I recently had two comments from readers in Oregon and Illinois that indicated that they have been trying unsuccessfully to get a ramp for a loved one in their area. Unfortunately, it again points out that services for the disabled are not available in all areas. In our little Salem County we do have this program, but budget issues prevent all requests from becoming a reality. Both readers that contacted me are desperate because of the needs that their loved ones have, but politicians don’t always support this need through their budgets and non profits can’t always raise the funds to handle the needs.
Program Description reposted from August 2019:
“Habitat for Safe Seniors Free Ramp” Program can provide free handicapped ramps for disabled seniors (especially for low income and fixed income seniors), but due to individual differences in programs throughout our country, these programs may not be funded or available. Where they are available, the wheelchair ramps are often built with the help of volunteers.
Where available and before a wheelchair ramp can be built, a site visit is made by the “Habitat for Safe Seniors Free Ramp” Program to assess the senior’s home environment and detailed need for injury and fall prevention. The “Habitat for Safe Seniors Free Ramp” Program also estimates the financial cost of material, labor, and equipment required to install the free ramp.
After the free wheelchair ramp is installed it allows seniors to live more independently in their own home and can prevent accidents and falls thereby helping elderly to maintain a higher quality of life for a longer period of time. Ramps are crucial for elderly home safety so that in the case of emergency elderly are able to exit the home quickly and safely. Please contact your local government agencies to determine if they have this program in your area. If they don’t, try to gather support in your community to budget the necessary money to make this a reality.
To help support these efforts to raise awareness and funds in your area, some of the reported benefits of free ramps installed for the elderly are listed below :
-Seniors can take more trips to get medical care such as doctor’s visits and dialysis treatments
-Seniors will have increased mobility and more choice in daily activities
-Seniors can reconnect with their friends and communities
-Seniors can access social service programs
-Seniors are supported to age in place and stay in their own communities rather than having to make a decision of moving into costly assisted living facilities
-Ramps are crucial in the case of emergencies so that elderly and emergency personnel are able to enter and exit the home quickly and safely. The “Habitat for Safe Seniors Free Ramp” Program falls under the “Home Safety and Repair” Program and may provide:
Free home repair assistance for seniors such as adding a step, fixing a handrail, stabilizing loose banisters, and replacing rotted landings, plumbing repairs and more.
Where available and where funded, the “Habitat for Safe Seniors” organization also hosts the following elderly nutrition programs:
–Elderly Nutrition and Food Delivery Program which delivers perishable and non-perishable food to seniors through volunteer deliveries.
-Emergency Food Pantry which provides food for seniors in need.
MORE WHEELCHAIR RAMP AND HOME MODIFICIATION PROGRAMS (where available and where funded):
Habitat for Humanity Critical Home Repair Program – Across the USA. Habitat for Humanity provides subsidized critical home repairs and modifications for seniors to allow them to age in place and for those with disability or low income circumstances. A “Brush with Kindness” Program for exterior home beautification and the “Repair Corps for Veterans” Program is also featured.
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) – Across the USA. Federal program providing weatherization assistance to homeowners with the result of lower energy bills and energy use. US Department of Energy.
How to Build Wheelchair Ramps for Homes Program – Available online.
A manual, DVD video and specifications on how to design and build wheelchair ramps for senior and the handicapped.
Rebuilding Together Safe at Home Modification and Repair Program – Across the USA.Provides critical free home repairs, home modifications and home improvements for low-income seniors, adults and family homeowners.
Certified Aging in Place Specialist Program – Across the USA. Seniors who plan to stay in their homes as they age can call on a team of trusted aging in place specialists in construction, architecture, and interior design who are available to provide seniors with needed aging-in-place home modifications such as ramps to ensure ease of mobility and elderly home safety.
National Directory of Home Modification Repair Resources Program – Across the USA. A directory put together by the National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification of hundreds of home modification contractors and assistance with repair resources.
ElderProofHome.com Gift Card Program – Available online. Gift card for seniors to make home repairs and modifications that they may need, but may be hesitant to pay for by themselves. Home modification and repair safety improvements may be made such as: bathroom bars, safety rails, wheelchair ramps, threshold ramps, walkers, motion sensors, security locks, powered chairs, lift Seats, motion sensor stair lights and much more.