Archive for July, 2011

How to fund home modifications for seniors and people with disabilities in New York?

Monday, July 25th, 2011 by admin

Hello, everyone! Today we will be initiating a three weeks series about how to fund home modifications. One of the main obstacles to the implementation of home modifications is finding the money to fund these projects. Now, I would like to make a clarification about home modifications, because working in the field I have come across people who only relates home modifications with grab bars and ramps. Yes, they are part of home modifications; however, home modifications can be as simple as changing the type of light bulbs used in the residence or as complex as incorporating an elevator inside a home. Therefore, the amount of money needed to cover a home modification project can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. That being said, let’s talk about ways to obtain these funds:

1.HUD Community Development Block Grants (CDBGs)
This is a major grant provided by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The funds are normally provided to each state and large cities like New York City get an entitlement, instead of having to compete for the funds. Specific governmental agencies within the state oversee allocation of these funds to eligible communities and non for profit organizations. The funds can be used for residential repairs and improvement. In order to find out how to access these funds in New York City, contact NY Office of Community Renewal or click on the link http://www.dhcr.state.ny.us/Programs/RESTORE/.

2.Medicaid
Thanks in part to the soaring health care cost new and improved programs have been designed to help seniors and people with disabilities to opt for home care, when applicable, over institutionalized care. Programs such Lombardi/ LTHHCP, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Waiver as well as New York State Transition & Diversion Waiver (NHTDW), cover home modification services as well as assistive technology and durable medical equipment. For more information click on the link
http://wnylc.com/health/entry/129/

3.Social security Act
New York State Office of Children and Family Services serves as the title xx agency for New York State. It provides funds to cover housing improvement services for frail older adults to maintain community residency. This financial assistance is provided in small amounts and sometimes it can be provided to individuals already receiving some type of public assistance. For more information, click on the link http://www.nyc.gov/html/dfta/html/home/home.shtml

4.VA benefits
The Department of Veteran Affairs has established a series of programs geared towards aiding veterans and service members who are disabled to live independent at home. The Specially Adapted Housing Program or (SAH) provides financial and technical assistance to service members in order to buy a new accessible home or re-structured an existing one. The VA also offers a Home Improvement and Structural Alterations benefit, or (HISA) in order to cover the cost of alterations made to an existing home to make it handicapped accessible. Furthermore, The VA also provides guaranteed loans and grants to help cover the cost of remodeling projects, and home purchases when they exceed the funds provided by the (SAH) program. For more information get in contact with the VA Field Office where veterans claims records are located. To contact a SAH agent for New York, follow the link below.
http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/sahagent.asp

Next week as we continue to shed light in obtaining funds to perform home modification, we will talk about more sources of public, private assistance and tax benefits.

Miller Calberto, MS, OTR/L, CAPS
Senior partner
Adapting Spaces, LLC
mcalbertotr@adaptingspaces.com
1888-956-0077

Occupational therapy: A secret no more

Monday, July 4th, 2011 by admin

Hello, everyone! Today, I want to share with you a very nice article that was written about the role of occupational therapy in home modifications. It also highlights the role that occupational therapy plays in other emerging areas of practice. The article may be lengthy, but well worth reading, enjoy it and happy 4th of July.