Hi Keith, I’ve read your past annarbor.com articles regarding aging in place and I agree, I’m not ready to move into an assisted living facility. I can live in my home independently but need a few home modifications. As I get older, I’m having a more difficult time getting around my home. I’m on a fixed budget so… what do you recommend in order for me to stay in my home as long as I possibly can or until I grow up?
Esther M. Ypsilanti
As I continue to watch the trends in the remodeling market, I assure you that you are not alone. The good news is that because of the trend there are many more options for you than there was just five or ten years ago.
May is “Older Americans Month”, a perfect opportunity to show our appreciation for the older adults in our community. Since 1963, across the United States, many communities have joined in the annual commemoration of this event—a proud tradition that shows our commitment to celebrating the contributions and achievements of older Americans. In my opinion, the greatest generation that’s ever lived!
In fact, the theme for Older Americans Month 2012—Never Too Old to Play!—
Home improvement manufacturing companies are focusing on helping older Americans in your situation, commonly known as Universal Design. According to the AARP, 74% of older homeowners prefer to age in place. In fact, there is a reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, the landmark law that supports Meals on Wheels and other in-home programs for seniors. Originally enacted in 1965, the Older American Act was the first initiative by the federal government to help seniors remain independent in their homes and communities.
There are many adaptable modifications which can help anyone in your condition stay in the home of your choice,
- Add grab bars and or railings at key spots throughout your home
- Modify door handles and faucets for easier grip
- Modify kitchen cabinet hardware
- Transition ramps or Entrance Ramps to eliminate trip hazards at entry ways
- Bathing solutions including barrier free showers and walk-in tubs
- And more……………….
According to Jennifer Todd, Senior Program Developer for Pittsfield Senior Center, “One of the best resources to help seniors is the 2011 Senior Resource Directory for Washtenaw County. You can find resources for legal, transportation, Housing Bureau for Seniors etc. You can download a copy at http://www.csswashtenaw.org/ go to the bottom of the page and click on Resources and Links or call 734-822-2117. Also, many other resources will be available at their Spring Checkout at the Pittsfield Township Senior Center on Wednesday 9:30 am – 2:00pm Wednesday May 30th. Call Jennifer for more details 734-822-2117.
Other resources to help you:
Center for Independent Living is also a great resource at http://ncil.org/
Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program Website: http://www.mmapinc.org/ Contact Email: email@example.com Information Phone: (517) 886-1029 National Toll Free Phone: (800) 803-7174 Description: This program provides free health benefit counseling services to those aged 65 and older, those who are Medicare beneficiaries due to disability, and their families.
Legal Hotline for Michigan Seniors www.legalhotlineonline.org Information Phone : (517) 372-5959 Description : Provides free legal advice for MI residents 60+;.
Area Agency on Aging 1-B (AAA 1-B) Address :29100 Northwestern Highway Suite 400 SouthfieldWebsite : http://www.aaa1b.com Contact Email : I&A@aaa1b.com Information Phone : (800) 852-7795 Description : Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP). Trained counselors provide information and counseling on Medicare and Medicaid issues and assist with evaluating supplemental and long term care insurance policies.
Special Notes : Serves older adults, persons with disabilities and their caregivers in Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair and Washtenaw Counties.
The National Aging Information and Referral Support Center The Center offers training, technical assistance, product development and consultation to the aging network. Website: http://www.nasuad.org/I_R/ir_index.html
For additional Funding sources contact your local Veterans Administration, Medicaid, or Contact the National Council on Independent Living Center at http://www.ncil.org/.
If any readers know of or have used any other sources, do not hesitate to comment as there are more in need than sources available.
Before having any home modifications completed, visit National Association of Home Builders at nahb.org and search for Certified Aging in Place Specialists who are trained in Universal Design to help you live in your home. They have been trained to update your home as you age. Keep in mind you do not have to have your home completely remodeled now. You should have a current, one year, two year, five year, ten year and twenty year plan.
Paul is a State of Michigan Licensed Builder. Paul serves as President and founding member of HandyPro Handyman Service and nationally franchised HandyPro International A Senior Modification and Handyman Services. Ranked #1 in category by Entrepreneur magazine 2014. 800-942-6394 handypro.com.