Assistance is available from Senior Citizens United Community Services for elderly residents of Camden and Gloucester County. The staff and volunteers are focused on helping the vulnerable that are over the age of 60, and a number of resources are available to meet basic needs.
The goal is to help seniors to remain living in their own home for as long as possible, so everything from financial aid to case management and support is administered. The programs provide basic necessities related to health, housing, food and necessary medical appliances. While assistance from SCUCS is limited, the non-profit does its best to meet the demands on it.
The short term, Emergency Assistance Programs available include the following. It is often combined with self-sufficiency and referrals.
There is a fully stocked food pantry that is open at all times for the purpose of providing emergency groceries and assistance to seniors in Camden and also nearby Gloucester Counties. This service provides pre-packaged bags of groceries, and they can be either picked up by clients or delivered to the homes of qualifying clients.
For the home deliveries that are administered, the service is contingent upon the availability of volunteer delivery people in a given area on the county, and the Senior Citizens United Community relies heavily on donations from churches, schools and nearby companies. This program can be reached at 856-456-1121 or dial the Camden City Office on Aging at 856-757-7339.
Shut-in Shopping is a resource for the homebound, and the agency provides a personal service for seniors or the disabled who are homebound and cannot do this on their own. Volunteers are a key component of this program, and they will be supplied with shopping lists, and sent out to acquire the items for individual clients. The participants are responsible for the cost of all purchases and items bought, as this is not a free program for the needy.
Housing assistance, including information on low income apartments or emergency rent help, is available for seniors aged 60 and up, who are permanently physically disabled, or for those who may benefit from shared housing. The non-profits housing assistance programs include the following.
As resources are available, SCUCS provides financial assistance with first-month’s rent and/or security deposits to those who meet program criteria. Occasionally, they will also have low interest loans available for paying back rent, as well, to stop evictions. Applicants for this program must be able to document that they have the financial ability and are otherwise self-sufficient and will be able to continue to make rent payments in the future. For more information, please call 856-456-1121.
Shared Housing matches elderly Camden or Gloucester County homeowners with others who are seeking affordable places to live. Both parties benefit from the reduced financial burden and the companionship of having a roommate.
Senior Citizens United Community Services makes use of government grants to offer a number of heating bill related services. One of the main ones is the Emergency Fuel and Heater Repair/Replacement Program, which provide free heating fuel (up to 100 gallons) and unit repair or replacement for those who qualify.
In addition, the non-profit will assist Gloucester County and other nearby seniors who have received notices of disconnection with avoiding utility service termination, especially during the winter or for those that are ill. These programs are available as long as the state and federal funding remains available.
Money can be taken out from a home using a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, or Reverse Mortgage, and this includes a line of credit or can offer the borrower with a monthly income in an amount based on home equity. It is a federal supported resource for seniors aged 62 and older.
To qualify for the funding from this program, applicants must own and reside in the home, which must be a single-family dwelling or a condominium approved by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In addition, to use this equity service, the mortgage balance must be repaid when the resident moves out of the home or they pass away. Additionally, all applicants for reverse mortgages are required to attend counseling sessions provided by Senior Citizens United Community Services in partnership with HUD-certified housing counselors.
A number of other free Housing Counseling Services can provide Camden County seniors and/or others who are permanently disabled with personalized and individualized information on alternative living arrangements. United Community Services, or SCUCS, also maintains strong working relationships with local apartment complexes and subsidized housing projects in New Jersey that enable the organization to help clients locate affordable and safe homes to live in.
SCUCS provides free hot, nutritious meals to clients in Gloucester or Camden Counties in New Jersey. This is offered either in congregate (or group) settings at their various sites, such as churches, throughout the area. Another option is Meals on Wheels, and this involves the delivery of meals to the homes of homebound seniors.
It is for multiple people as well, as individuals aged 60 and over are invited to bring their spouses to enjoy nutritionally balanced meals, recreational or educational activities, and social contact with their peers at the local senior centers. Reservations are required at all sites where this takes place, and the non-profit will request a small donation for each meal provided, however it is not mandatory. Some sites also offer transportation for those who need it.
As far as home-delivered meals, those are available to seniors who are ill, homebound, frail, or physically or mentally unable to leave their homes, with priority given to those with limited or no family support in the area. Another goal of the congregate and home-delivered meals is to help the people from the community who have permanent disabilities.
Medical Appliances are distributed from a Lending Closet. The non-profit offers a selection of health care related supplies and equipment that is donated by residents or local hospitals, and the items are for those who do not have the financial means to purchase supplies on their own. Items are provided on a temporary basis, and must be returned. Some examples are what is available for borrowing may include rollators, wheelchairs, canes, shower, walkers, knee walkers, and commodes.
The main purpose of the Adult Family Care (AFC) Program is to help senior citizen and elderly clients by placing them in the homes of family caregivers who are trained and supervised by a team of licensed social workers or nurses, and they try to ensure that all client needs are met. Seniors benefit from being in a home environment, as opposed to being institutionalized, and from receiving personalized care. Some of the specific services provided by AFC include Meal Preparation, assistance with Personal Care, Transportation, Medication Supervision, and even Laundry and Housekeeping.
Caregivers or a senior or disabled resident can get support too. Whether it’s a short break of a couple of hours, or a longer stretch of a few days or even weeks of time, SCUS’ Respite Program is committed to assisting these hard working caregivers by providing relief. There is assistance in the form of a break from the day-to-day responsibilities and stress of caring for loved ones.
A number of respite services are available to Caregivers. They will have the opportunity to select the most suitable option from the menu of resources, which includes adult day care programs, temporary out-of-home placements, and also in-home health aides.
The location is Senior Citizens United Community Services, 537 Nicholson Rd., Audubon, NJ 08106. For more details on how they can help seniors, dial 856-456-1121.
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