The city of Madison is a great place to live, but as prices for necessities like housing and groceries continue to rise, it can be difficult to afford basic needs if you’re a senior with a limited income. If you or a loved one are struggling to pay your monthly bills, there are area agencies and nonprofit organizations who can help out by covering some of the costs or providing low or no cost services. Read on to discover some of the providers in your area who help seniors afford meals, safe housing, home renovations and maintenance, pay their utilities, transport them locally, and other services.
There are a number of local nonprofits that provide Meals on Wheels programs in the greater Madison area. Home Health United provides midday hot meals and Independent Living Inc. will deliver evening meals directly to your home. The services are available to homebound seniors and can accommodate a variety of dietary needs, including low sodium, gluten-free, and even vegan options.
Foodshare Wisconsin is a government-sponsored benefits program that can help seniors pay for their groceries. Qualified applicants can apply for help and will be awarded benefits based on their monthly income and need. If you are in need of immediate help, there are nearly a dozen free meal and food pantry sites in the city, as well as very low-cost senior dining sites who can keep you from going hungry.
Homeowners know that keeping your home in good condition can be expensive, and seniors especially may need help. Seniors may qualify for a home improvement loan through HUD for low-income families, or you can apply for help through the Senior Home Repair program offered through Rural Housing Inc.
Heating and cooling costs can add up, especially in the cold Wisconsin winters, and seniors can request help with their utilities bills through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funded by the federal government. The program can cover a portion of your monthly utility costs based on need, as well as provide low or no-cost weatherization for your home.
There are a number of subsidized housing options for seniors in the Madison area, and if you’re interested in one it’s a good idea to apply online as the wait list period can range from several months to several years. If you need a more immediate housing solution, consider inquiring at one of the many area non-profit senior living communities like Oakwood Village University Woods as they may offer discounted rates based on your monthly income.
The City of Madison senior center provides retirees with many different program and activities during the week for low to no cost. These can include games, exercise classes, and day trips to local area attractions. The senior center also has classes on healthy aging, offers hot meals during the day, and has volunteers on hand to assist with applying for benefits. Homebound seniors can contact Seniors Helping Seniors to have a companion visit their home during the week. The visitor can help with activities around the house, or even just offer companionship and a friendly face.
Finally, to access even more resources available for free to seniors in the Madison area, visit the Dane County Area Agency on Aging website.
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