Aging residents in the Berks County-Reading area, like seniors everywhere, are becoming more inclined to stay in their homes as long as possible instead of moving to other communities. Often, this decision entails not only finding home care specialists if necessary, but modifying home facilities to meet changing needs. This does cost money, and there are financial programs available to help fund home modifications and improvements. Here are a few options. As always, Attorney Scott C. Painter, P.C., can help with veterans benefits and senior asset protections and planning.
Disability housing grants for Veterans
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers housing grants for Veterans and service members with certain service-connected disabilities so they can buy or change a home to meet their needs and live more independently. Changing a home might involve installing ramps or widening doorways. Find out if you’re eligible for a disability housing grant—and how to apply, at va.gov/housing-assistance/disability-housing-grants/.
The Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology Grant Program
There are many emerging technologies that could improve home adaptations and enhance a Veteran’s or Servicemember’s ability to live independently, such as voice-recognition and voice-command operations, living environment controls, and adaptive feeding equipment. VA has defined “new assistive technology” as an advancement that could aid or enhance the ability of a Veteran or Servicemember to live in an adapted home. benefits.va.gov/homeloans/sahat.asp
Medicaid Home & Community-Based Services 1915(c)
Within broad Federal guidelines, States can develop home and community-based services waivers (HCBS Waivers) to meet the needs of people who prefer to get long-term care services and support in their home or community, rather than in an institutional setting. Pennsylvania’s Community HealthChoices (CHC) Waiver provides many services for adults with physical disabilities. More information is available here: dhs.pa.gov/HealthChoices/HC-Services/Pages/CHC-Main.aspx.
Non-Medicaid government assistance
HUD Title I Property Improvement Loan Program Title I loans can also be used to make improvements for accessibility to a disabled person such as remodeling kitchens and baths for wheelchair access, lowering kitchen cabinets, installing wider doors and exterior ramps, etc. hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh/title/sfixhs
USDA Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants This 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. rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-programs/single-family-housing-repair-loans-grants
Other local agencies, such as the Area Agency on Aging (co.berks.pa.us/dept/aging/Pages/default.aspx), can help direct you to local resources.
Nonprofit organizations, such as Rebuilding Together, can be helpful.
For more detailed explanations and options, visit payingforseniorcare.com/home-modifications/how-to-pay-for-home-mods.
The law office of elder law attorney Scott C. Painter, P.C., is located in Wyomissing (outside of Reading, PA, in Berks County), and offers trusted legal services in the areas of elder law, including nursing home planning, trust and estate services, and veterans benefits. Scott C. Painter is a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA®), and he is also a member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).
If you have an issue or question, we encourage you to call us. With legal matters, time is of the essence. Call us for a consultation at 610-378-5140. The $300 consultation fee is waived if Attorney Painter is retained to perform services.