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Resources & Tools

Staying Independent

Most seniors want to stay as independent as possible for as long as possible, but it can be difficult when you factor in things like housing and transportation. Local senior centers are a great resource for remaining independent through local benefits such as meals, transportation, health screenings and clinics, information and referrals, social events, etc. Some towns have more active senior communities then others, so it’s important that you do your research to help you determine which will have the most benefits for your specific situation. Find a local senior center near you.

Housing

Staying in the home is usually the most desirable option for senior citizens, but continuing to pay for your home can be difficult. One option is to consider a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage can assist in providing a tax-free cash flow to eligible homeowners, 62 years of age or older. It is a unique type of loan used by Americans enabling them to convert the equity in their homes into cash. Without the obligation of a monthly payment while in the home, a reverse mortgage is designed to enable a senior’s financial independence by making funds available to the homeowner.

For more information or to speak with ACCC’s housing counselors, call (800) 769-3571 x1918 or click here.

There are also many federal housing programs that offer assistance for the elderly. Section 202 provides supportive housing for the elderly, while section 502 provides loans in rural areas and in the event of natural disasters, with special features for the elderly. There are also Assisted Living Conversion Programs, and special mortgage insurance for the elderly through sections 231 and 232.

To learn more, download the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s report . For housing counseling, apartment help, and protection advice for senior citizens, visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Development’s information page.

Transportation

If you no longer feel comfortable driving, there are many options available. Your best resource for transportation is your local senior center. Start by checking what type of services they provide, whether it’s a bus or an individual transportation program.

Other options include:

  • Public transportation – Many communities offer a free or reduced rate program for senior citizen riders.
  • Medical insurance – Medicaid offers a transportation service, as well as many other programs.
  • Taxis – This may seem like an expensive option, but remember that owning a car can be just as costly between maintenance, fuel, and insurance costs. Calculate how much you spent to own a car and note that this money is now available in your budget to pay for private taxis.
  • Volunteer driver programs – Many communities have volunteer driver programs that are a great resource to go back and forth to doctors’ appointments and to run daily errands.

Food

Putting food on the table can be very difficult as you get older. Luckily, there are many options available that also take into account dietary needs. Your first resource should be your local senior center as many provide hot meals for local residents.

Meals on Wheels — The Meals On Wheels Association of America is the oldest and largest national organization composed of and representing local, community-based Senior Nutrition Programs in all 50 U.S. states, as well as the U.S. Territories. Some programs serve meals at congregate locations like senior centers, some programs deliver meals directly to the homes of seniors whose mobility is limited, and many programs provide both services. Cost varies depending on the program and financial assistance is available for those who qualify.

Personal Chef To Go – This is a lunch and dinner delivery service that follows the American Heart Association’s guidelines for healthy living. Each order is delivered fresh to your home. Costs vary based on meal plans.

Magic Kitchen – This is another delivery service, but it provides a senior discount as well as free delivery for customers who place orders at least once a month.

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