Life becomes difficult as we grow old. You become dependent on others for a lot of things. Moreover, if you are suffering from any illness, the situation becomes worse. Therefore, many charities provide living assistance for seniors. Many governments have also announced various programs to help senior citizens. These programs cover not only rent and bill payments but also health expenses, financial requirements, and any day-to-day needs like the arrangement of food.
Some tasks might look simple to others but they are very difficult to perform for seniors. Especially, if the seniors are living alone, they need more assistance and support. They might not be able to work and earn living on their own because of their old age.
They have to depend on their retirement benefits and pensions, which might not be sufficient for their daily expenses. Therefore, living assistance for seniors provided by many governmental and non-governmental organizations is proving beneficial for many of them.
The program was introduced with the aim of helping seniors in their old age and to prevent them from the hardship of moving to a new place. Some government programs for seniors offer help limited to only paying house rent and for other facilities like cleaning, dusting, etc.
However, some organizations offer other benefits like paying for healthcare, financial assistance, etc. through their living assistance for seniors programs.
The US government has announced various programs to provide living assistance to seniors. What are they? Let’s have a look.
Section 202 – Supportive Housing For Elderly Program US
The government introduced this program to enable seniors to live peacefully and independently. The program aims at providing various housing facilities for senior citizens of the age of 62 and above. It includes providing affordable living spaces and assistance for rent and other housing expenses.
Through this program the government funds eligible organizations to build houses for seniors. The government later allocates these houses to seniors who fit the criteria. Now, let us take a look at the criteria and details of the services offered in section 202.
Eligibility Criteria For Supportive Housing For Elderly Program
- At least one of the members of the household should be of 62 years of age or above. The term family here also implies a family of only one individual.
- The total income of the household must be less than 50% of the Area Median Income of that area. For some houses, it should be less than 30% of the AMI. The government does not calculate the income of a member who is less than 18 years of age in total household income.
- Some properties built under the program also require the participation of the property owner in the program.
These are some criteria to qualify for the program. Along with these, the authorities will also ask you to submit the required documents. You have to make sure you submit correct and valid documents only. Any false information on documents or having criminal records can disqualify you for the program.
Besides, your rental history can also affect your eligibility for the program. The government verifies all your documents and may also contact your owners to know about your rental history.
Also, the government may have a preferential criteria list. The candidates who qualify for the preference list are given preferences while distributing funds. Candidates who do not qualify for the preference list may receive benefits later.
How To Apply?
The living assistance for seniors is provided only to eligible applicants. Thus, only if you fulfill the criteria given above, you can apply for the program. In order to apply, you first need to find a house or an apartment in your area that comes under the program.
Now, you will have to fill a form through that apartment’s property management company and submit it to the company itself. The forms will be available online, you must follow the manager’s instructions while filling out the application form.
The form will include information about the household and its members, rental history, and income, and employment-related information.
If you provide any misinformation or leave any sections of the form empty, your application can be rejected. Therefore you must take utmost care while filling the form. The property manager may guide you in filling the form.
Senior Housing Voucher And Subsidised Rent Assistance
The US government has introduced this program to offer living assistance for seniors under section 202. It aims at helping seniors with affordable housing. The programs support the seniors who have low levels of income and are looking to live independently in a supportive environment with basic facilities.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has the responsibility to finance this program. However, the department does not directly finance the senior citizens but it grants money to the local authorities who later provide help to senior citizens.
The government also provides grants to some charities and non-profit organizations to make the process simpler and accessible to all the seniors. Thus, if you are a senior and want to apply for the program you will directly have to contact the local authorities in your area.
The living assistance for seniors under this program is provided through vouchers. The government authorities distribute vouchers to seniors which can be used for making various payments like bills and house rent.
Under the program, the government offers subsidized private housing to the seniors. The program aims at helping mainly the low-income seniors and seniors who are sick. Besides, the spouses of the senior citizens are also entitled to the benefit.
The charities or organizations that are linked to the program and receive grants make their own residential units available for senior citizens to live in. The living assistance for seniors can be made available only when the owner of the property decides to participate in the program.
The program ensures an affordable and comfortable living space for the seniors. The responsibility of the government does not end by providing houses. It also ensures that other necessary facilities are also available in the nearby area.
The essential services like transportation, cooking must be present in the area. Then only the government allocates that housing unit to the senior citizens.
Government offers many options to eligible applicants. When applicants select a house, the government provides them with subsidies and vouchers. Besides subsidies and vouchers, the government also offers other facilities like free advice and resources for matters of their concern.
Section 202 – Rental Assistance Program For Seniors
This is another program through which the government provides living assistance for seniors. Under this program, the government assists seniors with the payment of rent. In old age, people become weak and incapable of earning enough money to pay rent.
Thus, the government pays some percentages of the total rent of seniors. It includes only the payment of rent and not any other bills.
As said above, the government only pays some part of the total rent. Households are obliged to pay up to 30% of their total income for rent. The amount offered by the government is the difference between the actual rent that the house owner charges and the amount seniors are capable of paying.
The seniors’ contribution is counted from the income received from different sources like retirement money, pension, SSI, etc.
This implies that the program requires participation from the government, tenants as well as property owners. All of these entities have to make some contribution to the program. This enables the government to provide living assistance for seniors.
The government also provides different vouchers to the applicants for other facilities. These include rental vouchers, case management, counseling, etc.
Also, applicants must note that the programs are executed on the state and local levels. So, the services provided in one area can differ from other areas. However, all the authorities aim to provide affordable houses and services to seniors.
Senior Citizen Food Program
Many organizations are working to provide living assistance to seniors. Many of the senior citizens cannot cook food on their own and many of them cannot even go outside to have their meal. Thus, the government has made available congregate meals in every state. There are sites of various organizations, churches, charities, etc.
where one can visit to have a meal. This facility does not only help in providing meals to the seniors but it also enables them to have social interaction in that period. Also, if the seniors cannot cook or are housebound owing to their old age or illness, there is a facility to deliver food to their homes.
Taking into consideration the age of seniors and their health, the government ensures that nutritious food is provided to the seniors. The volunteers may also provide special and free food to the seniors on special occasions like Thanksgiving. However, the program applies to only low-income groups. Under the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, the government offers free food to senior citizens over the age of sixty.
Many seniors lack support and companionship in old age which may make them feel lonely. Therefore, while offering living assistance for seniors, the government also offers assistance for their pets. If any senior citizens have pets, the government offers free food for them as well. This will reduce the responsibility of seniors to feed them and the same money can be used for alternate purposes.
Healthcare Assistance For Seniors
With very limited income, it becomes difficult for seniors to afford some medical services. Thus, the government has come up with many schemes and programs that help senior citizens with the payment of medical bills.
The government has launched the Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program to provide information regarding various medical services offered to seniors. The program has information regarding various insurance plans, medical bills, and its benefits to senior citizens.
Provision of free or concessional health facilities can be considered as the most crucial living assistance for seniors. Therefore, the government also provides beneficiaries with some volunteers and staff who make the process simple and more accessible to them. The volunteers and staff are trained and can provide information in person as well as on the telephone.
Through this process, the seniors or the beneficiaries can learn about the vouchers and grants they receive under this program. These vouchers and grants can help seniors with paying medical bills or buying prescriptions etc.
Apart from this, the federal government offers seniors Medicare Services. The program covers seniors who are 65 years of age and above. Besides, younger people with disabilities and renal diseases also benefit from the program. Through this program, the beneficiaries get free medical and dental assistance.
The program pays 50% of the health care cost and bills of the seniors. It does not provide full assistance but the beneficiaries also have to pay for some part. If the beneficiary wants to use any services that are not covered in the Medicare services, he may have to pay for it. The amount that the beneficiary will have to pay for the services will depend upon the cost of the service and the income of the service provider.
Many states offer health insurance counseling to seniors at their senior centers. In this, the government provides seniors with professional medical counselors who assist them with different health insurance plans, medicare services, etc. The counselors also answer any questions that seniors might be having.
The government also offers Durable Medical Equipment to provide living assistance to seniors. The government provides many essential types of equipment like wheelchairs, walkers, or any other assistive equipment they need. Almost all the types of equipment offered through the program are free of cost.
Also, some senior centers assist seniors in medical transportation. They generally arrange transportation services to citizens above 60 years of age for doctor’s appointments, health checkups, etc.
Income And Employment Assistance
The government had launched a Senior Community Service Employment Program to help seniors find a job. The seniors who are 55 and above and want to work can find a job through this program.
When you apply for the program, a case manager will assess your abilities. He or she will obtain information regarding your employability skills like what are your interests, strengths, and skills. After reviewing your physical capabilities, employment history, and need for support, case managers will determine your eligibility for the program.
The applicants of the program will have to give a physical examination. The candidates will be provided with free job training. Having employment provides for living assistance for seniors. Therefore, the government also takes many efforts to place the eligible candidates in different jobs according to their skills.
The jobs that the government offers seniors under this program mostly work from home jobs which include flexible work hours. The Additional income that the citizens receive from these jobs can add to their income and can help them pay for essential services.
Emergency Financial Help For Low-Income Citizens
This program intends to help seniors to become more independent by making them capable of managing their financial matters. The program assists senior citizens with low-income levels, people with disabilities, who have difficulty in managing their financial matters, like paying bills or budgeting, etc.
The program provides credit counselors and some volunteers to assist such citizens.
Many seniors have also been victims of fraud. Since many seniors have difficulty in calculating larger bills, people take advantage of it and charge more than the actual amount. To tackle this situation, some specialists have created a Senior Medicare patrol service. It helps in detecting frauds and errors in the bills.
Some programs that provide financial assistance, help with tax payments, assisted housing are also in place to provide living assistance to seniors. These are some of the government programs that help seniors to live a peaceful life.
However, there are also some charities working for the betterment of senior citizens. These charities understand the hardships seniors may be facing and try to assist them by providing some services. Some of the charities or organizations offer assistance in dealing with health issues, managing daily tasks, with meals, education, and finance.
This help can make their life simple and help them remain independent. These organizations have their own staff or volunteers working with them to provide living assistance for seniors. Let us take a look at some of these organizations.
Charities that Offer Living Assistance For Seniors
Meals On wheels America
According to some sources, more than 18% of seniors face difficulty in obtaining or preparing their own food. This makes them dependent and helpless. Therefore, Meals On the Wheels was established with the motto of “More than just a meal”. The charity has centers across the US and is providing daily meal services to the seniors. It provides a home-delivered meal to the seniors who fulfill the eligibility criteria for the program. The food offered is healthy and filled with nutrition.
It is up to the seniors whether they want the food delivered to their houses or they want to have it at the centers. Citizens can choose any option that suits their situation and the volunteers will provide food as per seniors’ dietary requirements.
Shepherd’s Centre Of America
Shepherd’s center of America believes in the inclusion of all. It thrives to include more people in the community who may have been excluded due to their age. The organization has been working since 1971 towards providing living assistance to seniors.
The organization offers assistance to seniors with learning, fitness, etc. With this organization, you can learn any skill or subject you are interested in. They also organize many activities that can help seniors in maintaining their health, like Zumba.
Since it is a charity organization working for the welfare of the community, it expects you to return the favor to help others in need. Anyone can volunteer and spend some time with the seniors. You can work as a caregiver or provide support for other resources.
It is an organization found in 1962 to provide education and empower seniors. The organization assists members in learning computers from basic to advanced levels. It also offers lessons on how to protect your computers and data from hacking. The Organisation offers more than 150 courses that are taught by trained staff and volunteers.
Pets For The Elderly
Many people find themselves lonely in their old age, having a pet can provide seniors with companionship. It offers emotional support to the seniors and makes their lives easy. It also helps in lowering blood pressure. Playing with your pet can also help you exercise, become more healthy and socialize. The organization has contacts with different animal shelters which help seniors getting a pet. So, if you know any senior in need of a pet, PPE can help you. Also, since it is a charity organization you can also donate to the cause.
Alzheimer’s Foundation Of America
The foundation was established in 2002 to assist people having Alzheimer’s. It offers assistance in research support and advocacy. The foundation also assists the relatives and caregivers of people suffering from Alzheimer’s.
It offers various educational and diagnosis tools to caregivers. Besides, they also inform people about calendar events and types of assistance offered to the patients and help them find clinical trials.
Moreover, the AFA offers free ‘Memory Screening’ on their website. It is an important tool used for diagnosis purposes.
These are some of the organizations that can help in providing living assistance for seniors. The organizations and government programs can have different eligibility criteria depending upon the availability of funds and needs of the senior citizens. However, all the organizations working for seniors aim to help them. Thus, if you are a senior citizen or know someone who needs assistance, you can contact these organizations.
The charities also require funds to assist seniors. They accept help from volunteers who are willing to donate. So, if you have ever felt for seniors and are willing to help, you can donate to these organizations.