Nearly all of us want to live in our homes for as long as possible. Most older Americans simply do not want to move. I can relate to this notion. As I hit my senior years, I want to stay in my home for as long as possible, too. According to AARP, approximately 90 percent of seniors intend to continue living in their current homes for the next five to 10 years
Many of our blogs have focused on changes that should be made to your home if your desire to live safely and comfortably in a home that is not always built with accessibility issues in mind.
For example, in April, we posted a blog called. “Five Fall Prevention Components to Insist Upon in a New Home Build or Remodel.”
One of the issues – and a big one for most of us – is financing the remodeling of your home that will allow you to be safe and keep safe. Not all changes cost money. Removing tripping hazards can be done with little or no cost. Simply, identify and remove items such as throw rugs and extension cords from pathways. However, larger scale remodeling to a bathroom or kitchen can be a heavy hit to the budget.
Mike LaBombard, co-founder of AIP Builders, wrote a blog in 2014 called, “Funding Resources for Accessibility Remodeling” with the following funding ideas:
Contact banks, as well as local credit unions, to see what kind of programs they have for home renovations, or if they have any specifically for accessibility. Mike provided links to two programs: Paying For Senior Care’s Financial Assistance Locator and Wells Fargo’s Home Renovation Loan program.
Safety In Place notes that some seniors have worked with their bank or mortgage lender to acquire a reverse mortgage.
States and local government may offer grants or very affordable loans to individuals who meet certain criteria. For example, the USDA Rural Development Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants, also known as the Section 504 Home Repair program, provides loans to very-low-income homeowners to repair, improve or modernize their homes or grants to elderly very-low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards. The US Department of Veterans Affairs provides Housing Grants for Disabled Veterans.
Great Nonprofits is a directory of charities and nonprofits that provides a good starting point for contacting the right people to help with your accessibility renovation. If you're a Veteran or involved with the Military, the Wounded Warrior Project has gained significant popularity and has received good reviews from those who have accepted assistance already.
A less traditional, but growing form of funding is through a crowdfunding website. Crowdfunding is a way to fund certain projects or ventures by gathering small amounts of money from a lot of individuals via the internet. Some of the most popular websites to use are GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and YouCaring.com. For additional sites visit Top Ten List and explore more crowdfunding avenues.
When you feel that your efforts just aren't panning out, create a video, start blogging, share your story on social media - just find any avenue you can to share your story to the masses. With a little luck, your story will strike a chord with someone who can help improve your situation.
Safety In Place is grateful to Mike LaBombard of AIP Builders in Northfield, MA, for assembling this information about resources for senior aging-in-place remodeling. As Mike says, keep trying in your pursuit of resources that will allow you to remain safely and comfortably in your home.