Free Services for Senior Citizens: Government and Other Options
8 MIN READ
Published December 04, 2023 | Updated February 23, 2024
If you or someone you care for lives on a fixed income, it may be hard to make ends meet sometimes. Unexpected expenses like legal help, in-home health care services, and dental care services can put even more strain on your budget.
Fortunately, the federal government and many non-profit organizations provide free services for senior citizens that can ease the burden. If you qualify, we urge you to take advantage of these free services whenever you can so you can keep your retirement expenses as low as possible.
How Free Services for Seniors Work
The average older adult receives approximately $1,709 a month in Social Security benefits. For many, this is the only income they receive. This makes it even more important for them to explore any free services they may receive to make their money stretch further.
The federal and state governments have many senior assistance programs in place. Additionally, your local community and non-profit organizations may offer free services for senior citizens that can help.
If you’re looking for assistance, reach out to the local Area Agency on Aging to find free services near you. Most of these programs will have age and income criteria to qualify. However, if you qualify, you may be able to get access to useful services for free.
Food and Grocery Assistance
With rising food prices, one of the best ways to bring your monthly expenses down is by taking advantage of grocery stimulus for seniors and assistance programs.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, helps millions of older Americans get access to free food. If you qualify, you may be able to get a benefit card preloaded with your SNAP benefits. You can then use this card to purchase groceries for free at participating grocery stores.
The Seniors Farmer Market Nutrition Program by USDA can provide you with free vouchers that can be used at local roadside stands and farmers’ markets to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables.
You may also qualify for a free monthly food box to supplement your groceries through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). You may qualify if you’re over 60 and your income is less than 130% of the federal poverty level.
Free Legal Services
If you need free legal help, there are many organizations that can help you connect with a pro bono attorney or provide free advice. Service may be limited, with those seniors with low incomes given first priority for assistance.
The American Bar Association allows you to ask questions and have a lawyer answer them for free. Many law schools also have a pro bono program. Use this directory to search for pro bono programs in your state.
Finding appropriate and affordable transportation services can be challenging for seniors with mobility issues. If you require free transportation for doctor visits, specialist appointments, treatments, and other healthcare-related needs, Medicare offers free services for senior citizens through its Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Program.
The IRS has two programs that offer free services for senior citizens. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly program can help you file taxes through participating local organizations. If you want to file basic tax returns for free, use the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.
For homeowners, the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is a good way to save on home repairs and energy assistance if they qualify. The program can make your home safer and more energy-efficient through free repairs and replacement of windows, doors, insulation, and weather stripping, depending on eligibility.
We also recommend taking advantage of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This federal program can provide beneficiaries with free energy-related home repairs and weatherization to reduce energy bills.
Free Services From Non-Profit Organizations
While government programs are incredibly valuable for receiving free services, there are several non-profit organizations that provide everything from free cleaning services and in-home assistance to dental services.
Free Cleaning Services
For many older adults, especially those with mobility issues, keeping up with the cleaning and maintenance of their own homes is difficult. Professional cleaning services can be expensive, but you may be able to get free cleaning sessions through non-profit organizations.
Your local Area Agency on Aging is a good source of information on non-profits offering cleaning services to those who meet the eligibility requirements. Local senior services, charities, and places of worship may also have their own programs.
Another option to explore is the charity cleaning service offered by the American House Cleaners Association.
Free Dental Services
Your state’s dental association can connect you with local dental schools that offer free services. The association may also be able to provide free dentures.
Another option is Donated Dental Services (DDS), which offers free dental care programs to low-income seniors through volunteer dentists.
Brad Reichert, financial expert and founder and managing director of Reichert Asset Management, offers an additional choice for seniors needing assistance with dental health. “The Dental Lifeline Network is beneficial in assisting qualified patients in receiving adequate dental care,” Reichert shares.
“Medicare tends to only offer minimal dental care, and many seniors may find that all-inclusive Medicare plans such as Advantage plans or Medigap plans may not fit their budgets,” says Reichert.
Free In-Home Assistance
Non-profit organizations may also provide respite care services, which means these volunteers can stay with loved ones so that the family and friends who are their regular caregivers can take a break. The Senior Companion Program is one such option that provides older adults companionship, home care, and assistance with daily tasks like shopping.
Another option is Meals on Wheels, which offers nutritious meals to needy seniors who are homebound. There are dozens of local Meals on Wheels organizations in every state.
Other than the programs listed above, we also recommend considering the options listed above for more free services for senior citizens:
- The National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics runs local free clinics where you can receive medical services if you’re living on a limited income.
- The RxAssist website can help you find pharmaceutical company programs that can help lower prescription drugs.
- The National Hearing Aid Project helps older adults find hearing aids at a low cost.
- If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you may be able to get a free CaptionCall phone to caption incoming calls.
- Find adult day cares through AgingCare’s directory, where you can find a safe place to eat hot meals, engage in activities, and socialize with others.
Get Help for Free
There's no reason for older adults to spend extra money, with so many free services for senior citizens available through government and non-profit organizations. These resources are designed to offer you financial assistance in your senior years so you can live more comfortably.
Explore the resources we’ve shared in this guide and get in touch with local non-profit organizations, community-based services, and aging centers to see how you can start saving money.