Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Government Assistance For Seniors Living At Home

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Whether its a parent, a grandparent, a relative, a friend, or even ourselves, the new challenges and changes that come with aging require our flexibility, openness to change, and acceptance of a new way of life. Instead of focusing on the negatives we may associate with our senior years and long-term care , we need to take a non-judgmental attitude to the natural changes our bodies go through and focus on what we can do during our later years.

Indeed, the ability to stay in ones home in our older years instead of a nursing home is a positive and empowering concept and, in this day and age, it is becoming more and more of a preferred and achievable lifestyle choice.

Technology advances, home modifications, myriad caregiving services, and the involvement and engagement of our family members make aging at home a realistic goal for many. Read on to see what we can do and what is currently available for helping the elderly so they can live their best lives at home.

Give your loved ones the best care

A bit of planning and modifying, changing, and getting extra in-home care assistance where necessary will do a lot to maintain the quality of life seniors deserve while living in their own home.

National Council On Aging

The National Council on Aging, a private group, has a free service calledBenefitsCheckUp®. This service can help you find Federal and State benefit programs that may help your family. After providing some general information about the person who needs care, you can see a list of possible benefit programs to explore. These programs can help pay for prescription drugs, heating bills, housing, meal programs, and legal services. You dont have to give a name, address, or Social Security number to use this service.

To learn more about BenefitsCheckUp®, call 1-571-527-3900, or visit BenefitsCheckUp®.

What Types Of Grants Support Canadians Living At Home

The grants that support Canadians aging in place contribute to the safety, accessibility and cost efficiency of your home. However, they are not applicable to cosmetic projects undertaken to increase the value or look of your home. Here are some of the home living needs that the various programs address.

  • Home adaptations: If you wish to remain in your home, but qualify as low-income and cannot afford the repairs or modifications required to manage age-related challenges, various provincial initiatives offer government grants for home improvements to ensure safe occupancy. Most programs require you to stay in the home for a fixed minimum duration if you use the grant. For example:
  • Nova Scotias Home Adaptations for Independence initiative mandates a minimum stay of 6 months for the grant beneficiaries. You can get a forgivable loan of up to $3,500.
  • In Alberta, the SHARP allows you a maximum loan of up to $40,000.
  • Newfoundland & Labradors Home Modification Program provides funding in the form of forgivable grants of up to $7,500 and repayable loans of up to $13,000.
  • In Ontario, the Ontario Renovates Program provides funding to low-income Canadians, as well as persons with disabilities to help them carry out necessary repairs and accessibility modifications that support independent living.
  • If you are a Saskatchewan resident, you may be able to defer all or part of your property and library taxes for the year through the Property Tax Deferral Program.
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    Social Recreation And Education Programs

    Many community and seniors centres offer dozens of social and recreation programs from exercise classes to art and crafts to organized outings. Another way to keep active and socially connected is through volunteering. Local Parks and Recreation Departments also offer a variety of low-cost recreation options, everything from line dancing to Indian cooking to making jewellery. Check to see if your local department offers discounts to seniors.

    Public libraries arent just about books theyre also provide free Internet and computer access, training, workshops and special events for the community on a range of topics and all ages.

    Reverse Mortgages For Seniors

    Government Assistance for Seniors Living at Home ...

    A reverse mortgage is a special type of home loan that lets a homeowner convert part of the ownership value in his or her home into cash. Unlike a traditional home loan, no repayment is required until the borrower sells the home, no longer uses it as a main residence, or dies.

    There are no income or medical requirements to get a reverse mortgage, but you must be age 62 or older. The loan amount is tax-free and can be used for any expense, including long-term care. However, if you have an existing mortgage or other debt against your home, you must use the funds to pay off those debts first.

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    Va Health Care For Elderly Veterans

    Geriatrics is health care for elderly Veterans with complex needs. Extended care also known as long term care is a program for Veterans of all ages who need the daily support and assistance of another individual. Elderly Veterans can receive geriatric and long term care programs at home, at VA medical centers, or in the community.

    Department Of Veterans Affairs

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs may provide long-term care or at-home care for some veterans. If your family member or relative is eligible for veterans benefits, check with the VA or get in touch with the VA medical center nearest you. There could be a waiting list for VA nursing homes.

    To learn more about VA healthcare benefits, call 1-877-222-8387, or visit the Veterans Health Administration or the Veterans Affairs Caregiver Support page. You can also find more information at Geriatrics and Extended Care: Paying for Long-Term Care.

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    DISCLAIMER: Under Florida law, this webform is a public record. Please do NOT submit any identifying information that would be against HIPAA standards.

    DISCLAIMER: Under Florida law, this webform is a public record. Please do NOT submit any identifying information that would be against HIPAA standards.

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    Energy/utility Bill Financial Help

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    If you need help to pay your gas or electricity bill, the Ontario Energy Boards Low Income Energy Assistance Program and the Ontario Electricity Support Program may be able to help out. In a few communities, such as Bruce Grey, community programs offer low-income families and individuals financial assistance to pay for delivery of wood, oil or propane. If the cost of energy-saving upgrades that lower your energy use in your home is out of reach, you might be able to access help from Ontarios Affordability Fund or the Home Assistance Program for these services.

    Electricity customers in Ontario no longer need to worry about being disconnected during the winter. The Ontario Energy Board has permanently banned utility companies in the province from disconnecting residential customers for non-payment between Nov. 15 and April 30 of the following year.

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    Home & Community Care

    In B.C., care and support are available from both publicly subsidized and private pay service providers for people having difficulty coping with activities of daily living because of health-related problems or a life-threatening illness. Publicly subsidized services include home support, adult day services, residential care, and more.

    Home Repair And Modification Assistance

    Various types of financial aid, ranging from grants that do not have to be repaid, to low interest loans, are available to eligible seniors who need helppaying for necessary home repairs, or who need to make modifications to their home in order to make it handicapped-accessible.

    Demand for home repair and modification grants is high, and funds are very limited, so you should apply as soon as possible when the yearly application period opens in your area.

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    Using Annuities To Pay For Long

    You may choose to enter into an annuity contract with an insurance company to help pay for long-term care services. In exchange for a single payment or a series of payments, the insurance company will send you an annuity, which is a series of regular payments over a specified period of time. There are two types of annuities: immediate annuities and deferred long-term care annuities.

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    Are You Eligible For These Programs

    • Age: While most provinces define eligibility as someone who is 65 years or older, a few provinces have a lower threshold of 55 years. You must turn that age in the year of taxation, in order to be eligible to apply for any of the programs.
    • Income: Your individual or familys combined annual income may be taken into account to establish your eligibility for the definition of low-income in your province.

    Do check the specific qualifying criteria for each program on your provincial website. If you are a Veteran or a First Nations member, some additional incentives may also be applicable.

    Medical Help For Seniors With Low Income

    The government provides and subsidizes healthcare options for seniors, including two of the biggest programs:

    • Medicare: Medicare is a subsidized health insurance program consisting of three parts. Part A is for hospital insurance Part B covers medical insurance and usually costs around $134 per month Part D will cover some of the costs of prescription drugs.
    • Medicaid: For elderly people with fewer resources, Medicaid is an affordable health care plan paid for by federal and state governments. It covers the cost of visits to healthcare providers, hospital services, medical transportation, prescription drug coverage, and more.

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    Canadian Government Grants For Seniors By Province

    If you would like to renovate your home to make it more accessible so that you can live there longer, there are a number of grants available from the various provincial governments in Canada. Here is a listing by province of some of those grants. Please note that the following are all government programs that were current at the time of posting and are subject to change.

    How To Plan Ahead To Age In Place

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    Planning ahead is hard because you never know how your needs might change. The first step is to think about the kinds of help you might want in the near future. Maybe you live alone, so there is no one living in your home who is available to help you. Maybe you don’t need help right now, but you live with a spouse or family member who does. Everyone has a different situation.

    One way to begin planning is to look at any illnesses, like diabetes or emphysema, that you or your spouse might have. Talk with your doctor about how these health problems could make it hard for someone to get around or take care of him- or herself in the future. If you’re a caregiver for an older adult, learn how you can get them the support they need to stay in their own home.

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    Supportive Housing For Seniors

    Supportive housing can provide on-site personal support services for seniors in designated residential buildings.

    The City offers a Supportive Housing Services for Seniors program in 9 buildings, to help seniors live independently with supports such as personal care, light housekeeping, medication checks and more. The program offers the stability and safety of intermittent 24-hour support and an on-site Registered Practical Nurse.

    Other service providers in Toronto also offer supportive housing. To apply, contact Home and Community Care Support Services .

    Reshaping The Future Of Canadians Aging In Place

    No matter where you live in Canada, the federal, provincial and municipal governments assistance programs and grants are reshaping the future of Canadians living at home. With the available grants for home repairs and home improvement, you could:

    • Repair and maintain your home as per defined health and safety norms.
    • Adapt your home to your mobility and assistance needs.
    • Renovate your home and add a secondary suite to boost your financial independence.

    If you are a Canadian 55+, or if you have an older family member who has chosen to stay at their residence independently, take advantage of the numerous programs that enable Canadians to age in place.

    • Be aware of the federal benefits and services, as well as those in your specific province.
    • Fill out the application forms download them from the programs website, or pick them up from the relevant service organizations office.
    • Submit your application along with the necessary supporting documents required to validate your age, health or income.

    Whether you qualify for some or none of the grants listed above, there is another option that will allow you to age in place.

    What can you use a reverse mortgage for?

    Reverse mortgage customers can choose to use their reverse mortgage funds for anything they please. However, here are some of the most common use of funds:

    • Home renovations

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    Other Benefits And Programs For Older Canadians

    The federal government is committed to supporting Canadians through a number of initiatives and benefits that promote financial self-reliance and independent living at home.

    You can view all the grants and benefits created for older Canadians on the Government of Canadas Programs and Services webpage. For specific information on a grant, rebate, credit or deferral that applies to you, check out Benefits Finder, a useful tool developed by the Canadian government.

    Affordable Housing For Seniors

    Information for Senior Citizens

    For seniors, maintaining independence is very important. At Volunteer of America, we provide housing for seniors who want to live independent lifestyles where they can thrive and age in place. Our senior residents deserve the quality of life that they desire and our commitment to service-enriched housing offers them just that.

    Service Coordinator programs are located within most of our senior housing communities and they enhance the quality of life for residents in our communities by enabling seniors to live independently and longer in their own homes and improve the quality of their lives by linking them with supportive services within the community.

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    Exercise And Falls Prevention Classes

    These classes help seniors stay active, healthy and independent. They focus on improving strength and balance to prevent injury and falls. They are led by fitness instructors, trained peer facilitators or support workers not a registered physiotherapist

    You may find classes offered in your community or long-term care homes.

    To find a class near you call the Seniors INFOline:

    Commonwealth Home Support Program

    The Commonwealth Home Support Program program can help you stay in your home. Assistance can include such things as:

    • home help, like cleaning and shopping
    • delivered meals

    You may be eligible for CHSP if you:

    • are having trouble doing everyday activities without help, and
    • need support to live independently in the community

    and are:

    • 65 years or older or
    • 50 years or older and on a low income, homeless or at risk of being homeless.

    If you have been injured or hospitalised you may be eligible for extra services through the program for a short time to help you get back on your feet after you return home.

    To find out if you need an assessment and if you are eligible for help at home services, you should call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. The My Aged Care staff will ask you questions about your current needs and circumstances so they can refer you to appropriate aged care services. You will need to have a home support assessment with a Regional Assessment Service before you can be approved for care.

    You will be asked to pay a contribution toward the cost of the support services provided, based upon your income and the level of support you receive.

    A person receiving an age pension contributes a maximum fee per week. No person will be denied a service because they cannot afford to pay.

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    Complete The Application Package

    Complete the Seniors Financial Assistance application:

    Optional income forms are available to help you complete your application:

    • Income estimate form the use of this form is limited to the Alberta Seniors Benefit program. Complete this form if you have experienced a decrease in income compared to your most recent tax return and are applying to the program for the first time, or have previously applied but have never received benefits. For more information, see How Your Benefit is Determined First time exception section on the Alberta Seniors Benefit page.
    • Income information form complete this form if you have not filed your income tax return for the previous calendar year.

    Optional forms are available to help you complete your application:

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