Low Income— how to pay for care

Worried about a relative and how to pay for their care

See Eldercare Financial Assistance Locator  Paying for Senior Care

Check out the Benefits Checklist; See bottom of the page- how to pay for assisted living


from eHOW

  1. Request a senior discount wherever they are available. You will often find discounts at restaurants, coffee shops and cafes, grocery stores, clothing retailers, recreational activities, museums and movie theaters.
  2. Contact your utility, water, phone and cable companies about possibly getting a senior discount or a discount for being a low-income individual.
  3. Apply for nutritional supplement programs that are there to provide healthy meals to seniors who are not able to pay for nutritious foods. Meals on Wheels and SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Plan formerly known as food stamps, are two such programs.
  4. Apply for benefits that are available to help pay for groceries, utilities, medical expenses, transportation and other bills.


From Seniors Love to Know  
How to retire broke and survive


If you are accustomed to eating steak and seafood several times a week, cut back to only a couple of days each week. Choose foods that are less expensive such as pasta and chicken. You can find many recipes for both of these food items so you still have a variety of flavors to enjoy.  Also take advantage of any programs in your community such as free food from the food bank, free meals from churches or shelters.  Also consider Food Stamps and Meals on Wheels.

Choose Inexpensive Activities (i.e. Free)

Instead of going to an expensive show, look for community theatre or college productions. You could also start going to the movies, renting movies for home viewing or find senior centers that have many free or low-cost activities available.   What free activities does YOUR town offer?

Ask for generic drugs

Whenever your doctor writes you a prescription, ask for the generic of the medication.  Also look at the extra help program "Medicare beneficiaries can qualify for Extra Help with their Medicare prescription drug plan costs. The Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $4,000 per year.

See Consumer Reports article

Want to travel?

I use Youth Hostels - they’re not just for young folks. The young folks actually seem to enjoy talking with me, traveling with me (I have some experience and a car) so don’t think they’ll avoid you. On a budget? Look at the Lonely Planet travel guides for free and inexpensive attractions and low budget lodging.

If you can stand moving, consider Section 8 housing.  Do a search or have your librarian search for "section 8 housing in your state”

Use your skills to earn money

If you are physically able, you can babysit.  If you have sewing talent start offering to do mending or alterations for folks.  Can you cook?  Get paid to cook one day a week for a family where both folks work .  Handyman skills?  If you have transportation and a few tools you can do simple jobs like changing a faucet washer, replacing a light fixture, etc.  Make it clear that you only do small jobs.  Can you water someone’s garden or weed it?

HOUSING  from seniorslovetoknow

The housing choice voucher program is operated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and offers rental subsidies to elderly, disabled and low income families. This program was previously known as Section 8 housing.Visit the HUD Income Limits website to find out what the limits are in your state.

USDA Affordable Rural Housing

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides subsidies to more than 15,000 apartment complexes through its Section 515 Multi-Family Housing (MFH) program. Some of these properties are designated specifically for the elderly... All units are located in rural areas across all 50 states.

Use the USDA Multi-Family Housing Rentals search site.

Try your county’s housing authority or council on aging.


Leading Age Pathways A Framework for Addressing American’s Financial Risk for long term services and support