HomeSmart

Home Adaptations for Independent Living

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Safe at Home

Posted on May 19, 2012 at 6:05 PM
   While there are many people who would benefit from home modifications, finding the money to pay for them can be difficult.  Unless one has private funds, is entitled to VA benefits, has a long term care policy that pays for accessibility modifications, or can draw equity out of their home, there is little else that pays for adapting a home for safety and accessibility.   Local governments used to be a source of funding for these projects through Community Development Block Grants (CDBG funds) but today most of that money has dried up.  

   The challenge then is finding resources to help families that need these type of modifications but cannot afford to pay for this work themselves. 

   Rebuilding Together is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization providing critical home repairs, modifications and improvements for America’s low-income homeowners.  Their “Safe at Home” program addresses home repair and maintenance issues that may otherwise present a safety risk or that limit access to or within the home.   

Safe at Home covers a variety of strategies, including:
  • Broaden public awareness and build coalitions around the need for home safety and accessibility modifications
  • Provide training and technical assistance on fall prevention methods and home safety strategies
  • Expand our affiliate network’s core competency in the delivery of home safety interventions
  • Act as an information and referral resource on fall prevention and home safety subjects
  • Advocate for the needs and  of low-income homeowners particularly older adults, people living with disabilities and multi-generational families

   Safe at Home modifications cover fall prevention, fire safety and general safety issues. 
  • Fall prevention:installing grab bars throughout the home, widening doorways for greater access, repairing stairways, handrails, and wheelchair ramps inside and outside the home
  • Fire safety:  installing fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, eliminating electrical hazards, and repairing structural defects
  • General safety:  general safety upgrades and rehabilitative practices to ensure the absolute safety and health of the homeowner

   Rebuilding Together and their affiliates can’t do it all on their own so collaborating with national and local organizations is a critical factor in a holistic approach to service delivery. Community partners include but are not limited to:
  • American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
  • Area Agencies on Aging and National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a)
  • National Council on Aging (NCOA)
  • National Home Builders – Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist program (NAHB)
  • Home Safety Council (HSC)
  • AARP
  • American Society on Aging (ASOA)
  • Local city and county Health and Elderly Service Agencies and Centers
 
   Look for your local chapter of Rebuilding Together and find out more on their website: http://rebuildingtogether.org/whatwedo/how-we-help/safehomes


 Susan Luxenberg
 President
 HomeSmart LLC


Categories: Other Resources

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