly or those receiving home care, especially with small local grocers. But now anyone can enjoy the service, usually for a very small fee. Stores like Walmart offer their guests either grocery pickup (where they bring your purchases out to your car) or home delivery. If you don’t have a store that offers this service in your area, however, Instacart is another good option. This service is a lot like the meal delivery services in that you can download an app, make your purchase, and pay someone a small fee to pick up your groceries and bring them to you without risking close contact in a big supermarket.
Telemedicine provides a way to receive health care at home or in another private setting over the internet. It’s been around for a while but with the growing health risk caused by COVID-19, it has become much more available and widely used by the general public. In the past, teledocs were available for people who were severely immunocompromised or absolutely couldn’t leave home. But now, there’s a growing need to keep crowds to a minimum and reduce the spread of COVID-19, making it more important than ever for people to stay home. With these developments, insurance companies have started to see the value in this type of service, so many have expanded their coverage to include it. The insurance companies that cover telemedicine include both Medicare and Medicaid.
The services you can receive with telemedicine are probably a lot more inclusive than you imagined. Healthcare providers can usually treat you over the phone or chat for common ailments, such as ear infections, strep throat, or back pain, but you can also be seen for follow-up visits for chronic pain management, such as back pain or diabetes. What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that you can also receive mental health care through telemedicine. In fact, this has become a common way to receive this type of treatment. It allows patients to seek care from a mental health care provider when they might not otherwise be able to, such as during holidays, weekends, or in the middle of the night.
Before, there were a lot of rules and regulations that decided whether telemedicine would be covered, and it was usually easier to skip it altogether. But now, insurance companies have relaxed their rules and allow doctors to use apps like FaceTime and Skype to see their patients while maintaining social distancing regulations. Due to patient confidentiality laws, this type of thing was never allowed in the past. So, whether or not this is a trend that will stick around for a while remains to be seen. But for now, it’s an excellent way to keep up with your doctor visits while keeping exposure risks to a minimum.
Home Care Agencies
Home care agencies can be found in almost every state, and they offer a variety of services. For example, a home care agency in Fairless Hills, PA might provide you with a live-in caregiver in Pennsylvania who can help you with household chores, pet care, personal hygiene, companionship, and other daily activities. Or you can hire part-time or short-term caregivers who assist you with the same things but on a part-time basis. Unlike home health care, home care services caregivers don’t offer medical care. They are usually not trained nurses or CNAs. They’re simply hired to take care of their customers’ basic needs. This can be a great option for senior care or care for the terminally or temporarily ill.
Subscription boxes have become so popular in the last few years, that they seem to be popping up everywhere. You can order anything from makeup to ready-to-cook meals and have them shipped right to your front door. For many higher-risk people or those receiving home care, this offers a great way to enjoy some great perks without leaving the house. One subscription box, for example, is Vacation Crate. This box ships once a month and includes 8-10 sourced from around the world. It might include handmade goods, exotic jewelry, foreign foods, and more.
The most popular subscription boxes, though, are meal delivery kits. Companies like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron put together gourmet meals with fresh ingredients and send everything you need right to your door. Many of these include pre-measured, unprepared, and fun to cook ingredients that are mostly organic and farmer-sourced. So aside from convenience, these meals can also help you stay healthy at home.