Home Modification and Repairs for Older Adults: Challenges and Opportunities for State Units on Aging: This report by the USC Fall Prevention Center of Excellence and ADvancing States reports on a national survey
MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES: DIVISION OF AGING AND ADULT SERVICES (State Unit on Aging)
State Units on Aging (SUAs) are designated state-level agencies that develop and administer state plans that advocate for and provide assistance, including home modifications or repairs, to older residents, their families, and adults with physical disabilities. SUAs administer funds, including Older Americans Act funds, which may be used to support home modification or repair services through local Area Agencies on Aging and other state and local entities.
The Mississippi Division of Aging and Adult Services partners with the Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program to weatherize hundreds of homes annually, which increases the energy efficiency to lower energy costs. It also conducts health and safety measures in homes, and makes referrals to other organizations if a family needs additional services not covered by the Weatherization Program.
MISSISSIPPI STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: FALL PREVENTION PROGRAM
Program Description: The Mississippi State Department of Health provides the evidence-based falls management program, A Matter of Balance, across the state at no cost to participants. This 8-week group training equips older adults with ways to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels. Participants set goals to increase activity, engage in exercise to increase strength and balance, and learn how to change their environment through home modifications to reduce fall risk factors.
Population Served: Ambulatory older adults age 60 years and older who have fallen in the past and seek to reduce fall risks.
MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES: COMMUNITY SERVICES
The Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program
Program Description: This program is designed to increase the energy efficiency, health and safety of the homes of older adults and people with disabilities. Services include installing insulation, weather stripping, caulking, and furnace repair/replacement. Services are performed by local community action agencies which can also provide additional services according to the programs they administer.
Population Served: Mississippi residents age 18 or older who meet income eligibility requirements.
MISSISSIPPI DIVISION OF MEDICAID: MEDICAID WAIVERS
1. Elderly and Disabled Waiver
Program Description: This waiver program is administered by the Office of Long Term Care to provide home and community-based services via a case management team to individuals ages 21 years and older. Home accessibility adaptations may be included as a Community Transition Service that is non-recurring as a set-up expense for transitioning from a nursing facility to a community setting.
Population Served: Beneficiaries must qualify for Medicaid as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries or meet the income and resource eligibility requirements for income level up to 300% of the SSI federal benefit rate and meet medical criteria of the program.
2. Independent Living Waiver
Program Description: The Independent Living Waiver, a home and community-based waiver, is limited to individuals age 16 years old or older, who have severe orthopedic and/or neurological impairments. The waiver includes environmental accessibility adaptations as a possible service to beneficiaries.
Population Served: Medicaid-eligible individuals 16 years or older who have severe orthopedic and/or neurological impairments. See website for other criteria.
3. Traumatic Brain Injury/ Spinal Cord Injury (TBI/SCI) Waiver
Program Description: The TBI/SCI Waiver, a home and community-based waiver, is limited to individuals who are Medicaid-eligible and have a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury and are medically stable. The waiver includes environmental accessibility adaptations service to beneficiaries.
Population Served: Medicaid-eligible individuals who have experienced a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury.
MISSISSIPPI STATE ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM
Mississippi Project START (Success Through Assistive Rehabilitative Technology) is the federally funded Assistive Technology Act Program for the State of Mississippi and operates under the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration of Community Living.
The State Assistive Technology Grant Program, funded under the Assistive Technology Act of 2004, supports comprehensive, statewide programs in each state that improve the provision of assistive technology (often home modification-related) to individuals with disabilities of all ages.