Resources for Seniors in Mississippi
Mississippi has the lowest cost index in the United States. This means that the cost of living, compared to other states is quite low. Having such modest cost of living helps ensure that even in old age, residents can still get access to essential commodities. However, due to some unforeseen circumstances, seniors may find themselves needing assistance from time to time.
State Resources for Seniors
The Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) is in charge of the Division Aging and Adult Services. Through this division, elderly residents are provided access to high quality resources to help improve their quality of life. MDHS through the Division of Aging and Adult Services also coordinates, organizes and sponsors the provision of valuable services to seniors in the state. Interested seniors can get access to these resources at https://www.ms.gov/Agencies/aging-and-adult-services-mississippi-department-human-services.
Dental grants/benefits – free dental care
Jackson Free Clinic provides dental care services to financially challenged residents in the state. The services vary from tooth extractions to cleanings, and are available over the weekend. All services are provided at no cost to the patient. To contact the Jackson Free Clinic, visit https://www.jacksonfreeclinic.org/patients.
Seniors who have no dental cover or insurance of any form can get assistance from Good Samaritan Health Services. Services are provided for seniors who meet the income guidelines and reside in the Tupelo area. At the clinic, patients can expect to receive care for toothaches and infections, provided by licensed dentists. Seniors who are interested in receiving care can visit https://tupelofreeclinic.org/ for more details.
Uninsured seniors can also visit Lantern Clinic to get dental services. This is a faith-based clinic that provides services to challenged residents in the area. Services are provided at no cost to the patient, this helps them access quality care without fear of running out of finances. Information on the clinic and eligibility requirements can be found at http://www.lanternclinic.org/patient-info/.
The Dental Lifeline Network is an association of dental professionals who render services across the nation. Donated Dental Services is one of the key programs offered by the Dental Lifeline Network. This program provides free comprehensive dental care services to eligible seniors in the state. Provision of these services is made possible by the dentists who volunteer the time and experience to treat the elderly. Donated Dental Services is usually restricted to seniors who are at least 65 years old and unable to pay for their care. In some cases, if the senior is deemed to be able to pay for part of the treatment, a small fee may be recommended as a charge. For more information on Donated Dental Services, visit https://dentallifeline.org/mississippi/.
Health Care related resources -free health care clinics
Bethel Clinic is a nonprofit establishment that provides free medical services to people who are experiencing hardships. The clinic provides medical care on a walk-in basis, meaning seniors can visit the clinic and receive treatment without a prior appointment. Drug refills and prescriptions are also available at the clinic site. Services provided are geared towards individuals who have no health insurance or other form of medical coverage. Seniors can find more about the clinic at https://www.bethelfreeclinic.org/.
The Family Health Care Clinic is another medical organization that provides care for the challenged elderly residents of Mississippi. The Clinic offers a wide range of services including treatment and counseling. Although the services are not entirely free, fees are charged on a sliding scale basis. This means that the amount paid by each senior is determined by how much income the person earns. More details on the services of the clinic are available at http://familyhealthcareclinic.com/.
The Free Clinic of Meridian offers free healthcare for eligible seniors in Mississippi. The services are provided to those that are uninsured or eligible for Medicare assistance. At the clinic, seniors can expect to receive high quality medical care, complete with referral for special cases. Unlike some clinics that accept walk-in patients, the Free Clinic of Meridian operates strictly by appointment and seniors must first apply for services before they can visit the clinic for treatment. Emergency services are not provided at the clinic location. Income and household size are some of the factors used to determine eligibility for assistance and free treatments. For more information on the Free Clinic of Meridian, visit http://freeclinicofmeridian.com/.
Other free and low-cost clinics in Mississippi can be found listed at https://www.freeclinics.com/sta/mississippi.
Charities and Organizations that help seniors
Methodist Senior Services is a charitable organization that provides special services for low-income seniors in the state. Residences are available for seniors to occupy so that they can continue to live independently. In these residences, seniors can move in with their furniture and personal belongings, while maintaining some semblance of regular home life. Those who require assisted living support and other specialized services can also get taken care of through special arrangements. Pharmacy services are provided to help seniors obtain medication at affordable rates, or to issue alternate medications in case one type is too costly. Furthermore, a special program is run to provide elderly occupants with access to relevant information sources for their welfare. The other activities of Methodist Senior Services can be found at https://www.mss.org/services.
Deliver Me Senior Support Services Inc. is a nonprofit charity that provides essential assistance for financially challenged residents who live in the City of Jackson. The charity assists seniors who ae over the age of 65, providing a wide range of services like grocery deliveries, distribution of clothing, distribution of furniture, purchase of eye glasses, assistance with applications for other charity programs, etc. These services are made possible through volunteers who come in to help the elderly as required. For more information on Deliver Me Senior Support Services Inc., visit http://www.delivermeseniorsupport.com/.
Seniors can also turn to the Salvation Army for help when faced with challenging situations. The Salvation Army hosts several activities and provides various assistance services to seniors in the state. Some of the ways Salvation Army can help are: rent and utility bill assistance, help with medication costs, provision of food and clothing, emergency assistance, etc. Seniors usually only have to demonstrate a need before they get help from the organization. They also get access to a support system that can help them social and get back on their feet. Further details on Salvation Army’s assistance for the elderly can be found at https://salvationarmyalm.org/msgulfcoast/social-services/.
Several other charitable organizations in the state offer different forms of care to meet various needs of seniors. These organizations are listed at https://greatnonprofits.org/state/Mississippi/category:Seniors/sort:review_count/direction:desc.
Financial Assistance for Seniors
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program operated by the Social Security Administration. SSI provides eligible seniors over the age of 65 with monthly financial benefits. The funds are a stipend given to help them meet the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter. To be eligible, applicants need to meet certain income and asset value restrictions. The money awarded is not fixed, but is determined on a case-by-case basis. More details on SSI are available at https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/ssi/.
Food Assistance – free food
MDHS provides Senior Nutrition Services to ensure that seniors have access to healthy meals every day. This program is further broken down into two components. The Congregate Meal Program provides hot and nutritious to seniors in a group setting. This arrangement helps seniors get access to healthy food and socialize with other, promoting healthy interaction. The Home Delivered Meals Program on the other hand delivers the meals to seniors at home. This program is for seniors who are homebound and cannot prepare their own meals. Meals are delivered 5 days a week and may be hot, cold or frozen. Other meal types are also provided to help meet food needs. More details on these meal assistance programs are available at https://www.mdhs.ms.gov/adults-seniors/services-for-seniors/.
Seniors who are unemployed or who have limited income can apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program provides benefits which can be used to purchase food items for consumption. Seniors who are beneficiaries of SNAP are given a special card known as the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Every month, the approved amount for their food assistance is loaded onto this card and then the card can be used to buy food or groceries. The card can only be used for approved items, which includes food, plants and seeds for planting. Further information on SNAP in Mississippi can be found at https://www.mdhs.ms.gov/economic-assistance/snap/.
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The program does not aim to provide a complete diet for seniors; rather, food packages are delivered with items to improve their diet. The packages contain foods like meat, milk, fruits, cereal, etc. which can be consumed to enhance the nutritional balance of already available food. CSFP is available for income-eligible seniors who are 60 years old and above. Additional information on CSFP can be found at https://www.mdhs.ms.gov/economic-assistance/.
The Mississippi Food Network offers several other programs to help get food across to low-income residents of the state. Food can also be picked up at various food pantries across different cities. For more information, visit https://www.msfoodnet.org/programs/.
Housing – Home Repair Grants and Related Assistance
The Section 504 Home Repair Program provides loans and grants to help seniors modify, improve and repair their homes. These funds are provided to low-income residents, with the grants being specifically for seniors aged 62 and older. The money provided must be used to make repairs and correct thing that threaten the health and safety of the home occupants, like roofing, plumbing, flooring, etc. Accessibility modifications can also be made to the home, such as installation of wheelchair ramps. Grants have a maximum cap of $10,000 while loans may be up to $40,000. To further help ease the burden of the loans, they can be repaid over 20 years and have a fixed interest rate of 1%. More information on this program is available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-programs/single-family-housing-repair-loans-grants/ms.
Habitat for Humanity is a charity organization that focuses on housing solutions in the community. The organization provides assistance to financially challenged seniors to help them make essential repairs to their homes. The homes are first assessed by a specialist, then a recommendation is made, listing the repairs to be carried out. Services are usually provided at no cost to the seniors, but in some cases a charge may be applied for the cost of materials. Interested seniors in Mississippi can visit https://www.habitat.org/our-work/aging-in-place for more information.
Rebuilding Together is another charity that helps seniors age in place. Through the Safe at Home program, elderly citizens can get help with making modifications to their homes, along with repairs to make the home safer for occupancy. This promotes independent living among seniors, allowing them to spend longer time in the communities they are familiar with. For more details, visit https://rebuildingtogether.org/safe-at-home.
Elderly residents of Mississippi who receive Medicaid assistance and need to go for medical appointments can get help from Medical Transportation Management (MTM). This is Mississippi’s non-emergency transportation manager. Seniors can get free rides to and from the hospital to access necessary services. Scheduling for rides needs to be done 3 days ahead to allow for logistics and planning. When seniors schedule a ride, they can request the services of a specific transportation provider and MTM will try it’s best to honor this request, however, this is not guaranteed. More information on the program can be found at https://www.mtm-inc.net/mississippi/beneficiaries/.
Seniors can also get specialized transportation assistance from the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The department runs a public transit system that provides accessible vehicles for seniors, allowing them to get to and from doctor’s appointments, social visits and shopping outings. The services are provided at a discount price to make them affordable for low-income seniors. For more details, visit https://mdot.ms.gov/connectms/.
Help with Utility Bills
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps low-income residents by providing them with aid to pay for their energy bills. LIHEAP aid can be used for heating costs and electric bills, making direct payments to the utility vendors. For more information on LIHEAP, visit https://www.psc.ms.gov/ubpa#:~:text=The%20Mississippi%20Department%20of%20Human,assist%20families%20with%20energy%20costs.
CenterPoint Energy sponsors an assistance program to help their customers who are experiencing challenges with paying for their bills. Funding from the program is gathered from donations which are then handed to charities so they can help seniors with their bills. Interested seniors can visit https://www.centerpointenergy.com/en-us/residential/customer-service/billing-payment/need-help-paying-your-bill?sa=ms.
Customers of Atmos Energy may be able to get assistance through the Sharing the Warmth program. This program provides direct payment to the utility company, ensuring that services are continued to the home. Eligibility for the program is determined on an individual basis with by local agencies. The address of these agencies can be found at https://www.atmosenergy.com/accountcenter/energySearch/RetrieveAgencyList.html, while more information on the program itself is available at https://www.atmosenergy.com/customer-service/bill-payment-assistance.
Mississippi Power offers Project SHARE which is designed to help the elderly and financially challenged. Through the program, seniors may receive up to $300 of financial assistance in a year to settle their power bills. For further information, visit https://www.mississippipower.com/residential/manage-your-account/payment-assistance.html.
Grants for Senior Veterans
Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) is a program set up to improve the housing stability of veterans. SSVF helps veterans locate affordable housing options and makes payment for them. Financial assistance is provided to help with paying for rent, utilities, transportation, emergency supplies, etc. Assistance is also provided to veterans to help them get their benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. More information on SSVF can be found at http://southmsveteransresources.com/?page_id=9.
Veterans Homes are also available for veterans who can no longer live independently. These homes provide them with medical care and assisted living, helping them live healthier lives. Commodities for living are provided along with medical aids like eyeglasses and hearing aids. The homes also accommodate the spouses of veterans, so both of them can receive proper care services. More details on the Veterans Homes can be found at https://www.msva.ms.gov/homes.