So you're a senior in Georgia, and things aren't looking so great right now. Maybe your savings have been dwindling, or your family isn't around to help out like they used to. Whatever the reason is, times are tough and you're struggling. Don't panic - there are resources to help.
Georgia has programs specifically designed for seniors who need a helping hand, whether it's paying for food, healthcare, or just keeping the lights on. You've worked hard your whole life, so don't be too proud to ask for help when you need it. Your golden years should be enjoyed, not endured. Keep on reading to know exactly what kind of aid is available to seniors in Georgia and how to take advantage of it.
Apply For Financial Assistance Programs
As a senior struggling to make ends meet in Georgia, don’t worry - there are resources here to help. Apply to assistance programs you could be eligible for. Such as:
Medicaid provides health insurance to low-income individuals including seniors. If your income falls below a certain threshold, you could receive coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, nursing homes, and more.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, helps supplement your food budget. As a senior citizen, you could be eligible to receive additional SNAP benefits. The program is easy to apply for and funds are deposited each month on an EBT card you could use at grocery stores and farmers markets statewide. Apply at your local SNAP office or Georgia Department of Human Services (GDHS).
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
If you have limited income and resources, SSI program provides monthly payments to help meet basic needs. If you're a senior, you may be eligible for SSI payments in addition to Social Security. Apply for SSI through your local Social Security office.
Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program
This program issues coupons or vouchers that can be used to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, honey, and herbs at participating farmers markets and roadside stands. Not all areas of Georgia participate, so check if it’s offered in your county.
Georgia offers property tax relief for low-income senior citizens. These programs include exemptions or deferrals. Contact your county tax assessor’s office to determine if you’re eligible to apply. Reducing or eliminating property taxes helps make housing more affordable.
Finding Affordable Housing Options
As a senior struggling in Georgia, affordable housing should be at the top of your list of priorities. There're several options to consider:
Section 8 Vouchers
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program provides rent subsidies for private housing. You pay 30-40% of your income toward rent and utilities, and the voucher covers the rest. Apply with your local public housing authority. Section 8 also often has long waiting lists, so apply pretty quickly.
Low-Income Tax Credit Apartments
Private developers offer affordable apartments funded by federal low-income housing tax credits. Rent is typically capped at 30% of 60% of the area median income. Search for “low-income tax credit apartments” or “LIHTC apartments” in your area to find options.
Some apartments are designated for seniors age 55 and older. They offer affordable rent along with amenities tailored for older residents. Section 202 program offers senior communities to low-income seniors. Check around your area to find individual communities working with Section 202.
Home-sharing programs match older homeowners with extra space in their homes with home seekers looking for affordable housing. In exchange for reduced rent, you may help out with chores like yard work, housekeeping or meal preparation. Contact local senior centers or search online for “home-sharing Georgia” for programs in your area.
Find Support Groups for Companionship
As a senior struggling in Georgia, loneliness and isolation could be 2 of the biggest challenges. Connecting with others who share similar experiences can help combat these feelings.
Find Local Senior Centers
Many senior centers offer activities and social support groups for older adults. Stop by your local senior center to inquire about support groups for companionship or dealing with specific issues like caregiving, chronic illness, or grief. Nonprofit organizations like the Silver Sneakers and the Shepherd's Center also provide community support to seniors.
Check with places of worship
Churches and other faith communities often have programs for seniors such as support groups. Even if you are not a member, many welcome seniors from the surrounding area. Call places of worship in your neighborhood to ask if they offer any senior support groups or activities. Some may focus on providing social interaction and friendships, while others may be more specific to certain life changes or health conditions.
The internet provides opportunities to connect with others and find support groups remotely. Websites such as Meetup or NextDoor make it easy to search for local senior social groups or start your own. Find groups centered around hobbies, life experiences, health issues, or just providing a space for open discussions. While in-person interaction is ideal, online support groups can still help combat loneliness when mobility or transportation is an issue.
Consider Part-Time Work or Volunteering
If you're senior facing financial difficulties in Georgia, consider taking on some part-time work or volunteer opportunities. Extra income or social interaction helps combat isolation and provide mental stimulation.
There's many options for part-time jobs that provide flexibility for seniors. Retail stores or restaurants often hire for evening and weekend hours. Tutoring or freelancing are other choices where you set a flexible schedule.
Employment websites such as Indeed & Monster frequently post openings ideal for those with life experience. Tell friends and family you're looking for work - they may know of opportunities at their companies or places of business.
Giving your time to a good cause is rewarding and provides mental and physical benefits for seniors. Animal shelters, museums, parks, and recreation centers are always looking for extra help. Your skills and talents could be put to use for programs like Meals on Wheels or tutoring children in reading or math.
Staying active and socially engaged is essential as you age. Part-time work or volunteering a couple hours each week helps supplement your income while keeping your mind and body active. The extra money or sense of purpose could help ease financial burdens and combat isolation many seniors face. There are many possibilities if you look for them.
Georgia Community Care Services Program
The Georgia Community Care Services Program provides Medicaid-funded home and community-based or home-delivered services to seniors or people with disabilities as an alternative to nursing home care.
To qualify for the CCSP, you must:
- Be 65 years of age or older, or disabled
- Meet Medicaid eligibility requirements for income and assets
- Require assistance with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, or eating
- Be at risk of nursing home placement without community support services
The CCSP offers aging services to help you stay in your own home, such as:
- Personal care assistance with bathing, dressing, light housekeeping
- Home delivered meals and nutritional supplements
- Respite care to relieve family caregivers
- Home modifications like wheelchair ramps, grab bars, emergency response systems
- Transportation to medical appointments and essential shopping
- Caregiver training and support groups
To apply for the CCSP, contact aging organizations such as your local Area Agency on Aging, which evaluates your needs, determine eligibility, and help develop a care plan to address your needs.
Seniors Could Qualify For a FREE Phone!
If you're reading this blog, you're likely a senior facing some sort of financial struggle. Don't worry -- it happens all the time. Luckily, EASY Wireless is here to help!
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Or you can come to one of the EASY Wireless's retail stores, where our customer service agent will help you apply for your benefits.