Older Pennsylvanians are sometimes unaware of the resources available to them and those who may be caring for them. These older citizens are often eligible for a plethora of local and state resources but lack the knowledge on how to apply for programs.
Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Robert Torres has announced the release of the 2022 Benefits and Rights for Older Pennsylvanians, the commonwealth's premier guide for information and resources serving older adults on the state and local level.
Some of the topics included in the book are: Insurance, Legal Services, Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, Protective Services.
This year's book also features an expanded section on housing programs with details on Shared Housing and Resource Exchange (SHARE) and Elder Cottage Housing Opportunity (ECHO).
Individuals can obtain the 2022 Benefits and Rights book at their county Area Agency on Aging (in Delaware County that would be COSA-who also has Spanish versions available) or the office of their state senator and representative. The book can also be viewed and downloaded online on the department's website.
Starting February 1st, Pennsylvania homeowners who are struggling due to the pandemic can apply for federal assistance to keep them from losing their homes.
Pennsylvania has received $350 million through the federal Homeowners Assistance Fund under the American Rescue Plan Act.
These funds will be a much-needed lifeline.
Information on eligibility criteria and how to apply can be found at pahaf.org.
To view a PAHAF fact sheet, click here.
To view a PAHAF application checklist, click here.
Beginning in January 2022, 3G wireless networks are scheduled to shut down. If you have an older phone, you might want to check with your service provider.
The Federal Communications Commission has created a guide you can view for additional information and resources.
Older adults and low-income individuals may qualify for Emergency Broadband Benefit help.
In light of the growing number of evictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the PA Department of Human Services is administering the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). This program provides assistance in paying rent, past-due rent balances, current and past-due utility and home energy costs, and other eligible expenses. Applications can be submitted through COMPASS or hard-copy. Application and income eligibility guidelines can be viewed by clicking below.
Click here for application form.
Click here to view income guidelines by county.
Villanova University has developed a ReachOut program in an effort to decrease the feeling of social isolation among seniors. The program partners student volunteers and older adults to participate in weekly telephone calls to engage in social discussion. Calls continue weekly or at a mutually agreed upon frequency.
Villanova ReachOut has received excellent feedback from both the volunteers and their older adult partners.
If you are, or know of, a senior who would benefit from this program, referrals can be made by email at [email protected] or by calling 610-519-5969.
You may also complete an online referral form here.
Many seniors regularly face loneliness or isolation and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it worse. With the closure of places of social activity and social distancing guidelines, many seniors are finding it difficult not spending time with family and friends. Social isolation and loneliness can lead to depression as well as other health problems.
Some seniors do not have the technology to stay connected with others. Some may not know how to utilize the technology.
Below are a few free or low-cost resources to help seniors stay connected.
Free cellphone service: www.truconnect.com, www.assurancewireless.com
Free or low-cost internet service
Click here to read about the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a temporary FCC program to help families and households struggling to afford broadband internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Equipment borrowing program: TechOWL For Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia counties, contact Jule Ann Lieberman at 800-204-7428, 215-204-5967 or email [email protected]
Other resources: https://greatcall.com/phones/lively-flip-cell-phone-for-seniors
Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA) Four Year Plan for the period July 1, 2020-June 30, 2024.
View COSA’s 4-Year Plan
The County of Delaware and COSA want to assure the public that we are doing everything possible to keep residents safe and healthy.
We ask that everyone keep in mind the elderly and those who are most vulnerable to suffer the most if contracting the virus. Check on your elderly neighbors and offer to help in any way you are able.
If you are a senior or know of a senior who would benefit from a friendly phone call from a COSA staff member to check on your/their well-being or to discuss your concerns, call 610-490-1300.
The County of Delaware has a special page on their website dedicated to the latest Coronavirus news. Information can be found at www.delcopa.gov and click on the button marked "Coronavirus".
Several grocery stores in our area are adjusting their hours to allow seniors their own time to shop during this pandemic.
Click here to view more information.
Click here to visit the PA Department of Health's dedicated Coronavirus webpage.
Click here to view the PA Department of Aging's resource guide.
Click here to view the National Alliance on Mental Illness COVID-19 guide.
Information on Economic Impact Payments can be found here.
Click here to view AARP's Guide to Protect Your Home from the Coronavirus.
Click here to view the PA Council on Aging's interactive guide with information and resources to help older adults cultivate a healthy mind, body and spirit amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to view in Spanish.
Please email [email protected] for this service. If you do not have access to email, call 215-900-2519.
Currently, this program does not include prescription pick-up. If you are in need of prescription refills from a local pharmacy, please consider the following options. Click here.
The Senate Aging Committee has released its 2020 Fraud Book. The book includes tips on how to avoid scams, lists the top ten scams targeting our nation's seniors, and lists fraud resources.
To view the book, click here.