According to the most recent NJ census estimates, there are roughly 1.292 million senior citizens in New Jersey that are age 65 or older. This accounts for about 15 percent of the total population when you break down NJ population by age. Senior citizens in NJ face a lot of problems, however; over half a million of that population are living alone, aging in place, or in a two-person household. Of that number, many are reporting they are not receiving enough to meet their basic needs. Read on to learn more about services for the aging and other related programs, especially for senior citizens in NJ.
Senior Citizens in NJ: Why Aging Population Is a Problem
An emerging aging society is a potential problem because you have a significant number of retirees who simply haven’t been able to save enough for retirement and are now falling below the poverty line depending on Social Security benefits alone. If you’re wondering, “what age is considered a senior citizen in New Jersey,” it is age 65 and over, and this is also the age when Social Security and Medicare benefits begin. However, it is often not enough for senior citizens in NJ to run a household on, and many seniors must look to senior services in NJ for help. Often, the elderly are also experiencing failing health or other health concerns, so even acquiring a part-time job after age 65 to help with bills and costs is an impossibility.
Senior Citizens in NJ: Senior Housing in NJ and Other Programs
Senior citizens in NJ looking for more affordable housing options are urged to contact their local NJ Aging & Disability Resource Connection/Area Agency on Aging (ADRC/AAA) office. Keep in mind this is different than the Department of Aging in NJ office. There is a different ADRC/AAA office for every county in New Jersey, but seniors can always be directed to their local office by calling the statewide toll-free number at (877) 222-3737.
The Department of Aging, however, is the best resource for all other types of inquiries, whether you need help with legal assistance, have questions about food stamps (SNAP), respite care, local seniors centers, or any other type of question. Some of the services that are available for the aging population in NJ include:
- Meals on Wheels
- NJ Save (helps low-income seniors with Medicare payments and prescription costs)
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) (helps low-income seniors and others with heating and cooling payments, and can provide emergency fuel assistance)
- NJ Find-A-Ride (helps with trip planning)
- The Division of Deaf and Hard of Hearing can help seniors with low-cost hearing aids if they are deaf or have hearing loss
There are also many other programs and services offered through the Department of Aging or ADRC/AAA not listed above for senior citizens in NJ.
Senior Citizens in NJ: When You Need Legal Assistance
Aging in America can be tough, and sometimes you need programs that can help with legal assistance, or you’ve been the victim of fraud or identity theft and are not sure how to handle it. The Department of Aging can help with this as well, but there are certain departments senior citizens in NJ can contact. To reach the general Department of Aging number in NJ, dial (877)222-3737 to be connected to the right department. Some of the legal services provided include:
- Services through the Office of the Public Guardian for Elderly Adults. This program is for those 60 and over who have been deemed incapacitated by a judge and unable to make their own health or legal decisions. This office can help make decisions on their behalf.
- Legal Services of New Jersey. This office provides low- and no-cost legal services to low-income residents, including seniors, who require legal assistance.
- The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs offers an Anti-Fraud Toolkit for senior citizens in NJ so they can protect themselves against Social Security fraud, internet fraud, and other scams.
To learn more about senior citizens in NJ and available programs, or to learn more about mobility products that can be life-changing, such as wheelchair ramps or stair lifts, contact Williams Lift Co. today. We want both caregivers and their patients or loved ones to live their best lives.