Seniors living in Arizona have lots of resources and organizations available to render assistance to them. The assistance provided ranges from feeding to housing and medical care. Residents of Phoenix and Mesa have the most organizations around them. However, residents of smaller cities also have local agencies that offer assistance.
State Resources for Seniors
Arizona hosts several resources for seniors in the state. These resources are provided by Arizona Healthy Aging, administered by the Arizona Department of Health Services. The resources cover health insurances concerns, resources for veterans, care for patients with dementia, abuse prevention, etc. These resources can be accessed at https://www.azdhs.gov/prevention/tobacco-chronic-disease/healthy-aging/index.php.
Dental care is one of the major concerns of seniors. With age, oral health tends to suffer and the teeth become more vulnerable. Provision of assistance for dental care needs helps seniors in Arizona maintain good oral health. Arizona Advanced Dental offers special programs designed to care for the needs of seniors in the area. The dentists at Arizona Advanced Dental provide subsidized dental treatment for low-income seniors who come in to visit. They also provide free dental care where possible or provide seniors with resources that would enable them get the free dental care they need. Seniors who are in need of dental care but are financially unable to get the necessary help needed can contact Arizona Advanced Dental by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 480-504-1099. Residents of Mesa can also visit the dental office at 3048 E Baseline Rd, Suite 128, Mesa, Arizona.
The state offers some dental plans to help seniors save on the cost of oral care. The major plan offered is Delta Dental of Arizona and is available to Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) and Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) enrollees. This plan gives access to about 3,500 dentists who are part of the plan network within the state. Visiting these dentists helps save a lot of cost that would have been other required for a dental visit. The Delta High plan covers as much as 50% of major dental services, however, each case may be different and thus reviewed separately. There are no waiting lists for coverage under this plan. For further details on Delta Dental and other dental plans, visit https://www.azasrs.gov/content/dental-plans.
Low-cost dental insurance plans are also available for seniors in Arizona. These plans provide as much as 60% coverage for dental care costs and charge low annual premiums. Prices start from as low as $104.95 per year and cover a variety of dental care procedures. A full directory of several insurance providers can be found at https://medicarewire.com/dental-insurance/state/arizona/.
A list of other free dental care providers in various cities in Arizona can be accessed at https://www.freedentalcare.us/st/arizona.
The Medicare program is a federal funded subsidized health insurance program which is administered by the state. Under this program, low-income adults receive assistance in the form of discounted medical insurance payments. This covers a wide variety of medical procedures and associated expenses. The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) provides further assistance for seniors. Eligible seniors are exempted from paying monthly Medicare premiums as would have been previously required. This is done to ease the health care costs of low-income seniors even more. To be eligible for this assistance, seniors must be at least 65 years old and live in Arizona. There are also income restrictions on this assistance. Seniors who apply for the AHCCCS support must have a gross monthly income not more than $1,074, however, for married seniors, the combined gross monthly income should not be more than $1,452. Seniors who wish to apply can do so on the online portal at http://www.healthearizonaplus.gov/ or print an application from https://www.azahcccs.gov/Members/Downloads/DE103.pdf.
It should be noted that seniors may still have to pay the balance of their medical costs after insurance has covered some parts of it. This program is however beneficial because the seniors do not pay any insurance premiums beforehand. Seniors may also qualify for assistance with paying for prescription drugs and doctor visits. For further details, visit https://www.azahcccs.gov/Members/GetCovered/Categories/elderly.html.
The State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) also provides counseling for Medicare beneficiaries and can help provide them with resources to obtain free healthcare.
Charities and Organizations
There are many charity and nonprofit organizations that render various forms of assistance to seniors living in Arizona. Duet is a nonprofit organization that provides different services to seniors. One of the major programs of Duet is targeted at making life easier for homebound seniors. Volunteers help seniors get groceries, offer rides to the doctor and even provide transportation for seniors to visit their friends. Volunteers are 18 years old and are subjected to a background check. This service is really helpful for seniors who can no longer move about freely due to their age or physical disabilities but wish to continue living in their own homes. Duet also provides referrals for assistance when seniors suffer from dementia. There is no financial or income limit to qualify for Duet services. Duet services are available in Phoenix, Peoria, Glendale, Paradise Valley, Fountain Hills and Scottsdale (South of Bell Rd). Further details on the assistance Duet offers can be gotten from https://duetaz.org/homebound-adults-2/.
Justa Center is another charity that focuses on helping seniors who are challenged. Justa offers services like provision of resources for seniors, self-care education and provision of clothes, informal counseling, nurses clinic to attend to basic health needs, etc. Justa also provides free attorney services for seniors who require such. Seniors who need to find a house can also contact Justa for assistance. This assistance includes locating a suitable place, sourcing for funding, completing documentation, providing supportive services to ensure that seniors remain in housing, etc. Seniors interested in obtaining services can visit the Justa Center at 1001 W Jefferson St, Phoenix, Arizona.
Lend A Hand is a charity that provides free services to seniors to help them age in their homes comfortably and safely. The charity aims to make living at home as comfortable for seniors as possible so that they do not have to move into unfamiliar environments like group homes. Some of the services offered include food box delivery, transportation assistance, visitations, minor home repairs and clean-ups, etc. For more information, visit https://www.lahseniorhelp.org/.
Several other charities exist in the state, with a similar mission to help seniors have a comfortable life and age with dignity. These include Tempe Community Action Agency (www.tempeaction.org/), Northwest Valley Connect (http://northwestvalleyconnect.org/), Foundation for Senior Living (https://www.fsl.org/), Stepping Up for Seniors (https://www.steppingupforseniors.org/) etc.
Seniors with little or no income can apply Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This is an income relief program funded by tax revenues. The money provided can be used to meet basic needs like food, shelter and clothing. Additional details on SSI can be gotten from https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/.
Arizona seniors who are still able to work can register for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). This program is designed to assist unemployed and low-income seniors over the age of 55 and help them find employment for self- sufficiency. Participants receive a compensation determined by the highest of the federal, state or local minimum wage. For more information on the program, visit https://des.az.gov/services/older-adults/senior-community-service-employment-program.
Apart from government agencies, several charities in the state also provide financial assistance to seniors in need.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federal program that helps provide free food for low-income citizens. TEFAP supplies nutritious meals to qualified people so they can stay healthy. Participants can go to food pantries to pick up food items like vegetables, juices, fruits, etc. The items provided at the pantry are shelf-stable and do not require refrigeration to be preserved. Congregate feeding sites are also hosted, where seniors can go to pick up cooked meals for consumption. Congregate sites may also provide additional services like transport assistance, legal aid, health screening, etc. Seniors do not need any registration to get food from congregate feeding sites, they can simply walk in and declare their need for help. More information on TEFAP can be found at https://des.az.gov/services/basic-needs/food-assistance/emergency-food-assistance.
Seniors over the age of 60 can also benefit from the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). This is another federal program that meets the needs of seniors whose income is not more than 185% of federal poverty levels. SFMNP provides fresh, nutritious locally grown fruits, herbs and vegetables to low-income seniors in the state. Seniors can get a $50 SFMNP voucher booklet which can be used to purchase vegetables, fruits and herbs from Authorized Farmers Markets and Farm Stands. A directory of Authorized Farmers Markets and Farm Stands can be found at https://www.azfmnp.org/. For further program details, check https://des.az.gov/services/basic-needs/food-assistance/senior-farmers-markets-nutrition-program.
A home-delivered meal program is also available to cater for seniors who are home bound and would need food delivered to their houses. Details on the program are available at https://des.az.gov/services/older-adults/healthy-living/congregate-home-delivered-meals.
Housing and Home Repair Grants
Seniors in Arizona who wish to repair or rehabilitate their homes can get funding from several sources. The Arizona Department of Housing administers the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to help provide funds which seniors can use for emergency repairs. The funding provided can also be used to modify the house to improve accessibility for seniors with disabilities. Additional details are available at https://housing.az.gov/emergency-repairs-and-housing-rehabilitation.
Residents of Phoenix can also take advantage of the assistance provided by Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department. The financial assistance given can be used to repair home systems, address safety issues, eliminate hazards, etc. Other similar programs exist in Phoenix and can be found listed at https://www.phoenix.gov/nsd/programs/housing-repair-programs.
The seniors may also receive support from other resources. Read Home Repair Grants for Seniors for information on home improvements and repairs, and Housing and Rent Assistance Programs for Seniors for financial assistance to stay in their homes or apartment.
Charities in Arizona help provide transportation assistance for seniors in the state. Charities such as Stepping Up for Seniors and Duet help seniors get to Doctors appointments or get groceries. Lend A Hand charity takes transportation assistance a step further by providing help for seniors who need to visit their friends.
Help with Utility Bills
Seniors who reside in Arizona can get assistance to pay utility bills through Project SHARE. This is a program operated by the Salvation Army, in partnership with Arizona Public Service (APS) to cover energy bills for those in need of help. Seniors who qualify for the program can get up to $300 every year to use for their utility bills. Seniors can visit the APS website at https://www.aps.com/en/Residential/Account/Assistance-Programs/Project-SHARE for more information on the program and eligibility criteria.
The Crisis Bill Assistance is another program that can help seniors with funds to pay for their utility bills. Through this program, residents can receive up to $800 in a year to pay for their bills. The program is administered through local community agencies located around the state. Additional details can be gotten from https://www.aps.com/en/Residential/Account/Assistance-Programs/Crisis-Bill-Assistance.
A 25% discount can also be obtained by elderly residents who are financially challenged. This discount is applied to monthly bills and is provided through the Energy Support Program. An application can be submitted at https://e3.eligibilityprogram.com/?lang=EN. Seniors with disabilities or medical conditions can receive an additional 10% discount on their energy bills, for a total of 35% discount. More details on this can be found at https://www.aps.com/en/Residential/Account/Assistance-Programs/Medical-Equipment-Preparedness/Sign-Up.
The Arizona Department of Housing offers the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). This is a program set up to help settle past due bills and mortgage. Beneficiaries of the program can receive up to a lifetime amount of $25,000 to pay for their utility bills. Interested seniors can find details at https://haf.azhousing.gov/.
Other useful resources that seniors can refer to are located at https://www.maricopa.gov/2462/Energy-Assistance-Help-for-Seniors.
Grants for Senior Veterans
The Arizona Military Family Relief Fund (MFRF) is a program set up to provide financial assistance to veterans in need. The program provides funding to over basic living expenses like rent, utility bills, vehicle payments, etc. Veterans in the state can visit https://dvs.az.gov/requesting-MFRF for more information.
Veterans can also get assistance from Arizona State Veteran Homes. This is a network of housing facilities across the state that provides nursing and rehabilitative care to veterans. The homes offer free telephone services, cable TV and internet services. Veterans in need of housing in Arizona can visit https://dvs.az.gov/services/veteran-homes to submit an application.
Several tax exemptions are also available to veterans in the state.