Washington DC’s Safe at Home Program: Helping Seniors Live at Home

Program Overview

The DC Safe at Home Program provides minor home modifications and adaptive equipment to frail seniors and disabled adults, allowing them to continue to live at home, rather than require institutionalization. The program is specifically intended to increase the safety of one’s home by reducing the risk of falls by providing benefits such as shower seats, chair lifts, and the addition of handrails. Private security cameras are an option for some beneficiaries and are meant to deter neighborhood crime, and hence, create a safer neighborhood environment for the program participant.

The Safe at Home Program is a partnership between the DC Office on Aging (DCOA) and the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

 

Eligibility Guidelines

Applicants must be DC residents who are at least 60 years old OR a minimum of 18 years of age and disabled.  Safe at Home is open to homeowners and renters (given the renter has permission from the owner of the home) of single-family homes and apartments. The annual household income must be no greater than 80% of DC’s Area Median Income. As of 2018, this means a single applicant who lives alone can have an annual income up to $60,816 and a married couple can have up to $69,504 / year in income. There are no asset (resource) limits. 

 

Benefits and Services

Program participants are able to receive home modifications and adaptions to increase the safety of one’s home and living environment. The maximum benefit amount is $6,000. The following benefits may be available via Safe at Home:

  • Handrails and Grab Bars
  • Bathtub Cuts (to create walk-in tubs)
  • Shower Seats
  • Furniture Risers (making it easier to get up from beds, sofas, and chairs)
  • Wheelchair Ramps
  • Chair Lifts / Stair Lifts – free quotes for stair-lifts are available here.
  • Bed Transfer Handles
  • Private Security Camera (to increase home security)

 

How to Apply / Learn More

During the application process, an occupational therapist will go to the home to assess what modifications / adaptations are necessary for the program applicant. Additional program information can be found on the DCOA website. One can also reach the Safe at Home Program at 202-724-5626 to learn more or to apply.