Guest MINDSETTER™ Ruggiero: Home Sweet Home as we Age in The Community
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Data shows that home renovations – handrails, chair lifts for stairs or roll-in showers— can keep you safe in your home or apartment, active in the community and out of a nursing home. Falls are the leading cause of injury and hospitalization for people over 65. Many go from the hospital to the nursing home and never make it back home. The top two fears of most seniors is losing their independence (26 percent) and going to a nursing home (13 percent).
Home modifications can be a little pricey on a fixed income. That’s why the Rhode Island Livable Home Modification Program is so important for our seniors and those living with disabilities. Under this program, the state reimburses you 50 percent of the total cost of your home modification, up to $5,000. For the past two years, I’ve cosponsored legislation (with Rep. Joseph McNamara) to make this program permanent.
There is $250,000 in this year’s budget for these projects. So far only 10 people have taken advantage of it, so another 40 to 50 projects are still out there. The deadline to access this money is June 30.
Hopefully, if you’re planning an accessibility project such as an indoor chairlift, outdoor ramps or accessible bathrooms, you’ll apply. Once you fill out the application, you’ll know in 2 to 3 business days if your project qualifies. Once the Certificate of Approval has been issued, you then hire your contractor to do the work, pay the contractor, and then submit the bill to Governor’s Commission on Disabilities for 50 percent payment, up to $5,000. So if your project costs $6,000, you’ll be reimbursed $3,000. If your project is $12,000 you’ll receive $5,000, the maximum available.
Once you submit all the necessary documents for the modification project, you will be reimbursed within 30 days. If you’re a renter, you will need owner approval to modify the apartment and the modification must stay in place for 10 years.
I’ve been visiting the Jamestown Senior Center and Middletown Senior Center telling constituents about this program. I even brought Allysa Gleason to the Middletown Senior Center so people could see the “face” of the person processing these applications. Alyssa is the coordinator for the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities, which administers the grant program ([email protected] or 462-0103).
The income eligibility is pretty high and does not include your savings. So if you have an annual income of $78,700 or less, you qualify. If you and one dependent have a household income of $89,950, you qualify.
So please take advantage of the money that is in the state budget for people 65+ or those with disabilities to retrofit your home or apartment. We need you in our community!
Rep. Deborah Ruggiero is the chair of Small Business Committee and serves on the House Finance Committee. She can be reached at [email protected] or 423-0444.
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
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