Known for its year-round warm weather, beautiful beaches, and fun activities, Miami is an amazing place to retire. Despite the city’s many charms, the rising cost of living in the area can make it difficult for seniors who are on a fixed monthly budget to afford the essentials. If you’re struggling to pay for the basics or you have a loved one in need, it’s time to reach out to agencies, government funding sources, and non-profits in the area who can help. You’ll discover financial resources for things like groceries and meals, utility bills, accessibility and general maintenance to keep your home up to code, companionship, and transportation. Below we discuss some of the best resources in Miami that can help you afford to live on your monthly resources.
The Miami-Dade Meals on Wheels program will deliver seven pre-prepared frozen meals and fresh produce and dairy to seniors who are unable to leave the home or cook for themselves weekly. Seniors can also visit one of over two-dozen area senior center locations for a hot meal during the weekdays.
The Florida Food Assistance Program provides financial resources for qualified seniors to shop for groceries. You’ll need to apply for the program, and the state will grant assistance based on your monthly income and need. If you are experiencing a food crisis while you’re waiting for your benefits to be approved, reach out to Feeding South Florida to find a food bank in your area.
As you age, so will your home and the need for repairs is inevitable. You may also find your home needing work done to make it safe, like the installation of a wheelchair ramp. The Senior Housing Assistance Repair Program (SHARP) can offer up to a $40,000 forgivable, interest-free loan to qualified seniors to make needed home repairs. The Home Repair Program in the Miami Community may also qualify you for free home repair services funded by the public housing department.
The city also has a Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) available to seniors who struggle to pay their monthly utility bills. In Florida, it’s important to keep your home cool in the summer and this program will grant assistance based on your financial need and usage to make your cooling bills more affordable.
If you’re looking to move out of your home and into one of the many subsidized housing properties or communities in the city, be sure to submit your application to get added to the waiting list. If you’re looking for a better living option quickly, consider browsing non-profit managed senior communities in the area like Bay Oaks. Many times, they will have rates available based on your income and will be able to offer you an affordable option at the facility.
There are dozens of senior centers and specialized senior centers in Miami-Dade county. Each offers their own unique programs and services that usually include socialization, games, fitness, a hot meal, and sometimes transportation to the center. For other transportation alternatives, check out the special transportation service. For a nominal $3.50 fee, you can arrange transportation in the area to appointments, the store, or for social needs. Seniors who are unable to leave the home can apply to have a visitor from the Senior Companion program stop by to keep you company. The volunteer will be another senior and they will visit your home to play games, interact, and even help with small tasks around the house at your request.
The Miami Department of Elderly and Disability services has dozens of additional free or low-cost resources for seniors managing a tight budget and looking for assistance in the Miami area.
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