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
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF AGING (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 Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) trains providers on Older Americans Act program requirements and Ohio’s rules for home modification and repair. They have incorporated strategies into the ODA State Plan to research how funding is being used for home modification and to pilot innovative programs that utilize various professions to provide in-home assessments and identify modifications that are needed to allow individuals to remain at home. Program(s) with home modification or repairs include.
1. Medicaid Waiver Program (PASSPORT)
Program Description: Ohio’s PASSPORT Medicaid Waiver program provides Medicaid-eligible older Ohioans with long-term services and supports (including home modifications) to stay in their homes or other community settings, rather than enter nursing homes, when appropriate. In 2019, the Department of Aging and Ohio Department of Medicaid aligned the rules governing home modifications to ensure the standards for service delivery are the same across all Medicaid Waivers serving individuals with a nursing facility level of care.
Population Served: Ohioans age 60 or older; financially eligible and frail enough for Medicaid institutional care; and able to remain safely at home.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF MEDICAID
Ohio Home Care Waiver Program
Program Description: This Medicaid Waiver program helps individuals with physical disabilities and unstable medical conditions receive care in their homes and communities instead of nursing facilities, hospitals or rehabilitation facilities. The program offers the home modification service and the home maintenance and chore service up to 180 days prior to an individual’s transition from an institutional setting and enrollment on the waiver.
Population Served: Individuals with physical disabilities and unstable medical conditions to receive care in their homes and communities instead of nursing facilities, hospitals or rehabilitation facilities.
OHIO DEVELOPMENT SERVICES AGENCY
1. Ohio Housing Trust Fund
Program Description: The Ohio Housing Trust Fund is a flexible state funding source focused on providing affordable housing opportunities, expanding housing services, and improving housing conditions for low-income Ohioans and families. Among a range of housing activities, it supports emergency home repairs and accessibility modifications.
Population Served: Low-income working Ohioans.
2. Housing Assistance Grant Program
Program Description: The Housing Assistance Grant Program assists homeowners with staying in their homes by providing emergency home repairs and renovations for accessibility. The program also has limited funding available. Its goal is to promote affordable housing opportunities and improve housing conditions for low-income families and individuals primarily through emergency home repair and limited down payment assistance. Grant funds are provided through the Ohio Housing Trust Fund.
Population Served: Low- and moderate-income Ohioans.
OHIO STATE ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM
Ohio’s A.T. Act Program, Assistive Technology of Ohio, through Ohio State University
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.
OHIO STATE FALL PREVENTION COALITION
Ohio Older Adults Fall Prevention Coalition
For an up to date list of all state fall prevention coalitions, visit: https://www.ncoa.org/resources/list-of-state-falls-prevention-coalitions/