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Texas Agency on Aging assistance programs.

Specialists from Area Agency on Aging centers across Texas administer assistance programs for seniors. Many of the resources they provide are referrals and information. However some offices may offer direct assistance to qualified seniors. The centers listed below near you help hundreds of thousands of Texas senior citizens and elderly individuals every year with health care, transportation, free meals, advice, and information.

Food and meal programs for senior citizens

The Food Assistance and Nutrition Program was created by the federal government and the Older Americans Act. Most of this aid is focused on people who are 60 years of age or older, who would benefit from a hot nutritional meal and who have the greatest social-economic need.

Hundreds of Congregate Nutrition Centers operate across Texas. They can be at local agency on aging offices, churches, food pantries, and other non-profits. The locations offer those who are qualified a daily nutritional meal, information and assistance, socialization opportunities, exercise, and health and nutrition education. Some Agency on aging offices will also provide transportation to the nutrition site. Or find more details on locations of Texas food pantries.

The Home Delivered Meal Program is offered for the homebound as well as elderly in Texas. Recipients need to have some type of impairment that would prevent attendance at a congregate nutrition center or food pantry. If you apply for this service, an assessment will need to occur. If you are determined to eligible for free or low cost home delivered food, a hot nutritional meal will be delivered to the senior citizen or older adult. Information on financial assistance programs and other resources may be made available for home delivered meal recipients.

Information on financial help in Texas for senior citizens

Benefits Counseling is part of the State of Texas Health Information and Assistance Program (SHIP). Persons over 60 years of age can receive assistance from their Area Agency on Aging location from this program. Many people refer to this service as HICAP (Health, Information, Counseling and Advocacy Program).




All Medicare beneficiaries, regardless of your income or age, including beneficiaries with disabilities, can qualify for free counseling and advice from SHIP. The primary goal of the benefits counseling program is to provide objective and accurate counseling, advocacy, and assistance in relation to public benefits, medical care and entitlements.

Information Referral and Assistance is provided at all Texas offices. Specialists and social workers are available who are knowledgeable of government programs and miscellaneous resources within the community. The specialist can provide free referrals, information and resources to beneficiaries, their caregivers and immediate family members. Anyone who needs information can contact information & referral specialists at your local agency on aging office by written correspondence, telephone, electronic mail, fax or in person. Receive information on some or all of the following assistance programs.

Adult Day Care, Benefits Counseling, Free Congregate/Home Delivered Meals, Dental Care, or Educational Opportunities. The Agency on Aging Center also gives information on Emergency Food and Shelter, Financial Assistance, Government Benefits, Home Improvement Programs, Jobs, Housing, Subsidized and Non-Subsidized, and Free Legal Services. Or seniors can get referred to Nursing Home Information/Assistance, Tax Assistance, Utility Bill Assistance, Vision-Related Services, and Senior Centers.

Government Benefits Counseling is provided as a result of the Older Americans Act. Older Texas residents and their family members and/or caregivers can get information and help in applying for services. Get advice for understanding their rights; assistance applying for public benefits and receiving appropriate referrals; exercising choice; benefiting from services and opportunities authorized by law, and maintaining the rights of older persons or senior citizens, especially those with reduced capacity, in solving disputes.





Beneficiaries can receive information on public and government assistance involving the following issues. Client representation Appeals or hearings, Consumer issues, Fraud/scam/unfair sales, Individual rights-abuse, dispute, employment, and discrimination Health care needs are also addressed in Texas, including Medicaid, Medicare, Prescription Medications, Non-covered health-dental, hearing, assistive devices, Transportation, Veterans benefits, Managed Care Plans/Medicare+Choice/PFFS/HMOs and Social Security. Find more public aid in Texas.

Agency on Aging counselors work with representatives from government agencies and their partner agencies such as Texas Department of Health and Human Services, the Social Security Administration, and the Texas Department of Insurance. Many Federal, State, Local and community agencies offer support too, and examples include a Legal Hotline for Older Texans, Medicaid, Medicare, and Adult Protective Services. In order for a senior to receive free legal services requiring an attorney, the state Agency on Aging contracts with Lone Star Legal Aid.

Discounts and help in paying for telephone bills is another government benefit. The Agency on Aging centers work to ensure that low income seniors have some form of communication device, whether for their home or a cell phone. The two main services are both federally funded. Low income elderly residents can apply for the telephone Lifeline program.

Seniors in Texas may also be eligible for energy bill assistance and conservation from the Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP). Many Agency on Aging can direct individuals to local application sites. Cash grants, energy conservation, and financial assistance is offered to seniors for paying utility bills from the Texas CEAP program.

Free Legal Assistance and Awareness services include advice, document preparation, or legal representation provided by a Benefits Counselor or attorney to seniors or caregivers with economic and social needs. Most of the aid resolves around addressing matters or concerns related to health insurance issues, consumer problems, and public/private benefits. Attorneys can assist with preparation of wills, medical directives, and power of attorney.

Home Repairs – The agency can provide for minor repairs or improvements or modifications to the home of a senior. The program will pay for, or offer a low interest loan, for items that are essential for the safety and health of the occupants.

Transportation Assistance and Vouchers – Some of the offices in Texas pay for or provide door to door trips to social service agencies, medical appointments, food pantries, entertainment and other activities for seniors. The rides are usually for local travel and have a small fee.

The agency on aging offices also offer rides to the disabled who cannot use or do not have access to public transportation services. There may be handicap accessible buses, vans, and other units available in Texas. Find details on transportation for the disabled, which many senior citizens also use.

Personal Assistance or Respite Care includes the short term in-home assistance for seniors and older individuals who have been discharged from a hospital or who are waiting disposition of eligibility for an entitlement program. Volunteers or staff can perform tasks that the senior would typically perform if they were able. In order to get help, the senior must have difficulty in performing a minimum of two activities of daily living. Some examples of services performed may include assistance with personal care, meal preparation, housekeeping, and/or access to social services.





Texas Senior Centers – These are local neighborhood facilities. Many are located by or within Area Agency of Aging centers. The centers provide support services, organization, group and recreational for the older person or disabled.

Employment opportunities from the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). This program may be able to provide subsidized part-time training opportunities for eligible Texas citizens who are age 55 and older. The federal government program can help them learn skills necessary to obtain unsubsidized, part time employment. Services offered by the jobs program may include referrals to community resources, job counseling, career development assistance, and other related employment services.

Participants in SCSEP will be paid at the very least the prevailing minimum wage rates. The job will be located at a non-profit or government agency in Texas. Participants will be allowed to work an average of 20 hours per week at these sites to develop marketable job skills. Additional training and off-site employment training opportunities may include interview skill building, free computer classes, classroom training at local technical schools, resume feedback and development, and a number of other job-seeking skills. There are even other options for the elderly or retirees, such as easy jobs for senior citizens.

Agency on Aging centers may have details on rent assistance in the form of low income or subsidized housing. This is the term used to designate housing that has been fully or partially financed by the federal government and/or state of Texas. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) manages the majority of affordable housing programs in the US, and runs some programs that focus on seniors and elderly.

Qualified very low income seniors may be able to be placed into privately owned and managed homes or apartments. The program is in high demand in Texas, and many subsidized or low income housing developments will have a waiting list.

Emergency help can be coordinated by Agency on Aging offices in Texas. The DADS service offers qualified senior citizens with access to a resource that lets individuals get help in a crisis, and is available for elderly and homebound who are alone more than eight hours per day. What is offered includes medical supplies and equipment.

Programs coordinated by Agency on Aging offices can help individuals who need prescription drug medicines, supplies or health care items. For example, the program may be able to help pay for life threatening medicines and/or vitamins. Other assistance may be offered for hearing aids, dentures, or glasses. Or programs in Texas can help the elderly acquire Scooters or wheelchairs, reachers to grab items, or communication boards.

Texas free senior health, home care and dental care

Medical Care and Health Maintenance – Centers and community clinics they partner with may be able to provide low cost or free prescription medications, eye exams, hearing aids, medical equipment, and eyeglasses to seniors 60 years of age or older.







Grants can be distributed from the In-Home and Family Support. It is offered to residents with physical disabilities and/or their families. Specifically, this includes items and services such as below.

  • Pre-approved housing expenses or transportation for Texas residents with a disability or for someone going through treatment.
  • Medical, surgical, therapeutic, diagnostic and other health services related to a person's disability.
  • Prescription medications that are not covered by Medicaid or Medicare.
  • Receive access to training and health counseling programs so proper medical and health care can be obtained.
  • Home health services, attendant care, home health aide services, assistance with chores, and more.
  • Support for the purchase or lease of special medical equipment or help for the modifications of a home if it is needed to facilitate care of a senior or disabled member of the home.
  • Many other forms of cash assistance in offered in Texas, including monthly disability payments.

Agency on Aging offices can help senor citizens and those on Medicare get the prescription drugs they need, both for free or a low cost. Medications are eating up more and more of a household incomes, and senior citizens often struggle. There are assistance programs offered. As an example, find help from non-profits such as the Patient Access Network.

Locations of Texas Aging offices and Senior centers near you

There is a statewide number, or local offices below. To call the Department of Aging in Texas, dial 1-800-458-9858.

Alamo Agency office. Phone 866-231-4922. The location provides services in the counties of Atascosa, Bandera, Comal, Frio, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Medina, and Wilson.

ARK-TEX AAA can be reached at 800-372-4464. Programs are offered for Bowie, Cass, Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Lamar, Morris, Red River, and Titus counties in Texas.

Bexar County Agency on Aging Office. Call 800-960-5201, or find senior citizen programs in Bexar County.

Brazos Valley can help senior citizens in Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson, and Washington County. Call the center at 800-994-4000

Capital AAA offers senior assistance including food, meals, energy bill help, transportation, and more. Call 888-622-9111 for information. Programs are for Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis, and Williamson County.





Central Texas. Phone number is 800-447-7169. The center is for people in Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam, Mills, and San Saba Texas.

Coastal Bend Agency of Aging office. Main phone number is 800-817-5743. Elderly and older adults in the counties of Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, Refugio, and San Patricio should call this center.

Concho Valley. Phone number is 877-944-9666. Counties covered are Coke, Concho, Crockett, Irion, Kimble, Mason, McCulloch, Menard, Reagan, Schleicher, Sterling, Sutton, and Tom Green.

Dallas County residents should call 800-548-1873. Both caregivers and seniors (including those on disability) can get help. More on Dallas County senior assistance.

Deep East Texas is for families and individuals who reside in Angelina, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, and Tyler Texas. Call 800-256-6848 for intake.

East Texas Aging center is for people in the counties of Anderson, Camp, Cherokee, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Marion, Panola, Rains, Rusk, Smith, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood. Phone 800-442-8845

Golden Crescent AAA can be reached at 800-574-9745. Areas served are Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Lavaca, and Victoria Texas.

Harris County older adults and seniors should call 800-296-2606

Heart of Texas centers if for individuals in the Texas counties of Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Limestone, and McLennan. Phone 254-292-1800

Houston and Galveston AAA can be contacted at 800-437-7396. Counties served are Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton.

Lower Rio Grande Valley. Call 800-365-6131. Counties covered are Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy.

Middle Rio Grande. Call 800-224-4262. Counties supported are Dimmit, Edwards, Kinney, LaSalle, Maverick, Real, Uvalde, Val Verde, and Zavala.

North Central Texas Agency on Aging office can be reached at 800-272-3921, and assistance programs are administered for people in Collin, Denton, Ellis, Erath, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, and Wise county.

North Texas region, including the counties of Archer, Baylor, Clay, Cottle, Foard, Hardeman, Jack, Montague, Wichita, Wilbarger, and Young, can be reached at 800-460-2226.

Panhandle Aging office can be reached at 800-642-6008. They administer most of the services above, including food assistance, medications, and more. Counties served are Armstrong, Briscoe, Carson, Castro, Childress, Collingsworth, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Donley, Gray, Hall, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Sherman, Swisher, and Wheeler.

Permian Basin. Telephone number is 800-491-4636. Counties served are Andrews, Borden, Crane, Dawson, Ector, Gaines, Glasscock, Howard, Loving, Martin, Midland, Pecos, Reeves, Terrell, Upton, Ward, and Winkler.

Rio Grande region including the counties of Brewster, Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, and Presidio can be called at 800-333-7082.

South East Texas can be called at 800-395-5465. Counties supported are Hardin, Jefferson, and Orange County Texas.





South Plains aging office can be called at 800-858-1809. Counties supported are Bailey, Cochran, Crosby, Dickens, Floyd, Garza, Hale, Hockley, King, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Motley, Terry, and Yoakum.

South Texas office is for the regions and counties of Jim Hogg, Starr, Webb, and Zapata. Main phone number is 800-292-5426.

Tarrant County covers just the immediate county. Seniors and elderly should call 877-886-4833.

TEXOMA. Phone 800-677-8264. Residents and seniors in Cooke, Fannin, and Grayson should call this office.

West Central Texas Agency on Aging office can be called at 800-928-2262. Counties served are Brown, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, Fisher, Haskell, Jones, Kent, Knox, Mitchell, Nolan,  Runnels, Scurry, Shackelford, Stephens, Stonewall, Taylor, and Throckmorton.

By Jon McNamara

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