The Florida Department of Elder of Affairs runs a number of programs for people who are 60 years of age or older. Resources provided can address a number of needs that may be more unique or common to seniors. Examples of some of the services provided or referred to can include utility bill help from EHEAP, free food, information on health care and insurance, transportation, and much more. Below are more details on the Florida Department of Elder of Affairs programs and resources.
Utility and cooling bill assistance can be provided from the Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program (EHEAP). Any household that has at least one member over 60 years of age, who is facing a crisis, and who meets income guidelines may qualify for financial assistance for paying their energy bills.
Emergencies that EHEAP can address may be from a shut off notice, lack of fuel, or disconnection of utilities. The state of Florida program can provide cash for paying cooling, air conditioning, or other utility bills. While funding may vary, in some cases up to $600 can be paid out to seniors. All funds paid out are made directly to your utility company and not to the applicant.
EHEAP in Florida is available as part of the United States Department of Energy nationwide assistance program. Low income senior citizens, including those living on disability or a pension, may be given a grant to pay their electric or air conditioning bills. Learn how to apply for funds from the LIHEAP crisis program.
Vouchers may also be provided to seniors. These can be used to buy fans, portable heaters, or blankets. Additional aid can pay for the repair or cooling or heating equipment, or for reconnection fees. To apply for the Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program, dial 1-800-963-5337, or stop by your local Area Agency on Aging office.
Information and referrals is offered from Elder Helpline. Learn about elder services, government and public assistance, Medicare, free clinics, and much more.
Health Promotion and Wellness Initiatives are offered for seniors in Florida. These include disease prevention seminars, evidence-based programs, health workshops/seminars, and other related physical activities such as health fairs.
Programs are developed to educate both seniors and their caregivers, to increase awareness about issues related to the health of elder Floridians, and to also deliver effective interventions and information on medical care to make a noticeable difference in elders’ health.
Some specific programs include health risk assessment, gerontological counseling, mental health counseling and screening, health promotion, evidence-based health promotion programs, home injury control, disease information, transportation to doctor appointments, medication management, and counseling. The more information that someone has on their options, the more ability they have to receive high quality care at the lowest price possible.
Community nutrition service programs are coordinated by the Florida Department of Elder of Affairs. The agencies that run these services are normally private, non-profit agencies, senior centers, local Area Agency on Aging offices, or other charitable locations.
A number of services are offered. The frail, homebound or isolated older adults may receive meals delivered to their homes. Any Florida resident who is over 60 may be able to benefit from this program.
In addition to free food and meals, other aid provided can include education, counseling, and screening. Call your local office to benefit from the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, Home-Delivered Meals, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Pilot Program, Congregate Dining Facilities, Adult Care Food Program, and Nutrition Education.
Congregate Meals are offered across Florida in a number of communities and locations. Meals are distributed in churches, schools, senior centers, community centers and other private or public facilities where low income families and people can receive social services and/or other rehabilitative services.
For seniors, elderly, and disabled who are homebound and who can’t make it to a meal center, then food and meals can also be home delivered. Many locations, often in partnership with non-profits such as the Salvation Army, can provide home-delivered meals and nutrition education to homebound and frail individuals.
The Florida Department of Elder of Affairs also has information on rent and housing assistance programs that are offered from the federal government Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). There are also non-profits that help the elderly in the state. HUD is the primary federal government agency that oversees low income and public housing, including section 8 rental vouchers. Not only does HUD have programs for paying for a portion of rent and housing costs, but they also provide information on selling, buying, and/or renting a home. Get details on stopping an eviction in Florida.
Preventive Health Services is another service. Specialists and medical professionals can offer disease-prevention and health-promotion services at clinics, senior centers or alternative sites. There is even help for senior citizens that can’t afford to pay for health insurance policies.
Prevention is one of the keys to saving on and reducing medical bills, as by being pro-active you are more than likely to catch and address a medical condition before it worsens. This can often be difficult for the underinsured. However the services are designed to help elders and seniors in Florida prevent or manage their health conditions and promote healthier lifestyles, and there is also healthcare for the uninsured arranged.
National Family Caregiver Support Program can assist families and individuals who are taking care of frail older members of the household. Not only that, but assistance may also be offered for grandparents or older relatives who are caregivers for children of any age who have disabilities or children 18 and younger. Aid offered can be financial for paying for basic needs, referrals, and general support.
The Florida Department of Elder of Affairs Aged and Disabled Adult Waiver (ADA) can help people maintain independence while they continue to live in their home. This service is offered for Medicaid-eligible seniors and/or persons with disabilities who are at risk of nursing home placement. The ADA program is offered through an interagency agreement with the Agency for Health Care Administration. The program provides a number of medical services and conditions to the less fortunate, including case management, respite, case aide, chore, homemaker, personal care, emergency alert response, adult day health care, physical therapy, financial assistance for bills, caregiver training and support, free or low cost consumable medical supplies, home-delivered meals, environmental modification, occupational therapy, health risk management, and speech therapy.
Free or low cost Florida Senior Legal Services may be offered for people who have serious civil matters and who can’t pay for legal aid on their own. Sometimes people need legal assistance and representation from a trained attorney. The fact of that matter is that not all seniors can afford their own lawyer or attorney, and many do not even know where to turn to find help from one. A number of free legal resources are available in Florida to help seniors with addressing legal issues. Dial 1-888-895-7873 for more details or referrals.
This number will put you in touch with the Senior Legal Helpline, which will provide free legal advice and brief services by telephone. Services are offered for residents of Florida who are age 60 and older, for civil (not criminal) legal problems. Receive advice and potential solutions to help resolve legal problems and an attorney can also offer referrals to state government and local regulatory agencies. The hotline can help seniors find affordable or free legal providers in their communities.
Get information on insurance and medical options from SHINE, which is known as Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders. This is a free resource that is offered by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs in partnership with your local Area Agency on Aging.
The state of Florida SHINE program supports and works with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ mission by providing unbiased and free health insurance counseling and advice through a dedicated network of volunteers and other specialists. The goal is to empower seniors in Florida to make informed health care choices, get information on clinics and medical bill assistance programs.
The program has on staff trained volunteers who can assist you with answering questions on your Medicaid, Medicare, and other health insurance questions by providing one-on-one counseling, advice and information. All information on SHINE services are free, unbiased, and confidential.
Prescription medication assistance and savings can be obtained from a free discount card. The state of Florida offers residents a card that can be used at most pharmacies and retailers across the state, and it provides up to 40% savings on brand name and prescription medications. The card is free to use, there are no income restrictions, and thousands of elderly and senior citizens benefit from it. Your Agency on Aging office may have more information, or learn more on the Florida prescription discount card.
Get help finding a job in Florida from the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). This federal government program is for people who are aged 55 or older, unemployed, low income and who are looking to reenter the workforce. The service can help people find, and be placed into, a part time job that will eventually lead to full time employment.
The U.S. Department of Labor works with the Florida Area Agency on Aging, and together they serve low-income and unemployed persons who are 55 and older and have poor employment prospects. If you apply and are found eligible, and if the program has funding available, participants will be placed into part-time community service positions with a goal of transitioning to full time, unsubsidized employment. Most of the jobs will initially be in Governmental entities or Public or private non-profit organizations.
Some benefits include that participants will receive community service assignments, orientation, training opportunities, are offered a free physical examination, and obtain other supportive services.
Call the Florida Department of Elder of Affairs at 1800-963-5337 for more information on these and other resources for seniors and disabled.
The Northwest Florida Area Agency on Aging is for residents of Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton Counties. 5090 Commerce Park Circle, Pensacola, Florida 32505, call 850-494-7100
Senior Resource Alliance - Seniors who live in Brevard, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties should call this center. 988 Woodcock Rd., Suite 200, Orlando, FL 32803, telephone 407-514-1800. A number of assistance programs are available. Read more Senior Alliance or Central Agency on Aging.
Area Agency on Aging for North Florida, Inc. Serves Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington Counties Florida. Address is 2414 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32308. Dial toll free 1-866-467-4624 or 850-488-0055.
Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Florida – Covers Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee, and Sarasota Counties. Location 15201 N. Cleveland Avenue, Suite 1100, North Fort Myers, FL 33903. Dial 239-652-6900
Elder Options, the Mid-Florida Area Agency on Aging – Elderly and senior citizens who live in Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee, and Union Counties should call this center. 5700 S.W. 34th St., Suite 222, Gainesville, Florida 32608. Main number is 352-378-6649 or 1-800-262-2243
Area Agency on Aging of Palm Beach/Treasure Coast, Inc. - Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Counties. 4400 N. Congress Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33407-3226, telephone 561-684-5885
ElderSource, Area Agency on Aging for Northeast Florida is for people in Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, St. Johns, and Volusia Counties. 4160 Woodcock Drive, 2nd Floor, Jacksonville, Florida 32207. Phone 904-391-6600 or 1-888-242-4464.
There is one COA focused on Volusia County. This center may offer some home repairs, Meals on Wheels, and other services too. More on Volusia County.
Aging and Disability Resource Center of Broward County. Address is 5300 Hiatus Road, Sunrise, Florida 33351. Or call 954-745-9567. Senior citizens can learn about services for their needs from the Aging Center in Broward County.
Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, 9887 4th Street North, Suite 100, St. Petersburg, FL 33702, phone 727-570-9696
Alliance for Aging – Supports Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, 760 NW 107th Avenue, Suite 214, Miami, Florida 33172-3155. Phone 305-670-6500, or read more on Dade County senior assistance.
West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging, Inc. is for residents and elderly in Hardee, Hillsborough, Highland, Manatee, and Polk Counties. 5905 Breckenridge Pkwy., Suite F, Tampa, FL 33610-4239, call 813-740-3888