Senior Citizen Grant Assistance

America has a growing older population, and there are a number of grants available to assist people in their golden years. These grants cover basic housing and health needs, education, health, and safety. It is more difficult to receive grant assistance as an individual, which means taking the extra step of applying through an organization or an agency.

Federal Grant Assistance

Grants are offered through several departments of the federal government. The following programs are available:

• Elderly Rental Housing and Mortgage Insurance. This ensures seniors have access to quality rental housing and protects mortgage lenders from a loss to create more rental opportunities for the elderly. As many seniors are forced to downsize when they can no longer care for their homes, access to affordable rentals is very important.

• Foster Grandparent Grant. This encourages limited-income seniors to volunteer and helps special-needs children in their communities, leading to loving bonds that may last for years.

• Capital Assistance for the Disabled Elderly. This grant provides funds to support seniors with their transportation needs where public transport is either unavailable or does not serve them appropriately. Seniors who can get out of the house regularly are more emotionally and mentally fit. 

• Nutrition Services. This program provides financial assistance to tribal organizations and state agencies for food and other necessities. The food is provided by the Department of Agriculture and is used for home-delivery meal services, which may be an elderly person's only source of nutrition.

• Senior and Retired Volunteers. This program helps seniors with their volunteer efforts with children, adults, animals or larger community causes. 

State Grant Assistance

Many states offer grant assistance to the elderly. The money for the grants is provided by a number of organizations and the federal government. Those who need help can apply through a state agency. New York State provides grants to help seniors pay for their prescription medication. Connecticut grants allow the elderly to move into high-quality group housing. The options available in each state can be found by checking the Department of Social Services or the state website.

Grants from Foundations

Foundations are always on the lookout for groups and individuals that offer health, housing and educational assistance to the elderly. The database provided by The Foundation Center allows seniors to search and apply for the grants that they need.

The foundation grant opportunities available include the following:

• MetLife Foundation. This organization focuses on healthy aging and Alzheimer's research. Groups can offer proposals and apply for funding over the internet. The foundation will then request further information if it is interested in a proposal.

• Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. Grants are issued based on the well being and daily living of senior citizens. Proposals are submitted by invitation only. Unsolicited proposals are not considered. While this organization awards millions in grants each year, it will stop all grant activity in the year 2022.

• Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. This organization awards numerous grants for the care and support of seniors. Anyone who has a proposal must first send a letter and then adhere to strict submission guidelines.

• AARP Foundation. AARP focuses on non-profit groups that provide financial assistance to low-income seniors. This can be in the form of food, housing, medical care, and income. It can also help with keeping seniors in touch with their families, contemporaries, and community. The foundation requests proposals several times each year. Those who are interested can send an inquiry online.

• Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The mission of this foundation is to improve the quality of life and health of people from all age groups. It does extend a large number of grants to colleges, organizations and other entities that are tax-exempt and have a focus on elderly care.

Obtaining Senior Grants

Any individual or organization can apply for a grant. It takes preparation, research, effort and time. In some cases, a person or group may have to apply for several grants at the same time. It may take years before any funds are awarded. What matters is good the grants can do for both senior citizens and the communities in which they live.