Portland has no shortage of senior-friendly activities, making it an attractive retirement option. Despite the appeal of the city, rising costs of living can be tricky to navigate, if you’re living off of a fixed monthly income. If you are an area senior who finds it challenging to make all your expenses fit into your budget each month, or if you’re helping a loved one, know that there are local nonprofits and agencies in the community who can help. The types of assistance available can vary and include help with paying for healthy meals, maintaining your home, paying for heating and cooling, free transportation, and others. Here we’ll discuss some of the government and community programs you can contact for help in Portland.
Meals on Wheels People services homebound seniors in Portland ages 60 and older. The organization will deliver a hot, healthy meal to your doorstep daily between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Meals are offered on a donation basis to those who qualify, and while the cost of preparing and delivering each meal is just over $7, the organization asks that you just donate what you can afford for the service.
The Oregon Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a government-subsidized program that allows eligible seniors to apply for benefits to help pay for monthly food costs. Benefits are awarded based on need and income levels. If you have no food and need immediate help, contact the Northeast Emergency Food Program run through Luther Memorial. The program will deliver up to 5 days worth of groceries to your home as frequently as every 6 months for those in need.
Seniors who live at home may need assistance paying for maintenance or accessibility improvements as you age. There are a number of resources in the community who can help by offering low or no-cost repairs, or home improvement grants, like PCRI. Contact one of the several home rehabilitation services for seniors throughout the county for more info.
Utility bills can be costly, but Energy Trust of Oregon offers several subsidy programs that can help make energy costs more affordable for seniors. Their Energy Assistance programs are application based and awarded dependent on need, and the Weatherization Assistance program can offer resources to make your home more energy efficient to reduce your heating and cooling costs.
There are many senior housing options that are subsidized by the government in the Portland area, and many have openings on their waiting list for applications. If you are looking for an immediate housing solution, considering contacting one of the many non-profit senior communities in the area like Rose Villa and inquiring about their rates for low-income seniors. Sometimes properties will have rates available based on an income sliding scale to make monthly living more affordable.
The city of Portland boasts 9 seniors centers throughout, including the Hollywood Senior center operated independent of the city, each with their own unique programing and activities weekly. Most programs will include a daily hot meal, and some offer transportation to and from activities. If you’re not able to leave your home, you can request a visit from a Senior Companion service. The program will match you with another senior over the age of 55 who will visit you in your home to keep you company, and can even help with small tasks around the house like cooking a meal.
As one last resource, the Multnomah County Aging, Disability and Veterans Services Division offers dozens of programs and services to area seniors that are free or a very low-cost. Contact them directly or visit their website for more information on what is available in your area.
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