County gives eligible seniors property tax breaks up to $32,000 & half off sewer bills
Absalom Jones Senior Center -- run by the county with no membership fees -- offers cultural, education, physical activities, transportation, hot lunch for a small fee and full range of services
“55+ Lifestyles Centers” with free membership at multiple sites, offer health/fitness programs, social and informational activities, trip discounts
Special annual picnic, sports including golf & softball, other programs organized for seniors-only
Senior Roll Call Lifeline makes free daily calls credited with saving many lives
County run programs provide federal home repair grants & loans, other services
New Castle County provides up to $32,000 in property tax exemptions for eligible residents who are 65 or older and discounts up to 50 percent on sewer bills.
The Department of Community Services provides a wide array of senior programs and services.
Repair and grant programs provide eligible seniors with federal funds first-come, first-served.
The Senior Minor Home Repair Program gives grants of $500-$2,500 for minor home repairs focused on health, safety and security. Those needing more extensive repairs to stay in their homes may be eligible for no-interest deferred Senior Home Repair Loans. The Emergency Home Repair Loan Program provides eligible seniors no-interest, possibly deferred loans up to $5,000 to fix problems such as unsafe wiring or severe roof damage.
The Architectural Accessibility Program provides grants of $500-$5,000 to enhance home safety with medically necessary needs such as wheelchair ramps or bathroom grab bars.
The county’s Absalom Jones Senior Center charges no membership fees and offers services including hot lunch for a nominal donation. It has games and other activities, a book and video lending library, caregiver information, health programs and trips from local outings – such as for banking or shopping -- to low-cost bus trips to destinations including Baltimore and New York City. The center’s clubs cover interests from chess to crochet and shuffleboard to drama.
Many senior fitness programs are offered at multiple sites, from water aerobics to Tai Chi. Other programs especially designed for seniors include health fairs, dance socials, legal assistance, tax help, money management, driver safety, information and referral.
Pick-up and drop-off transportation is provided for many programs.
Absalom Jones, Garfield Park Community Recreation Center and Hockessin Community Recreation Center are sites of the county’s “55+ Lifestyles Centers,” all with free membership.
Members also get free registration in many county programs that are open to the public for fees, along with other activities and benefits, such as out-of-state trip discounts. Programs specifically for seniors – and those with physical challenges -- also are held at various sites.
The county’s Hockessin Library has provided large-print books for more than 20 years to Cokesbury Village and the Masonic Home near Hockessin. Every four months, a new selection of 100 books is delivered, with the nearby Genesis Care Center added to the program in 2011.
For the homebound, the Book Buddy Program volunteers make monthly deliveries of books and other library materials. Seniors are encouraged to volunteer with this and other programs such as “Rewire to be Rehired,” a job-readiness program for the unemployed and under-employed.
Among the county’s many special events for older residents, none outshines the Platinum Picnic, a day full of music, dancing, door prizes and other activities. Everything is free, except a $5 for the big buffet. The longtime event each June draws hundreds of seniors, many using the annual gathering as a reunion with their friends.
The county also sponsors sports such as indoor softball, senior nine-hole golf leagues and softball practice – all for those 50+ -- and softball leagues just for those 58 and older.
Another county service is Senior Roll Call Lifeline. This free program calls registered seniors daily to make sure they’re safe. If they do not answer, they are called back, then emergency contacts are called – or 911 if needed. The program is credited with saving many seniors’ lives.
Senior Roll Call is offered in partnership with county police, while other county programs are in cooperation with the federal government or other groups such as AARP, with which the county collaborates on “New Castle County Services for Delawareans 50+” an easy reference guide to programs, services and important referral phone numbers—with print and online versions.
From reading to repair funds and dance class to daily phone calls, New Castle County remains committed to providing residents 50 or older a wide variety of options for better living.