Caring for Your Parents: Safe at Home?
Some remodeling may be required to help seniors stay home longer
ANCHORAGE - As people age it can sometimes become difficult to get around safely, even in their own homes. Judy Johnson is a good example. A series of falls in recent years left her permanently disabled and had her children worried that the condo she and husband Joe had owned for almost a dozen years might not be safe.
Judy’s grown son Matt says he’s watched his mother become more fragile in recent years.
“I worry about my mom a lot, especially when she’s walking and whether she’ll arrive safely at her destination, even in her own home.”
But a lot of Matt’s worry went away when NeighborWorks Anchorage stepped in. The agency can provide grants of up to $15,000 to qualifying seniors to help them live independently at home. There are some requirements, including income cut-offs, and recipients must be at least 55 years old. The grants are available for those who own their own homes or even for those who rent.
Barb Worley of NeighborWorks says the funding can go for a variety of remodeling projects big and small.
“We can do items such as roll-in showers, grab bars, widening doorways, ramps and stair lifts – a variety of things to make homes more accessible,” says Worley
In Judy’s case that included a bathroom remodel with a roll-in shower to replace an aging tub, and grab bars galore. She loves showing off the work and says for the first time in a long time she feels safe. It’s the kind of improvement that can help seniors stay home longer as they age and help their children have peace of mind.
NeighborWorks Senior Accessibility program is available in Anchorage but there are other agencies that provide the service around the state. Access Alaska runs a similar program. For more information on “Caring For Your Parents” you can text KTVAAGING to 28201. Find all of KTVA’s previous Caring for Your Parents installments by clicking here.