The Safe at Home Program Provides Home Modifications to Reduce Falls and Barriers to Mobility
Washington, D.C - A 2010 AARP survey found that 88% of individuals over 65 want to remain in their current homes for as long as possible. Yet to safely stay in their homes and avoid falls, they may need to modify their homes with grab bars, a second hand rail for stairs, a shower seat or other adaptations. Similarly, home modifications can be crucial to enable nursing home residents to return safely to their homes. The cost of home modifications is substantially less than the cost of medical care for a fall injury or the cost of nursing home care. Yet, many low-income seniors cannot afford the costs of home modifications. To address these issues, the District of Columbia is launching the Safe at Home Program.
AARP’s DC State Office and AARP’s Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE) advocated for the District to help low-income seniors and people with disabilities obtain needed home modifications. The organizations met with the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development and Office on Aging to assist with developing the Safe at Home Program, and also supported passage of the Safe at Home bill.
The program launched on January 4, 2016. It serves both homeowners and renters and provides up to $10,000 in grants for each senior or person with a disability. The program includes an assessment by an occupational therapist who will then recommend home repairs and modifications specific to each senior or individual with disabilities. The Safe at Home pilot is a part of a strategic plan to make the District more age-friendly.
Seniors and individuals with disabilities can apply for Safe at Home services by calling 202-638-0050 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org