Approximately one-half of states have financial assistance programs, sometimes called nursing home diversion programs, whose objective is to prevent the unnecessary institutionalization of the elderly (in nursing homes paid for by Medicaid). To that end, these programs will help pay for home modifications that enable elderly and disabled persons to remain living in their homes. In addition to helping seniors pay for environmental accessibility adaptations (formal language for home modifications), some of these programs help pay for assistive technologies (formal language for durable medical equipment).
Typically, the types of modifications covered by these programs include the addition of the following:
- Wheelchair ramps
- Bathroom re-models
- Installing stair-lifts
- Doorway widening
- Kitchen modifications
These programs may include grants or loans, or sometimes a combination of grants and loans is provided.
Each state’s program has different eligibility requirements. Clicking on the program name below will take visitors to a detailed program page, which discusses eligibility and benefits. Generally speaking, there are the following types of eligibility requirements.
- Persons must be elderly or disabled.
- Persons must be living at home, renting a home, or living in the home of a caregiver. Stated otherwise, they cannot be eligible if they reside in assisted living or a nursing home.
- Persons must have annual or monthly income within the program’s limits. Some programs also consider the applicant’s total financial resources (their “countable assets”).
List of Programs
It is unfortunate that not every state offers assistance programs. Many of those that do offer assistance do so only for care services and not for home safety modifications. However, at last review as of September 2019, there were 44 programs in 27 different states and the District of Columbia. The following state based programs provide some level of financial assistance or services to help the elderly make home modifications to allow them to remain living in their homes. Some programs listed here provide financial assistance, but not for a specific purpose. Click on any of the program names to learn more.