My mother lives in her home but is having difficulty moving around with her steep stairs and a bathtub she needs help to get in and out of. We are looking for help getting a ramp put up outside because her stairs are very steep. And she needs a walk in shower she can get in and out of with very little help. How can she receive financial help for these things?

In Indiana Medicaid Waiver will cover bathroom renovations.
i don’t know about other states. Your area Council on aging should know .
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Reply to sandy1955

Moorebd, I know many people would like to age in place, but there does come a time where it no longer is viable. If Mom is on limited income, what will happen if there is a major plumbing situation, or the house needs a new roof/windows. What if there is an increase in property taxes, utility costs, or homeowners insurance?

It might be time to start thinking about downsizing to a place that offers Mom a safe place without all the surprise expense. I know my Dad was ready to sell his house and use the equity for senior living. He loved his new apartment being around people of his own generation, and loved the idea of not worrying about routine house maintenance.

Just food for thought.
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Reply to freqflyer

The shower part is very easy... make her sit. First search at your local social services to see if they have any shower chairs that swivel. She will be much safer to sit. Spend about $30 for a shower head with a handle.
The ramp is another problem with steep steps. If the angle is too acute, then the ramp will be too steep. Can she be moved to a new location?
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Reply to MACinCT

Moore, here are some options:

1.   Contact your local city or township government and ask about Federal grants for homeowners in need of assistance at home.    My community used to get HUD grants for emergency repairs.  If I recall correctly, they were based on fiscal, not calendar years, so requests that were received shortly after the community's fiscal year began may have had a better chance of approval.

The community administers the grant; you don't have to get involved with that at all.

2.   I'm assuming that you're looking for work assistance as opposed to financial assistance, such as a loan?   If so,  there are "mobility assistance" companies (Google that, or for a list of mobility contractors, contact

(a)  the local branch of the Area Agency on Aging,
(b)  Alzheimer's Association,
(c) the Jewish Welfare Federation,
(d) your local Senior Center or the Senior Center of a large city in your area:

for names of mobility contractors.   I call the AA first; they're outstanding in providing this kind of information on a rapid basis, as are (c) and (d).  

3.    Habitat for Humanity has in the past provided assistance for people in need.   Some Methodist churches do as well, but that may be geographically specific,   Another organization is Christmas in April.  

I've heard various comments about both organizations though, in that some highly qualified builders who want to do volunteer work won't work with either organization b/c they require the contractors to indemnify them.

4.    Exterior ramps will have to comply with local codes, so contact the department in your community that issues building permits and approves building work.  In my experience, if there are mobility contractors who work in your community, these departments know who they are.

5.    Other options are to at least temporarily use a slide-in/over bath assistance chair.    If you're not familiar with these, post again and I'll find some links.      They can fit inside a bathtub, or extend from the inside to outside, so an individual can sit down outside, scoot over holding onto the handles and by lifting his/her legs, be inside the tub more safely than while standing.

6.    When contacting contractors, indicate that you'll need grab bars as well, if you don't already have them.   Horizontal and angled bars are typical in care facilities; we've found that they work well not only for standing but for getting in and out of a tub (if you decide to stick with that).

Be aware also that there may need to be rerouting of plumbing and electrical fixtures if the bathtub configuration/style is changed.

7.    Check out the suggestions in this post:

Cleanliness can be accomplished by means other than a full shower.  

8.   If there are bathroom facilities on the first floor, consider rearranging rooms to create a bedroom for her on the first floor.   This is MUCH safer than climbing stairs, and eventually people do tend to need to avoid climbing, especially when challenges exist.

This is what a friend of my father's did:  the woman's daughter helped rearrange her small house to accommodate a first floor bedroom.  My aunt also made this type of change in her own house.

Good luck, and feel free to post back if you have any or further questions.
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Reply to GardenArtist

Generally there is no help for this. Churches and civic groups may help provide labor help, but materials would have to be paid for. Is there any family that can help financially?
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Reply to anonymous901498

The bad news is, there is no centralized agency that provides help with this sort of thing. Your best bet would be city or county agencies or local charities around where she lives. I would look up your state and county aging councils and talk to them about what's available in your mother's area.
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Reply to CarlaCB

I looked for a ramp for my mother for about two years. I received many quotes ranging from $7,000 - $10,0000 that was just too expensive . I went to Home Depot, and asked if they could build a ramp for my mom. They told me it was going to cost $3,000. I asked what the cost was for the labor. They told me that was the total cost, I was pleasantly surprised. Home Depot had a program for the disabled at that time. You paid for supplies and they do the labor. The ramp is well built with a small deck overlooking our back yard. I was so pleased about our beautiful ramp and the low cost, I called our local newspaper for a writeup on Home Depot to help others. The ramp was installed 2015. We used the best materials, and the ramp still looks new. Excellent staff!
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Reply to earlybird

To get help from the government I think she'll have to either be on Medicaid or a vet. But I would contact your state's Council on Aging or talk to social services through your state's Health and Human Resources office to start getting that question answered. All can be found by googling, and others on this forum from your same state can probably chime in with info.

More immediate options might be contacting a local church or Boy Scout Troop, as they often need projects to earn their badges. And ask your neighbors for help, often people are happy to help, they just don't know how or what you need. Blessings!
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Reply to Geaton777

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