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Senior Assistance Programs

Senior and elderly assistance programs.


Older Americans, the elderly, and seniors can receive help from some assistance programs that specialize in meeting their needs. Resources are offered by the federal government, your state, Area Agency on Aging offices, and other non-profits or social service organizations, all of which are listed below. With the population of the country continuing to age and more individuals reaching the so-called senior “status,” the demand for assistance, information, and advice continues to increase.The exact type of resources will vary by state, county, and agency. Examples of some of the programs that are offered to low-income senior citizens and the elderly include government benefit programs, Medicare, financial help, and grants for medications or other bills. Another assistance is provided from senior centers, home care programs, employment resources, free meal sites, and much more. Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a federal government funded a program that is administered by many agencies on aging offices. Individuals who are unemployed, 55 or older, and who are looking for a new job can look into and sign up for the Senior Community Service Employment Program. Assessments will be completed by case managers, and they will try to obtain information about the participant’s current skills and interests. They will review the employment history, physical capabilities, need for supportive services, the potential for transition to a regular job and help them participate in community service assignments. Enrollees in the SCSEP program will be offered free physical examination and placement into job training opportunities. They will be placed into part-time jobs, in which they will gain an income, learn new skills, and have the opportunity to transition into full-time employment. 


Supplemental Food Program

Free food is offered to seniors over 60 years of age from the federal government funded Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). Healthy meals and groceries are offered in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and your state. Additional nutrition information is also provided in order to help facilitate good health. 

Senior Food Programs


Congregate meals are offered in all states. Individuals can choose from meal sites including churches, senior centers, religious facilities, area on aging offices, and housing facilities. Not only can a senior citizen get a free, nutritious hot meal or lunch, but they can also have the opportunity to socialize with their peers. The process will also allow them to attend workshops and get support from the community.People who can’t make it to a feeding site and who are homebound can look into home-delivered meals. Clients will need to be unable to shop for food or prepare meals on their own, and they need to be homebound. There are also income limits in place for this service.


The home delivered meal programs are also commonly referred to as Meals on Wheels. However, the name can change by local state. Volunteers will bring food and meals to homebound seniors, which can help them to remain in their homes for as long as possible. Some of the volunteers will also bring the client a free, special holiday meal at Thanksgiving or Christmas.In addition to receiving food and access to the nutrition services, seniors are offered daily contact with staff or program volunteers. This means someone can check up on them as well as provide company. They will provide seniors a link to additional services in their communities 

For Seniors Struggling To Feed Their Pets


For seniors struggling to feed their pets, free dog or cat food may be available too. Some Meals on Wheels services now provide this for low income elderly and the homebound. It is not yet offered nationwide, but an increasing number of providers are implementing this program for those elderly households that have a meager income.The free food for a clients pet will free up their often fixed income salaries for other basic needs. Also, having a healthy pet can help a senior citizen or disabled person by providing companionship and other benefits. 


Medical Bills And Insurance


Seniors have options when it comes to health insurance, such as Medicare and government programs that can help people pay their medical bills. With many retirees living on a fixed income, paying for health care is very difficult if not impossible. So there is information and resources offered to help the elderly deal with escalating medical costs. Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a source of information. The specialists that are part of this program can help seniors understand their health insurance benefits, plans that are available, medical bills and rights. The elderly can learn about grants or vouchers for buying prescription medications as well. This program supports Medicare beneficiaries, including people who are under 65 years old.The SHIP program provides clients access to trained staff and volunteers who usually operate from an area on aging offices. The counselors will provide those who need information with both in-person and telephone assistance if they can’t make it to an office. Get help with the following.


  • Medicare program, including details and help applying for benefits such as Prescription Drug Coverage Program (Medicare Part D) and any state supplements.

  • Assistance with health insurance denials, appeals, and grievances.

  • Disabled Medicare beneficiaries, even those under 65, receive information, help with health care needs, and support.

  • Learn about Long Term Care Insurance as well as Medicare Advantage Plans (HMOs, preferred provider organizations).

  • Counselors from SHAP can provide information on medications, including prescription drug plans for seniors.

24-Hour Senior HELP Line 602-264-4357 (HELP)


Services offered by the:  Area Agency On Aging


The following services are provided: 24 hour senior helpline, adult day health care, works program, APS Service Coordination, Benefits Assistance - Medicare, Care Transitions, Congregate Meals, DOVES program, Elder Resource Guide, ElderVention Program, Family Caregiver Support Program, Health Promotion, HIV Care Directions, Home-Delivered Meals and Legal Assistance, many other services and programs are offered on this site. Courtesy of: Area Agency On Aging.

Area Agency On Aging Elder Resource Guide


This free 146-page guide is designed to help you quickly find information and resources about public and private organizations in Maricopa County that assist older adults, families, caregivers, and professionals.  If you would like a hardback copy, you can purchase one for only $5.00 by clicking on the link above.

Deer Valley Senior Center provides information on senior programs and resources.

The Deer Valley Senior Center is located at 2001 W. Wahalla Lane
Phoenix, Arizona 85027-4200, 602-495-3714.  Courtesy of: the City of Phoenix Human Services Department


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