The Sarasota area of Florida is home to many excellent programs to help seniors cover the costs of daily living expenses such buying food and paying their utility bills. Financial assistance is available to provide support to older adults through nutritional services, home energy programs, and affordable housing options. Sarasota senior centers provide older adults with access to educational, recreational, and social activities to help enhance the overall quality of life.
Nutritional services for low-income Sarasota seniors include Florida’s Food Assistance Program. Benefits enable older adults to buy groceries in the effort to avoid hunger and stay healthy. Eligibility and benefit amounts are based on Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines and household size. Seniors that receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may also be eligible for the SUNCAP Food Assistance Program that provides another source of financial assistance to purchase food.
Homebound or disabled seniors can sign up to receive home delivered meals through the Meals on Wheels of Sarasota program. Other mobile outreach programs include Sarasota Friendship Centers Services, which provides area seniors with nutritious home delivered meals. A full listing of food pantries and distribution centers that provide groceries to seniors in the Sarasota area are posted on FoodPantries.org.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity administers the state’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Sarasota seniors can apply for financial assistance to get benefits to help with their heating and cooling bills. Eligibility is based on income level and household size relative to the number of people living in the home.
The benefits provided by the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) can help seniors make their homes more energy efficient, resulting in lower overall home energy costs. Examples of how the program can be used include installing insulation, solar screens, and repairing or replacing weather stripping, windows, and doors.
A wide range of resources to help Sarasota seniors find affordable housing is available on the site of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Older adults can get information about federal housing programs for seniors, reverse mortgages, housing choice vouchers (Section 8), and public housing. HUD’s “affordable apartment search” tool provides a list of properties for seniors in the Sarasota area.
The Senior Friendship Center of Sarasota provides a wide range of services and programs designed to help older adults stay active and connected to the community. Options include educational courses, recreational activities, and social events. Seniors can enjoy card games, sign up for arts and crafts, attend luncheons or take field trips.
Additional programs provided by the Senior Friendship Center of Sarasota include adult day care services, a caregiver resource center, exercise and fitness classes, and lifelong learning opportunities. The center administers an Elder Helpline that provides information about other types of services that older adults may want to use. Seniors can meet and socialize with others and enjoy a healthy nutritious meal at Friendship Cafes.
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