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
WASHINGTON STATE AGING AND LONG-TERM SUPPORT ADMINISTRATION (ALTSA) (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) that include home modification or repairs include:
1. Medicaid Waivers
Program Description: The Washington State Unit on Aging (ALTSA) contracts with 13 Area Agencies on Aging to maintain a statewide Medicaid provider network to serve clients who are eligible for Medicaid long-term services and supports. Medicaid Waiver programs include: 1) the Community Options Program Entry System (COPES); the New Freedom 1915(c) Medicaid Waivers; and 3) the Medicaid 1115 Transformation Demonstration Waiver. These waivers provide long-term services and supports to adults with unmet needs for assistance with activities of daily living due to functional impairments caused by age, physical disability or cognitive impairment. Services and supports may also be provided to their unpaid family caregivers. Home modification is an eligible benefit. The 1115 Demonstration Waiver’s home modification benefit level meets home modification needs up to $3,600.
Population Served: Medicaid-eligible clients who are also eligible for long-term services and supports. Clients may choose to receive services from any qualified provider of a particular service.
2. Veteran Directed Home Services
Program Description: This program provides eligible Veterans with home and community-based services that enable them to continue to live in their homes and communities. The services are coordinated and delivered by four Area Agencies on Aging in Western Washington. Participants may choose to spend funds on a modification to their residence or vehicle to accommodate their disabilities and promote functional independence, health, safety and welfare. Modifications include: ramps, grab bars, modifications of doors, and minor home repairs.
Population Served: Veterans enrolled to receive primary care at a Veterans Administration (VA) Puget Sound Health Care System hospital or clinic, have a VA primary care team, meet the eligibility criteria for home and community-based services as determined by the Veterans Administration, and receive a referral.
NORTHWEST ACCESS FUND
Program Description: Northwest Access Fund, a non-profit, provides funding to people with disabilities in Washington and Oregon so that they may purchase assistive technology and home modifications that support independence. For home modifications, the loan may be up to $40,000 with a 10-year term.
Population Served: Eligible recipients include Washington and Oregon residents of all ages with disabilities of all types, including older adults with age-related functional limitations.
WASHINGTON STATE ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM
Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP)
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.
WASHINGTON STATE FALL PREVENTION COALITION
Washington State Fall Prevention Network
For an up to date list of all state fall prevention coalitions, visit: https://www.ncoa.org/resources/list-of-state-falls-prevention-coalitions/