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
VERMONT DISABILITIES, AGING AND INDEPENDENT LIVING (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. Program(s) with home modification or repairs include:
1. Choices for Care Program
Program Description: Choices for Care provides a package of long-term services and supports to individuals age 18 and older who meet the nursing home level of care. Services may be received in one’s setting of choice: a participant’s home or family’s home, an Adult Family Care home, Enhanced Residential Care or a nursing facility. All individuals who receive services in a home-based option may receive home modifications. Case managers work with the individual to identify the home modifications that maintain their health, safety, wellbeing and independence at home. Covered modifications include grab bars, ramps, raised toilet seats, and widened doorways. Total purchases may not exceed $777 per calendar year per individual.
Population Served: Participants must meet a clinical and financial eligibility for long-term care Medicaid in Vermont.
2. Falls Free Vermont
Program Description: The Vermont State Unit on Aging has co-chaired the statewide Falls Free Vermont coalition for the past three years, working alongside other state agencies and community-based organizations to raise
awareness of falls, expand programs and resources to prevent falls (including home safety and home modifications), increase surveillance of falls, and advocate for support.
Population Served: Older adults and people with disabilities in Vermont at-risk of falls.
3. One Touch
Program Description: Through a partnership with the Vermont Department of Health, the Vermont State Unit on Aging promotes a pilot program called “One Touch” in which experts who are called to a home for weatherization are able to do a falls risk screening and make simple modifications during the visit. Population Served: Low-income families receiving energy upgrades with added health and social services.
VERMONT STATE ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM
Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living Assistive Technology Program
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.
VERMONT STATE FALL PREVENTION COALITION
Falls Free Vermont (see description above)
For an up to date list of all state fall prevention coalitions, visit: https://www.ncoa.org/resources/list-of-state-falls-prevention-coalitions/