Grants for Seniors in Tennessee

Key Senior Statistics in Tennessee (60 and over)
Senior Population: 1,677,613 (23.8%) Senior Population: 1,677,613 (23.8%)
Male: 45.4% Male: 45.4%
Female: 54.6% Female: 54.6%
Median Age: 70 Median Age: 70
Disability: 33% Disability: 33%
With Social Security Income: 76% With Social Security Income: 76%
With Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits: 10% With Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits: 10%
Below 100% of the Poverty Level: 12% Below 100% of the Poverty Level: 12%
Data Source: Data Source:
Data is taken from American Community Survey 2022.

Help for Seniors in Tennessee – 32 Assistance Programs

Tennessee is a popular state among older people with its Great Smoky Mountains National Park and waterfall. It has been listed as the best state for seniors thanks to lack of personal income taxes, cost of living, and affordable housing options. It has many benefits both economically and socially. This makes this state a perfect senior-friendly place. Its climate is also very nice during most times of the year. Some seniors may still need assistance to increase their living standards. There are a great deal of benefits and programs for the elderly that are presented by the State of Tennessee, the federal government, and charity-based organizations.

State Assistance

There are federal-state programs and services, organizations, and charities supporting seniors in a different ways.

Commission on Aging & Disability: The Tennessee Commission on Aging & Disability works to support elderly persons and older adults with disabilities through a system that promotes health, dignity, independence, and security by providing programs and services.

National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP): NFCSP offers support to family caregivers who look after older Tennesseans with chronic ailments and those living with disabilities. Created under the Older Americans Act Amendment of 2000, this program is funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging and administered locally by the Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). Eligibility requirements include seniors aged 60+, those with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases, and senior caregivers aged 55+ looking after minors. The program’s services include caregiver training, respite care, personal care, counseling, and adult day care services. Through the program, senior caregivers or those of elderly loved ones may also qualify for Lifespan Respite Grant to give them a temporary break from caregiving. Read more about the program at

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS): HCBS aims to prevent or delay the need for institutionalization of seniors in long-term care facilities and helping them thrive from the comfort of their homes. These services are provided based on the availability of funds to manage them and the level of the client’s needs. They can include home-delivered meals, personal care, and homemaker services. These services are offered through OPTIONS and Title III-B In-Home Services programs, federal programs funded through the Older Americans Act. To qualify for OPTIONS program support, one must be a senior aged 60+, meet disability definition, and reside in Tennessee.  Older adults must also meet ADL limitation requirements. Find out more at

Information and Assistance: The purpose of the Tennessee Information and Assistance program is to link older adults with the human and health resources they need, including information related to the services. Sometimes seniors are not sure or aware of the local services that help them age healthy and strong. This program is designed to assist seniors in staying informed and up to date about what is going, on and pointing out the right services, depending on their situations. The program work with specialists who give seniors the necessary directions and respond to any queries they may have. It is the responsibility of the I&A specialists to identify if the caller may qualify for certain state and local programs and services. These services help seniors solve their problems and generally improve their quality of life among them. it is important to get ready to note all the information provided by the specialists before starting the conversation or making the call. For more details, please visit

Health Promotion and Prevention among Seniors: Tennessee boasts evidence-based programs and services designed to promote health and prevent certain diseases among older adults. The programs aim at helping older adults self-manage their chronic ailments, engage in physical activities to enhance their health and wellness, nutrition assistance, and prevent falls among them.

Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL): SAIL is a program committed to assisting the elderly Tennesseans to achieve physical strength, balance, and fitness. The program’s focus is on adults aged 65+ in rural areas with no evidence-based programs. SAIL was introduced in the state through a collaboration between the East Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability and the Healthy Department of Knox County. More information is available at

Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME): The goal of this program is to offer education and the necessary tools to seniors and older adults with disabilities to enable them to manage their chronic conditions, like arthritis, depression, chronic pain, diabetes, and heart disease. The program operates through workshops that empower older adults to be responsible for their health conditions. More information is available at

Ombudsman Program: Ombudsman Program is dedicated to offering free support services to older Tennesseans in long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, assisted living, and adult care facilities. The goal is to help residents of these facilities solve problems they face in their daily lives while receiving long-term care services. The ombudsmen advocate for solutions to these problems and work to help create a favorable environment in the facilities where seniors can thrive.

Financial Assistance

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): TANF is administered by the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) and offers financial support to low-income older adults to help them gain self-sufficiency. The program funds can be sued to acquire clothing, food, childcare, transportation, and healthcare services. To qualify for the program assistance, seniors must meet the income, residency, and citizenship requirements. Visit for more information.

Catholic Charities of Tennessee is a highly functional non-governmental organization that has been working throughout the state. It helps people with disaster recovery, emotional support, family resource centers, housing stability, hunger relief, job training, and emergency cash assistance. The monetary aid is short-term assistance till the applicant becomes self-reliant. This financial support can be used for overdue rent expenses, overdue utility bills, transportation needs, food support, and finding transitory housing. The link to their official website is as follows or get in touch with 615 352 3087. Numerous other churches offer support and assistance to seniors. Inquire with your local churches to discover what programs and services are offered in your area.

Tennessee Operation Homefront is an effective non-governmental establishment across the state. It has four major services which are financial assistance, housing support, veteran caregiver support, and family events. Seniors who require emergency financial assistance are encouraged to consult this organization. To see more information and apply, please take a look at or make contact with 210 659 7756.

Housing and Rent Assistance

Salvation Army of Tennessee is a charity-based establishment that has many programs and services for low and middle-income individuals. Senior citizens who are challenged with economic problems are one of the priority groups. Salvation Army of Tennessee provides utility assistance, food support, financial assistance, and housing help for seniors. It offers long-term supportive housing benefits and life skills training to assist people in financial crises. The main purpose of this help is to make sure that seniors can live independently at their homes and maintain their well-being. To learn more and apply, please follow the link or dial 615 242 0411.

Tennessee Housing Choice Voucher Program-Section 8 was formed by the federal authorities and has been administered by the Tennessee Housing Development Agency for low-income people. Seniors who are 60 years of age or older can benefit from this program as a priority group. Eligible candidates will decide on their house, flat, or apartment in their favor. Nearly 30 percent of the rest payment will be covered by the beneficiaries and the rest will be paid by the program. For additional questions, please go to or contact them by phone at 615 815 2200.

The Tennessee Housing Authority is a local initiative that aims to help low and moderate-income families looking for affordable, nice, and secure housing options. This organization has two programs for people who are 60 years old or older and in financial crisis. The first program is the Emergency Repair Program for the Elderly that is available for landlords. This is a special grant that was designed to help home repair to increase the safety and livability of the property. The second program is the Emergency Shelter Grant Program which is prepared for people who need emergency cash assistance. The amount of help differs based on each case. For further information, please visit or call 800 225 5342. To explore more options for obtaining financial assistance with home improvements and repairs, consider referring to the Home Repair Grants For Seniors guide.

Healthcare Assistance

Tennessee Medicare program: Medicare is a federal program that provides medical insurance to low-income seniors to enable them to pay their healthcare bills. The Medicare program is available for older adults at least 65 or seniors with disabilities. The Original Medicare includes Part A – hospital insurance and Part B – medical insurance. The majority of Medicare beneficiaries have a Part A plan, which can cost up to $499 per month, as of 2022. Part B costs $170.10 per month. These plans are available to any healthcare provider participating in the Medicaid program. Some healthcare providers extend their coverage to dental care, prescription medication, and more, which seniors will have to pay because they are not covered under the Medicare program. Find out more at

Medicaid Tennessee: Medicaid Tennessee offers healthcare support to elderly residents with low income and those with disabilities. Medicaid provides services to seniors with acute medical needs and those in long-term care facilities and can be used to pay for services in nursing homes or assisted living. More information is available at

HealthWell Foundation of Tennessee was constituted and has been subsidized by the local people for the local people. Seniors who are having difficulty paying their prescription bills and medical expenses are eligible for cash assistance. Anything related to healthcare expenses can be covered by this foundation. Find out more information at or by phone at 800 675 8416.

Tennessee State Health Insurance Assistance Program is also recognized as the SHIP among people. It is a state-funded healthcare assistance program for older residents. It provides free information and counseling for seniors who have questions about their health condition and do not know where to ask for help. To consult about Medicare questions, please click here–ship-.html call it toll-free at 1 877 801 0044.

Health Promotion and Prevention Programs were created and have been led by the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability. The main purpose of these programs is to make sure that seniors are aging healthy and their well-being is good. Stay Active and Independent Life (SAIL) is specifically designed for adults who are 65 years of age or older. This is a balance, strength, and fitness program. It presents various classes for people to attend. Another program is the Chronic Disease Self-Management Education. It provides training services for seniors to manage their health conditions better. Bingocize is kind of a fun game that promotes exercise and health courses at the same time. Explore more opportunities through the following link or make a phone call at 1 866 836 6678.

Concerning dental health, there are various dental grants and programs available in Tennessee to help senior individuals access the dental care they need. It’s important to explore all available options to find the program that best meets your specific needs and circumstances.

Utility Bills Assistance

The Tennessee Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is one of the well-known utility bill assistance programs of the federal government. Seniors who are searching for discount or cash assistance for their utility expenses are urged to apply for this benefit. The amount of benefit is decided based on the total size and the income of the household. See more detail at or dial 888 891 8332.

Food Assistance

Tennessee Congregate Meals are organized by the State of Tennessee for senior citizens who need food assistance. People who are 60 years of age or over and in need of healthy and nutritious meals are qualified for this program. There are more than 200 senior centers that serve congregate meals. It is available from Monday through Friday and all seniors can benefit from this support. To learn more, go to or contact 615 253 4161.

Tennessee Home-Delivered Meals is also recognized as Meals on Wheels. This food assistance program is designed for older citizens who have a disability or illness and are not able to cook at home. The officials of the program both bring the meal that is compatible with the applicant’s diet and check on their health condition and make sure they are doing fine. For further information, please visit

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): SNAP has specialized eligibility criteria for seniors who need assistance with food. SNAP runs an outreach service that is meant to educate older adults on the program’s available benefits and the need for adapting healthy eating practices. The goal is to help in bridging the gap in nutrition needs among senior Tennesseans. There are coordinators assigned in different regions throughout the state to help older adults understand the process and benefits.

Transportation Assistance for Seniors

Accessing food, healthcare services, social opportunities, and going shopping can be difficult if older adults can’t afford transportation. Transportation is important, as it helps seniors remain independent. Fortunately, the public transportation system in Tennessee is efficient and is available in all 95 counties. While public transportation is always free or at discounted costs for seniors, most of the older adults’ transportation needs are personalized.

MyRide Tennessee is a sustainable volunteer transportation program committed to helping seniors with transportation services. The program involves volunteer drivers who help seniors get home safely using their vehicles. The service helps older adults get to medical appointments, and shop from grocery stores. The program only operates on Mondays through Fridays. More details about the transportation service are available at

Assistance from Charities and Nonprofits

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee: The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is a charitable organization committed to offering support services aimed at improving the quality of life among seniors. The organization works through the Serving Tennessee Seniors Program, funded by the Chancery Court. The organization distributes funds to nonprofits dedicated to addressing the most pressing needs of older adults. The goal of this program is to address the issues of underfunding and the unrecognition of the needs of the vulnerable aging population. More information is available at

Catholic Charities Diocese of Nashville – Refugee Elders Program: The purpose of the Refugee Elders Program is to offer assistance services to enable seniors to adjust to life in the United States. The program focuses greatly on seniors’ health and wellness in their services, which are available only three days a week. Through the program, the elderly persons can be taken to field trips, physical exercise, arts, and games that promote socialization and self-sufficiency. The organization works in collaboration with the Healing Trust, Dollar General Literacy Foundation, and the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville. Please note that these services are only available to senior residents of Nashville. Visit for more information.

West End Home Foundation: West End Home Foundation is committed to serving older adults by funding nonprofits offering support services and resources to the elderly. The organization focus on supporting programs that address the needs of the aging population. Find out more at

United Way of Greater Knoxville: Knoxville is home to about 92,000 older adults, and at least one out of four of them live on their own. 22% of seniors are veterans, while 29% have less than $20,000 annual income. These numbers show the need to support the elderly in their journey to aging strong and healthy while striving to achieve self-sufficiency. The goal of the United Way of Greater Knoxville works to reduce the number of senior low-income earners. The organization partners with the local agencies and programs offering care services to older adults in need. The organization provides its services by raising funds and offering assistance to support programs serving the needs of seniors. Some of the organizations they partner with are Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee, Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service, Inc., and Catholic Charities of East Tennessee. More information is available at

Assistance for Senior Veterans

VA benefits for the elderly Tennesseans include disability compensation, education and training, home loans, insurance, pension, and healthcare services. There is an additional benefit given to senior veterans.

Aid and Attendance (A&A) is a program focused on providing increased monthly pension given to seniors who meet one of these conditions:

  • A resident of a nursing home care facility.
  • Have vision problems.
  • In need of assistance with ADLs.

Homebound is focused on increased monthly pensions given to senior veterans confined in their homes due to permanent disabilities. Visit for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What financial assistance programs are available for seniors in Tennessee? Seniors in Tennessee can access the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability for various services, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for help with utility bills, and the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program for vouchers to purchase fresh, local produce.

2. How can seniors apply for Medicaid in Tennessee? Medicaid applications for seniors can be completed online through the TennCare Connect portal, by phone, or by visiting local Department of Human Services offices. Necessary documentation includes proof of income, assets, residency, and age.

3. What housing assistance is available for seniors in Tennessee? The Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) offers the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program for rental assistance and provides resources on affordable housing options for seniors, including home repair and modification services for accessibility and safety.

4. Can seniors receive assistance with utility bills in Tennessee? Yes, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) offers financial aid to eligible senior households to assist with heating and cooling expenses, ensuring a comfortable living environment.

5. How do seniors get help with prescription medications in Tennessee? The Tennessee State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) provides counseling on Medicare and prescription drug plans, helping seniors find programs that can assist with medication costs.

6. Are there property tax relief programs for seniors in Tennessee? Tennessee offers a property tax relief program for seniors 65 and older, which provides rebates or reductions on property taxes based on income criteria, helping to ease the financial burden on homeowners.

7. What in-home care services can seniors access in Tennessee? The CHOICES in Long-Term Care Program provides various in-home services for eligible seniors, including personal care, homemaking, and meal delivery, to support independent living in their own homes.

8. How can seniors access transportation services in Tennessee? Many local Area Agencies on Aging in Tennessee provide transportation services for seniors, offering essential rides to medical appointments, grocery stores, and senior centers, often at reduced rates or for free.

9. What nutritional programs support seniors in Tennessee? The Elderly Nutrition Program, funded by the Older Americans Act, provides congregate meals at senior centers and home-delivered meals through programs like Meals on Wheels, ensuring seniors have access to nutritious food and social opportunities.

10. How can seniors in Tennessee receive legal assistance? Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands offers free legal services to seniors, covering areas such as healthcare, housing, consumer rights, and advance directives, ensuring their legal needs are addressed.