Available Grants for Senior Citizens

Updated December 29, 2018
Group of senior citizens in discussion

There is a wide variety of grants for older adults available each year. Federal grants for elderly services can meet senior needs for nutrition, education, and housing. Foundations also offer specialized grants for organizations working with seniors supporting education, good health, affordable housing, senior safety, and volunteerism. Keep in mind, however, grants for individuals are few and far between.

Federal Grants for Elderly Programs

Several departments of the government offer federal grants for a variety of different purposes. Federal grants for senior citizens can be found on Federal Grants Wire. Examples of federal grants include:

Capital Assistance Program for Elderly Persons and Persons With Disabilities

The Capital Assistance Program for Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities provides funds for the transportation needs of elderly persons in areas where public transportation services are not available or appropriate.

The Foster Grandparent Program

The Foster Grandparent Program is designed to promote volunteer service by persons 55 or older who have limited incomes. Funds are available to support volunteer programs that provide personalized service to children with exceptional or special needs.

Mortgage Insurance-Rental Housing for the Elderly

Mortgage Insurance Rental Housing for the Elderly provides quality rental housing for the elderly. Funds are available for programs which insure mortgage lenders against loss and which increase the number of rental housing opportunities for seniors.

The Nutrition Services Incentive Program

The Nutrition Services Incentive Program provides funds to state agencies on aging and Indian Tribal Organizations to purchase foods and commodities from the United States Department of Agriculture. These goods are to be used for nutrition services programs such as home-delivered meals.

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program issues grants to encourage persons 55 and older to volunteer for community service.

Grants for Low-Income Seniors

Seniors who have a very low income may be eligible for grants specifically designed to assist people in financial need. Check with each issuing authority for eligibility requirements.

USDA Repair Grants

The United States Department of Agriculture provides loans and grants to homeowners for home repair in rural areas who have an annual income that falls below 50% of the area's average annual income. Seniors age 62 and older can apply for grants instead of loans - grants do not have to be paid back as long as the recipient occupies the home for three years after receiving the grant.

Educational Grants

Federal financial aid to attend college is available to everyone who falls within a certain income range, regardless of age. Low-income seniors wanting to return to school should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Grants are available for undergraduate and graduate studies.

Extra Help for Medications

Low-income seniors with Medicare benefits may be eligible for help with prescription medication costs. Though not a one-time grant, this program can save seniors a substantial amount of money annually in medical costs. This program is available through the Social Security Administration.

Grants for Elderly Care

Caregivers may be eligible to receive money in return for caring for an elderly loved one via the Cash and Counseling Program, which pays caregivers instead of supplying professional caregivers to the elderly person. Other grants for elderly care are generally given to organizations - not to individual caregivers. For example, the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation Grant gives funds to organizations providing assistance to the elderly; this is typical of these types of grants.

Free Money for Senior Citizens From State Governments

Portrait of senior woman holding money

You can apply to receive grant money from different states as well. Often, the states get this money from the federal government and organizations and individuals apply to the states to receive the grant. For example, in New York and some other states, you can apply for grant assistance for prescription costs for the elderly. Check your state government website or the Department of Social Services for your state, to see what options might be available.

Foundations Offer Grants for Organizations Supporting Seniors

Many foundations are looking for individuals and groups that provide educational, health, and housing assistance for seniors. The Foundation Center provides a database that you can search for grants specifically for organizations that support senior citizens.

Examples of foundations that provide grants include:

  • The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. provides grants for the support and care of older adults. This foundation gives out a significant number of grants per year. An organization that has a project that they would like to fund would have to submit a letter of inquiry and follow the submission process.
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation aims to improve health for all Americans; however, the organization awards a significant number of grants to organizations, universities, and other tax-exempt entities for the care of the elderly.
  • The MetLife Foundation awards grants to support Alzheimer's research and healthy aging. Organizations may apply online for funding. If the foundation is interested in the proposal, they may request more information.
  • The AARP Foundation provides grants to nonprofits with proposals to assist low-income elderly people with housing, food, income, and personal contacts with family and community. Several times a year, the foundation issues a request for proposals; at this time, interested organizations can apply for a grant online.

Getting Grants for Seniors

If you or your organization would like to apply for a grant, it will require some preparation and effort. You may have to apply for more than one grant at a time or apply for several years before you receive some money. However, the good that you or your organization may be able to do for the elderly with some grant money may make it all worthwhile.

Available Grants for Senior Citizens