Resources for Seniors in New Hampshire
New Hampshire, popularly referred to as the Granite State is an amazing place to live in. With natural beauty and very low pollution levels, the state offers a scenic experience to its residents. New Hampshire does not charge sales tax, making it a very friendly state for those who need to conserve resources. Coupled with the fact that salaries and wages are not subject to income tax as well, life is more affordable as residents take home most of their pay. While this tax freedom allows better savings, investment income is subject to taxes. Another factor that makes the state attractive is the low crime rate, which reduces security concerns for the residents. On the other hand, New Hampshire charges high property taxes and the winter period is long and harsh. Extreme cold can pose a challenge for elderly residents who do not have proper heating systems in place. Overall, the state provides excellent living conditions for seniors.
State Resources for Seniors
The Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services (BEAS) operates under the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to provide supportive services for residents aged 60 and above. Seniors can turn to the BEAS to receive long-term support and referrals for programs that can meet their needs. The Bureau administers several programs in the state directly, partners with nonprofits to offer some services and provides funding for other programs. A repository of useful links is also maintained by the Bureau and can be accessed at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/programs-services/adult-aging-care.
Low-Cost Dental Care Options
The Dental Lifeline Network is a network of dentists that provides dental care to vulnerable members of the state. Through the Donated Dental Services (DDS) program, seniors over the age of 65 receive comprehensive dental care and laboratory exams at no cost. DDS offers services such as cleanings, extractions, dentures, root canals, etc. for eligible residents of New Hampshire. Elderly residents who have little or no income usually qualify for this program where they can get an oral health transformation. However, DDS does not provide emergency dental services. This is because there may be long wait times before patients can receive care from a dentist in the network. To download an application for DDS, visit https://dentallifeline.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/New-Hampshire.pdf.
Community Dental Care of Claremont is a nonprofit organization that runs a program to help seniors get access to full dental treatment services. These services include dental check-ups, implants, dentures, etc. Community Dental Care of Claremont treats seniors, whether or not they have dental insurance, or are covered by Medicaid. For more information, visit http://communitydentalcareclaremont.org/.
Coös County Family Dental is a division of Coös County Family Health Services that provides discounted dental services to low-income seniors in the area. Elderly residents can visit the dental clinic for x-rays, extractions, fillings, fluoride treatment, and other Services. Fees are charged on a sliding scale basis and seniors may receive discounts of up to 80% on their dental treatment. For more information, visit https://www.coosfamilyhealth.org/oralhealth.php.
For other low-cost dental care options in New Hampshire, visit https://www.freedentalcare.us/st/new_hampshire.
Health Care Related Resources -Free and Low-Cost Health Care Clinics
Families First Health Center has special care programs designed to meet the needs of seniors in New Hampshire. The clinic has several medical services available for the elderly, to help ensure a long and healthy life. Primary care is offered to all seniors along with support for patients with chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension. Families First accepts Medicare health insurance and offers dental care discounts for seniors with Medicare coverage. Patients can also get access to free or low-cost medication options, thereby reducing continuous health management costs. Sliding scale fee payments are available for seniors without medical insurance. This arrangement helps ensure that older patients are not charged more than they can afford. For details, visit https://www.familiesfirstseacoast.org/health-care/primary-care-for-adults/seniorcare/.
Lamprey Health Care provides medical care for seniors through clinics located around the state. Comprehensive treatment is provided to older residents with or without insurance. A sliding fee scale is offered for uninsured patients to help ease the burden of treatment. Lamprey Health Care also runs a financial assistance program. Eligible seniors receive a Financial Assistance Card which gives them a discount on services provided within the clinic. Seniors who require financial support to get additional services like laboratory tests from other facilities may be assisted with referrals and recommendations to other programs. More information can be found at https://www.lampreyhealth.org/patient-resources/financial-assistance/.
Amoskeag Health is a nonprofit medical organization that provides health care services to low-income New Hampshire seniors. Amoskeag offers several medical services, including primary health care and prescription refill assistance. Seniors without insurance can also receive treatment and get charged based on a sliding fee scale. This has five levels of discounts that may be applied to the treatment costs. Seniors can visit https://www.amoskeaghealth.org/ for further information.
A directory which contains other free clinics in various counties of the state can be found at https://www.freeclinics.com/sta/new_hampshire.
Charities and Organizations that help seniors
Catholic Charities in New Hampshire is a charity organization that has caregivers who provide support for seniors in the state. Many programs are offered by the charity to provide food, transportation assistance, financial support and more to the elderly. Volunteers also go out to purchase items for seniors and deliver to them at home, helping homebound elderly persons maintain access to important items that they need. Further program details can be found at https://www.cc-nh.org/programs/caregivers/.
Easterseals New Hampshire is another organization that concerns itself with the welfare of the elderly residents of the state. Transportation arrangements are made to get seniors to and from important locations and appointments at low cost. Volunteers also come in to assist seniors with chores around the home, including purchasing items from grocery stores. Financial assistance may also be provided but is subject to the availability of funding. For more information, visit https://www.easterseals.com/nh/our-programs/senior-services/.
Other charities in the state that meet the needs of older residents can be found at https://greatnonprofits.org/state/New%20Hampshire/category:Seniors/
Financial Assistance and Eligibility Requirements
The Old Age Assistance (OAA) program is a state supplemental program that provides support for seniors over the age of 65. The program is open to all elderly residents of New Hampshire who are citizens or qualified non-citizens. OAA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants to help them meet their needs and costs of daily living. When evaluating eligibility for Old Age Assistance, the state considers the income available to the senior, as well as the value of the resources at the disposal applicants. Some resources like residential home, a vehicle for use, etc. are not counted as part of the evaluation for eligibility. However, after computation, the value of the resources should not exceed $1,500. Approved seniors receive monthly payments and are also automatically eligible for Medicaid assistance. To find more information on this program and submit applications, visit https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/programs-services/adult-aging-care/old-age-assistance.
The Social Security Administration provides Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for seniors who are over the age of 65 and meet certain guidelines. SSI is available for low-income seniors who have limited assets and are unable to meet their financial obligations. Eligibility is determined by taking income and asset values into consideration. Eligible seniors are paid a monthly stipend which they can use to pay for their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter. Details can be obtained from https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/ssi/.
Food Assistance – Free Food
New Hampshire runs nutrition programs to support seniors, reduce food insecurity, and prevent hunger and malnutrition. Some of the arrangements provided by the programs also allow the elderly to get an opportunity to socialize. The Congregate Meals program provides nutritious meals for seniors at approved distribution locations. These meals are served in a group setting and open up opportunities for social interaction while eating. On the other hand, the Home Delivered Meals program serves healthy food to seniors who are homebound and unable to visit congregate meal service sites. The program also gives a chance for the person delivering the meal to assess the living conditions of the beneficiary so that recommendations for other supportive services can be made when necessary. For details on both programs, along with the location of service providers in the state, visit https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/programs-services/adult-aging-care/food-meals-nutrition.
The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) helps seniors get access to locally grown fruits, vegetables and honey. This is made possible by providing eligible seniors with coupons which they can present at participating farmers’ markets in exchange for approved products. SFMNP provides seniors with healthy, natural food items that can greatly boost their nutrition and health. For more information on the program, visit https://www.fns.usda.gov/sfmnp/senior-farmers-market-nutrition-program.
The Commodity Supplemental Nutrition Program (CSFP) in New Hampshire is offered as a part of the SFMNP. During the summer months, seniors receive food baskets containing various nutritious food items to help improve their diet. These foods vary but usually include items like milk, meat, pasta, juice, fruits, cheese, cereal, vegetables, etc. The program flyer provides information on the income restrictions for eligibility and can be found at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/sites/g/files/ehbemt476/files/documents/2021-11/wic-csfpsenior.pdf.
Charities located across the state usually have food pantries where seniors can pick up perishable and non-perishable food items from.
Housing – Home Repair Grants and Loans
The United States Department of Agriculture provides Rural Development loans and grants to low-income New Hampshire residents. The funds provided can be used to repair, modify, modernize or improve homes so that health and safety hazards are removed. Several types of repairs qualify for the program funding, helping seniors bear some or all of the repair costs. Loans of up to $40,000 are provided for seniors who are below the age of 62. These loans have a 1% interest rate and can be repaid over a 20-year period. Seniors who are 62 years and older can apply for grants if they are unable to repay loans. The grants have a lifetime limit of $10,000 and the property must not be sold less than 3 years after receiving a grant. For seniors who can repay some part of the repair costs, a combination consisting of the loan and grant may be offered. Further details on this program can be obtained from https://www.des.nh.gov/sites/g/files/ehbemt341/files/documents/2020-01/drought-wellfinassist.pdf.
Emergency Home Repair Loans (EHRL) of up to $25,000 may be gotten from the New Hampshire Housing Authority. These loans are intended to cover repairs necessitated by emergencies or events not covered by homeowner insurance which affect the safety of the home. Loans may be repaid over a period of 15 years and have a low interest rate. Seniors can visit https://www.gonewhampshirehousing.com/your-nhhfa-mortgage/homeowner-programs to apply.
Residents of Nashua City may apply for loans provided through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). These are deferred payment loans that the elderly can take advantage of to carry out home repairs. Seniors may receive loans to cover the full cost of repairs, up to $40,000 for single family homes. These loans have no interest rate and are not to be repaid until the property is sold. In this way, the program helps seniors maintain their housing arrangements and age in place for longer. The program guidelines can be found at https://www.nashuanh.gov/DocumentCenter/View/402/Housing-Improvement-Program—Rules-PDF?bidId=.
Transportation Assistance Programs
Boston Express offers coach services within New Hampshire and to neighboring states. The services run along scheduled routes and allow seniors connect to other parts of the state. Residents over the age of 65 qualify for a half-fare charge, reducing the financial burden imposed on them. Seniors do not need to fill out any application forms for this program; all they need to do is present a valid ID to get the discount on their coach fare. For more information on the program, visit https://www.bostonexpressbus.com/deals-and-discounts/.
Seniors in New Hampshire with mobility challenges can get assistance with their transportation needs. Wheelchair Accessible Transportation is provided for those with reduced mobility by several organizations in the state. These enable seniors to get to medical appointments with little or no cost and with minimal logistics issues. Some of these services are offered to all low-income seniors while others are only open to Medicaid recipients. A directory of transport assistance providers can be found at https://www.nhcarepath.dhhs.nh.gov/partner-resources/documents/gsil-transportation-resources.pdf.
Help with Utility Bills
The New Hampshire Electric Assistance Program (EAP) can assist eligible older residents with payment of their electricity bills. EAP provides support with bill payments for 12 months with discounts of up to 76% on the bills. This program prevents utility shutoff by subsidizing the bills. The exact value of the assistance provided is determined by the income of the senior and electricity needs. For more information, visit https://www.puc.nh.gov/consumer/electricassistanceprogram.htm.
For natural gas bills, the Gas Assistance Program provides discounts to seniors who are customers of Liberty Utilities or Unitil-Gas. These discounts are can be up to 60% and are applied on the delivery portion of the gas bill. Details can be found at https://www.puc.nh.gov/Consumer/gasassistanceprogram.htm.
Seniors who are recipients of certain assistance programs can qualify for help with their telephone bills. This is made possible through the Lifeline Telephone Assistance program. A monthly discount is applied to the phone bills of eligible seniors who are customers of participating telephone companies. Lifeline helps seniors stay connected, which can be very important when emergencies arise. For a list of participating companies and other benefits of the Lifeline program, visit https://www.puc.nh.gov/Consumer/lifeline.htm.
Grants for Senior Veterans
Veterans Count is a nonprofit organization that provides urgent financial assistance to veterans in New Hampshire. The organization releases funds to help veterans meet various critical and urgent needs. Money is provided to pay for rent, food, transportation, utility bills, and other expenses. Links to benefits and other veterans’ entitlements are also provided by Veterans Count. To get help, visit https://vetscount.org/nh/.
The state offers care homes, medical centers, tax exemptions and many other benefits to veterans. A directory which lists these state-provided resources can be accessed at https://www.nhcarepath.dhhs.nh.gov/veterans-military/index.htm.