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How can I get financial help for things like a ramp and hand rails to accomodate my disabled mother who now lives with me?

11 answers | Last updated: Mar 12, 2015
A fellow caregiver asked...

My mother just moved in with me. She is 76 and not able to care for herself. I make good money but it's just enough to cover my bills. How can I get financial help with renovations such as a ramp and handrails?


Caring.com User - Joseph L.  Matthews
Caring.com Expert
Joseph L. Matthews is a Caring.com Expert, an attorney, and the author of Long-Term Care: How to Plan & Pay for It and...
77% helpful
A fellow caregiver answered...

If your mother has low income (only Social Security benefits, for example) and very low assets, she might be able to qualify for your state's Medicaidprogram. In addition See also:
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to providing some regular home care for her, it may have a program that can help pay for safety or comfort improvements to her (in this case, also your) home. Here's how it works.

If your mother does qualify for Medicaid, normally she would get that Medicaid in-home care through a certified home care agency. But it's also possible -- depending on what state you live in -- to bypass the home care agency and have the state pay your mother directly for her in-home care. And in some states, this kind of cash assistance is possible even for people who have slightly too much income or assets to qualify for Medicaid.

This arrangement works through a state program called Cash and Counseling, or a similar program. The program directly pays the senior the same amount Medicaid would pay an aide from a home care agency. The senior can spend these funds on a family member or anyone else she chooses to take care of her. She would decide how much to pay per hour. And -- here's the direct answer to your question -- she can use some of the money to make home improvements for safety or comfort, or to buy personal care items.

The catch is that your state has to be offering this Cash and Counseling or similar state program. To find out more about these cash assistance programs, go to the page on this site called How to Get Paid for Being Your Parent's Caregiver. You can help your mother apply for Medicaid and Cash and Counseling, or for a similar state cash assistance program, at a local Medicaid office. To find the local Medicaid office near you, contact the Eldercare Locator by phone toll-free at 800-677-1116, or online you can go to any search engine and type in the word Medicaid and the name of your state.


More Answers
71% helpful
A fellow caregiver answered...

Many local churches offer financial assistance to seniors and the needy. Does your mother belong to a church. Try there first. If not, check with the church closest to her. Neighbors in need can make a difference in the minds of those on a benevolence committee. Blessings!


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56% helpful
A fellow caregiver answered...

This is a common problem, as the previous expert has stated. There is another option available that many people may not know about. Your Life Insurance Policy can be a valuable asset to you at this time.

In many cases, people find themselves struggling to pay for the appropriate care. If you have a life insurance policy, this does not have to be the case for you. There are companies that do a complete evaluation of your life insurance policy to let you know of all your options and will also determine the value or purchasable price for this asset. In many cases, as long as you are working with a Funder, this is no cost to you. Your policy is property that you own, just like your car or your house. You make payments to car and you make payments to your life insurance policy, making it available for a cash settlement.

If you feel you would like to research this option, I am an expert in this field and would be more than happy to assist you in this important financial decision.

Kevin Swan




85% helpful
A fellow caregiver answered...

All states have money available to caregivers through the National Family Caregiver Support Program. You need to call your local Area Agency on Aging. If you don't know where your local Area Agency on Aging is, you can find out by calling the ElderCare Locator at 1-800-677-1116. Services provided through the National Family Caregiver Support Program include assistance for things such as minor home adaptations (ramp), assistive devices (grab bars) as well as respite, support groups, and education. If you are in California the Caregiver Resouce Centers are another program that can provide services to assist you in your caregiving role.

Susanne M. Rossi, Director Mountain Caregiver Resource Center


100% helpful
A fellow caregiver answered...

If your mother or father was a veteran and served during wartime they are entitled to the Aid and Attendance benefit that pays from $1056-$1665 per month for care. To learn more about it check out this information at www.agingavenues.com . It's a little known benefit that people don't know about.


100% helpful
A fellow caregiver answered...

Check to see if your local Area Agency on Aging has some money to help you. They can be a good resource for you. Information and referral, case management and possibly respite.


50% helpful
A fellow caregiver answered...

See if there are any PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care) agencies in your area. They might be able to provide you with these things.


33% helpful
A fellow caregiver answered...

your local agency on aging are not my favorite agency!!! they will not let me work for them because i am a convicted felon 13 years ago,i have had my goldseal for8 years,i am a live in care giver for a 93 year old lady,i get a relief monday thru friday for 5/2 hours a day.she is from the agency on aging ,she does absolutely nothing and brings her kids and is eating me out of house and home


100% helpful
A fellow caregiver answered...

Rural Development,an Agency of the Department of Agriculture has a repair program that might help. There are income and credit requirements. The home must also be located in an eligible area. If you qualify, a 1% interest rate loan may be available. Grants or loan/grant combinations are available for seniors 62 & over in special cases. Find the local office that serves your area at: www.rurdev.usda.gov.


100% helpful
A fellow caregiver answered...

Among possible helping groups are Habitat for Humanity members. They are a wonderful caring group and might help. Many churches have a Habitat group.


100% helpful
A fellow caregiver answered...

Check with local groups such as the Boy Scouts; a troop in my area build a ramp and other aids for a resident as part of a service project and another Scout used a similar project for his Eagle requirements.