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Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida assistance programs.

Outreach services from Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida are focused on the older population in the counties of Sarasota, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hendry, Lee and Glades as well as individuals with disabilities.

The agency can connect senior citizens and other clients, such as their caregivers, to everything from financial aid to more basic needs around food, Home Care, Health or Wellness resources or minor home repair work. The concern is for people across Southwest Florida who may no longer be able to live independently without help.

Information on government assistance and benefits

The agency is a great place for learning about federal government benefits, such as Medicare, EHEAP (Emergency Home Energy Assistance) and LIHEAP, as well as more local resources. There is also the ACCESS Florida program for benefits. Assistance is not only for the elderly or disabled person, but their caregivers can also get assistance as well.

Isolated and/or frail adults, their family members or even neighbors living in the region or SW Florida or counties of Sarasota, Charlotte, DeSoto, Hendry, Lee, Collier or Glades can meet with a Senior Outreach worker. They can also just choose to call the information line at the number below to explore that type of programs, if any, that they are eligible for. Or there is the Elder Helpline as well. As part of this process a case manager will identify the clients needs and offer support.

After the assessment is done, the senior is linked to services including congregate dining centers, food shelves, Public Health Nursing, Meals On Wheels, Low Income Housing, Income Maintenance, Energy Bill Assistance, chore services, Medicare, ACCESS Florida and more. There can even be assistance from Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida given to the client for completing an application to public aid. A priority is on identifying individuals with low-income or that living on a fixed income. Find other ACCESS Florida benefit programs.

The vulnerable, such as a senior citizen or a household with a disabled member, will take priority when applying for financial aid from Energy Assistance, or LIHEAP. There is also the emergency state of Florida program known as EHEAP .There may be state of Florida as well as federal grants for assistance with paying electric, natural gas, and propane costs. This is a once per year program, and funds are limited. When qualified people need to know that it will take weeks for the payment to post an account.




In order to apply for utility bill assistance from LIHEAP, any applicants must have the following documents and information. They need to have proof of income, such as a pay stub, a pension, or SSI. There should also be birth dates and identification for all members of the household, regardless of their age.

Free or low cost medical care for the elderly

Questions on medical bills and public health care can be addressed by the SMP - Senior Medicare Patrol or SHINE (Medicare counseling). Staff can help people that are enrolled on these benefit plans understand what their doctor is charging them. This will include a review of statements and the bills themselves. They also provide education to the client on what exactly their benefits will pay for.

Medicaid Waivers is federally funded. It is for clients that have a limited income. The beneficiary can use Medicaid funds to help remain living in their current home or an assisted living facility. The person, whether they are disabled or meet the age requirements, will also be assigned a case manager to help them during this time frame. They can access housing programs, funds for energy costs, medical care, and much more as part of the Medicaid Waivers service. Learn more on free health insurance in Florida.

Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida helps the elderly and seniors who are living in their own home or in a nursing home. The two main assistance programs are Elder Abuse Education & Prevention as well as Home and Community-Based Care. The goal is to help people live in their current homes, or ensure safety in nursing homes. Home-Community Based Care helps with transportation, case management, shopping assistance, legal aid and so much more.

AAASWFL (Area on Aging SW Florida) helps coordinate minor house work as well. The Chores Service helps senior homeowners with housekeeping, seasonal chores, as well as home repairs. Any work is done by screened, private contractors or volunteers. There are participants from churches, schools in Collier, Sarasota, Charlotte, Hendry, Lee, Glades and DeSoto community organizations. It will help people remain living safely and independently in their own homes.





Food, meals, and household items from AAASWFL

The home bound in Southwest Florida, including counties of Collier, Sarasota and others can enroll into the Meals on Wheels Program, of which AAASWFL is a key partner. There will be a hot, freshly prepared meal brought to the home of the client up to 5 days per week. During the holidays a special Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas meal may be served. Note this may sometimes be frozen as it will be delivered dearly. In some cases, pet food is part of this service too.

The program is limited in scope. It may also require a small contribution from the client. The Home Delivery of Meals is for the homebound in Southwest Florida and the applicant also needs to be age 60 or older. They also need to be unable to participate in the Congregate Meal Program and unable to shop for themselves.

Applying for help from Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida

For more details, call (239) 652-6900. They offer many solutions that are designed to connect older persons or their family members to community resources. There is access to databases on local and federal programs, partnerships with other agency on aging centers, and much more available. The office is at 2830 Winkler Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33916.


By Jon McNamara











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