Resources for Seniors in Missouri
For seniors, living in Missouri may be a good decision. The state is almost centrally located, being within a day’s journey to most of the other states. Coupled with the low living expenses and a strong transportation network, the state really has a lot to offer. However, there are also some challenges faced by state residents. Access to quality healthcare can be a challenge, along with the fact that the crime rate is relatively higher than in other states.
State Resources for Seniors
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is charged with the welfare of older residents in the state. The department runs a variety of programs designed to assist senior living and make life better for the elderly. Links to valuable resources are also provided, which help seniors get access to the necessary assistance they may require at any point in time. Seniors can get referrals to relevant programs as well, helping them get necessary help as fast as possible. These resources are hosted at https://health.mo.gov/seniors/.
Dental Grants/Benefits – Free And Low-cost Dental Care
The Missouri Mission of Mercy (MOMOM) is a large-scale dental clinic that seniors can visit to get comprehensive dental care services. Special clinic days (MOM events) are set aside and treatment is provided on a first come, first serve basis. Seniors can expect to get professional dental screening and treatment from any of the volunteer dentists, at no costs. The event is completely free as it is funded by donations from various sources. It is important to note that there may be long wait times and there is no guarantee of actually getting attended to. Due to the long wait times, emergency services are not provided. Seniors can find more information on MOMOM at https://www.modental.org/about-us/mda-foundation/missouri-mission-of-mercy/patient-faq.
Donated Dental Services (DDS) is a program organized by the Dental Lifeline Network. This program provides standard dental care services for seniors over the age of 65. DDS is made possible by a network of dental professionals who volunteer their time and services to attend to the less privileged seniors in the state. Through the DDS program, seniors can apply for and receive proper dental treatment and lab screenings, along with follow-up services to ensure that they maintain optimum oral health. While most of the services provided are free, occasionally a fee may be requested if the applicant is able to bear the cost of a portion of the treatment. For more details, visit https://dentallifeline.org/missouri/.
The Missouri Dental Association maintains a repository of free and low-cost clinics that seniors can visit to receive dental care. These clinics are sorted by location and can be found listed at https://www.modental.org/public-resources/free-and-low-cost-dental-care.
Health Care related resources -free health care clinics
Mercy Health Free Clinic (MHFC) is a nonprofit medical organization that provides free healthcare services to low-income and uninsured residents of Missouri. With a staff of volunteer nurses, pharmacists, physicians and administrative personnel, the clinic renders help in the form of various medical services. Seniors can get lab tests done, receive nutrition education, and more at no cost. Treatment is by appointment only, between the hours of 10am to 1pm. Due to this scheduling, the clinic does not provide emergency services to patients. For more information, visit http://www.mhfreeclinic.com/.
Swope Health is another organization taht provides comprehensive medical services for seniors in Missouri. The services include lab tests, physical exams, eye exams, treatment for minor illnesses, etc. All of these services are provided at reduced cost to seniors and in some cases, treatment may be gotten for free. More information on the organization is available at https://swopehealth.org/feelhealthy/.
MedZou Community Health Clinic is a health outfit sponsored by the faculty of the School of Medicine at University of Missouri. MedZou provides high-quality comprehensive healthcare services to residents of the state, offering a wide range of services with expert doctors. Some of the services include diabetes care, musculoskeletal exams, neurology, etc. A Patient Assistant Program is also in place to help seniors get access to expensive medications for free. Many other services are available at the clinic and can be found at https://medicine.missouri.edu/offices-programs/education/medzou-community-health-clinic.
Several other free clinics are available in the state and registered under the Missouri Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. A directory of these clinics can be viewed at https://missourifreeclinics.org/member-clinics-directory/.
Charities and Organizations that help seniors
St. Andrews Charitable Foundation is a nonprofit charity dedicated to providing essential care to seniors in Missouri. The Foundation helps enhance the lives of seniors through several programs and initiatives. A living facility is available for seniors who require assistance and special care in their daily lives. Elderly residents can also get access to medical care at the clinic, ensuring that they remain in good shape all year round. Nutritious food is available for seniors living at the apartment provided by St. Andrews. Apart from these services, St. Andrews provides a host of other supportive services, all of which are available to seniors over the age of 65 years. More information can be gotten from https://standrewscharitablefoundation.org/.
Catholic Charities is another organization that takes on the welfare of the older residents of the state. Catholic Charities provides shelters for homeless seniors, reintegration for homeless veterans, financial aid for bills, etc. Seniors can get help from the organization to pay for their utilities, rent, home repairs, and more. Catholic Charities also partners with government care providers to locally administer programs concerned with the wellbeing of seniors in the state. More detailed information on the kind of help offered by Catholic Charities can be found at https://ccsomo.org/ways-we-help/.
The Salvation Army meets the needs of the elderly in Missouri by offering services to solve the challenges they face. Shelters are provided to give homeless seniors a safe place to lay their head. Assistance is also provided for people with financial needs, issuing funds to help them pay for rent, utilities, medical care, etc. Direct financial assistance is usually limited by available funds. Seniors can visit the Salvation Army website at https://centralusa.salvationarmy.org/mokan/partner-with-adults/ for details on how to obtain help.
Financial Assistance for Missouri Seniors
The Masonic Home of Missouri runs a program that provides long-term financial assistance to help seniors in the state cover their living costs. The program is open to seniors who live at home or in living facilities. The funds provided by the program are intended to cover various expenses ranging from the cost of assisted living care, to the cost of household bills and essential services. Seniors who desire assistance from the organization are required to fill out an application that demonstrates their need. More details on the program can be found at https://www.mohome.org/financial-programs/long-term-financial-assistance/.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is another program that provides financial aid to seniors in need. Funded by the Federal Government, the program gives out funds to eligible low-income seniors who are over the age of 65. The money is intended to help seniors meet basic expenses like food, clothing and shelter. Eligibility for the program is usually determined by the income and assets owned by the seniors applying for assistance. For more information, visit https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/ssi/
Food Assistance – free food
The Commodity SUpplemental Food Progam (CSFP) helps seniros meet their nutritional needs by providing them with healthy food items to improve their diets. The program does not provide enough food for the entire moonth, rather, a food box is given whiich contains nutrient rich items like cereals, milk, fruits, etc. CSFP is open to seniors who are aged 60 years and above, and who meet income eligibility criteria. These critereia are listed at https://health.mo.gov/living/wellness/nutrition/foodprograms/csfp/eligibility.php. For more inforamtion, visit https://health.mo.gov/living/wellness/nutrition/foodprograms/csfp/index.php.
The Supplemental Nutirtion Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps provides resources to help low-income residnets purchase food for consumpoption. The program issues an Electronic Benedits Transfer (EBT) card to eligible households and their mnthly SNAP benefits are loaded onto the card. The EBT card is debit card that can be used at participating loactions to buy authorized food items. SNAP benefits are provided for as long as the senior is elgilible for assistance and can greatly improve the nutrition quality of beneficiaries. More detils can be found at https://health.mo.gov/living/wellness/nutrition/foodprograms/csfp/eligibility.php.
Housing – home repair grants
The Safe Home for Seniors Program is operated by the St. Andrews Charitable Foundation. This program helps financially challenged seniors make repairs to their homes without charging them for the cost of repairs. The services are provided to reduce the risk of domestic accidents and make the home more hospital for the elderly residents. Sme of the services provided are: weatherization, fixing leaky taps, replacement of faulty doors and windows, installation of railings, etc. More details on the repairs assistance can be found at https://standrewscharitablefoundation.org/how-we-help/safe-home-for-seniors-program/.
The Section 504 Home Repair Program provides loans and grants to eligible seniors in the state. This program is funded by the federal government to help low-income residents carry out essential repairs to the homes. Seniors who are aged 62 and older can qualify for grants of up to $10,000 which must be used to remove health and safety hazards, making the home more hospitable and fit for living. For those below the age of 62, loans of up to $40,000 may be obtained. The loan comes with a fixed 1% interest rate and a 20-year repayment period. Seniors who sell their homes less than 3 years after receiving a grant under this program will be required to repay the full grant amount. For more information, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-programs/single-family-housing-repair-loans-grants/mo.
The Home Repair Opportunity (HeRO) Program is offered by the state and helps seniors make non-cosmetic repairs to their homes. The program is subject to the availability of funds. When funding is available, a Notice of Funding Availability(NOFA) is issued and applications are received. Details on this are available at https://mhdc.com/about-us/notice-of-funding-availability-nofa/.
Seniors who are residents of Callaway County can get door-to-door transportation services through Serve Tran. This organization has specials buses that provide transportation for challenged county residents. Drivers are trained to render medical care that may be required in emergency situations. Seniors can qualify to get funding assistance while receiving services so that they will not pay the full cost of transportation. To get more details, visit https://www.serveinc.net/transportation.html.
Metro Transit is the major provider of transportation in the St Louis area. The company has a fleet of vehicles which are all accessible to passengers with reduced mobility. Paratransit services are provided by Metro Transit to help disabled residents get around the city and gain access to various locations. In addition to this, Metro Transit offers discounted fares for receivers of paratransit services and for seniors over the age of 65 years. This helps seniors who would otherwise be unable to get out of their homes to attend important events and appointments. The application for the reduced fare program can be found at https://www.metrostlouis.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Disability-Reduced-Fare-Application-Revised-10-06-2020.pdf.
Operating Above The Standard (OATS) transit is a nonprofit organization that provides transportation services across 87 counties in Missouri. OATS offers shared rides for seniors along fixed routes that allow room for deviation. This deviation allows means that seniors can get dropped off closer to, or at the exact location they are heading to. Transport services are available to take seniors to medical appointments, pharmacy visits, shopping visits, etc. Some routes have a fare charge, while others are covered by donations from the Area Agencies on Aging. Rides are available on weekdays only, but some exception is made for special routes which have weekend operations. For more information, visit https://www.oatstransit.org/.
MO Rides is a free online search tool that provides information on transportation providers in various counties of the state. To access MO Rides, visit https://morides.org/. A list of other agencies that provide assistance with transportation can be found at https://health.mo.gov/atoz/pdf/transportationservices.pdf
Help with Utility Bills
Seniors in Missouri can apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). These programs help low-income elderly residents of Missouri who are unable to pay their utility bills. The programs are administered together, however, LIHEAP covers energy bills (including heating and electricity), while LIHWAP helps with water and sewer bills. Both programs consider household income when determining eligibility for assistance and payments are made directly to the utility vendor. This is done in form of a credit applied to the account of the recipient of assistance. Useful links for LIHEAP and LIHWAP in Missouri can be found at https://mydss.mo.gov/utility-assistance.
The S. Vincent de Paul charity provides financial assistance to low-income seniors, helping them pay for rent and utilities to avoid disconnection from services. Details on this assistance can be found at https://www.svdpcomo.org/what-we-do/. Other charities like Salvation Army and Catholic Charities also have funding programs to help with the payment of utility bills.
Assistance for Senior Veterans
Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) is a special program that provides housing solutions for veterans. SSVF helps veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to locate and secure affordable housing. Resources are provided to help veterans locate decent low-cost housing, and then funds are provided to pay for rent things like security deposits. Veterans who already have a home but need help paying for rent or utilities can also apply and receive assistance through SSVF. Money may also be awarded to pay for moving bills and transportation expenses for eligible veterans. For further details, visit https://www.veteransinc.org/services/supportive-services-for-veteran-families/.
Veterans United Foundation is another organization concerned with assisting veterans who need a better life. The Foundation provides different services to veterans in the state, deciding each case with consideration for the needs of the veteran applying. Apart from direct assistance, referrals are also given to other agencies that can be of help to veterans. Interested veterans can visit https://www.enhancelives.com/.