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I guess this is “part 2” of my catheter question from before. And, I know this type of question is state specific. The floor below hubby’s hospital bed is in truly bad shape. The vinyl planking, at least, will need to be removed and the floor repaired. Hubby and I were talking last night about doing something to make our home more handicap friendly, specifically widening some doorways so his powerchair would fit through. This is obviously not a job for Weekend Warriors. Has anyone done the runaround of local agencies to see if there is financial help for this sort of thing? Are there construction companies in existence who could help? (Don’t need names/numbers, just need to know if such a company exists). What kind of agency would I call? Local Area Agency on Aging? Any help, as usual, much appreciated.

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I just thought of this...
Check you local High School or Community College. If they have a program (Used to be called Shop Classes...showing my age!) that teach the students building, codes, how to adapt current buildings to make them accessible they may be interested in doing some work. I am sure you would have to pay for supplies. It would be worth a call. If they do not have a program that would do this for you they may have a list of graduates that are looking for work.
I found the best Caregivers this way, got 2 recent graduates in the Nursing program that had been certified as CNA's and it was before the Nursing programs started. I told them I would be very willing to work around their class schedules when it cam time to scheduling them.
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Adaptive housing is also known as "Universal Design". It's home design principle that gives a better quality of life for the people who live there making a home more accessible and livable regardless of who lives there, and keeping it visually appealing. A mom with young children, could use this too, i.e. a stroller through the flat entrance, arms and hands full of baby and or groceries. We need to lose the word ,"handicapped" and use the term adaptive more frequently! There are companies who specialize in this type of remodel / renovation. I live in AZ and there's becoming a large market for this especially in retirement and sunbelt areas and I'm beginning to study and launch a business in this field. I've watched my elderly relatives struggle to live comfortably in their homes and then have to leave due to a fall or just the inability to navigate throughout their home. Here's a resource that might be informative: universaldesign.com/
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Although I have no affiliation with any church, I recently made contact with a cousin on my father's side (our uncle was in hospice.) He retired from the AF and spends his time now as a "handyman" helping members of the church he goes to who need it at no charge for his labor (and likely helps others too.) He offered to help us if we need it with our mother's condo, or even the house I am in (all my repairs are on hold due to at least temp loss of the person doing the work and funding, but that's my problem!)

So, if you belong to a religious organization, ask around, ask the leader (pastor or priest or rabbi) as they should know their congregation and know if anyone has the needed skills and would offer to help. If not, ask friends or neighbors who do practice to check with their organization - they might be able to find just such a gem as my cousin!
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questions like this make me wish that there was a division of Habitat for Humanity that would take on these smaller type projects, as opposed to total house building, and help people age in place in their homes safely and comfortably.
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You can phone 2-1-1 or go to 211.org, which is a national referral service that most states and counties participate in. Once connected, you inform the service of your zip code, and provide other information "filters." You will receive back some very specific and relevant referrals. I had recently discovered 211 when my sister was hospitalized for physical ailments but was also abused at home by her adult sons. I was astounded how many local, hit-the-nail-on-the-head referrals were provided back to my email, confidentially. Many of these were little-known grants or programs a person would never find from women shelters, Area Agencies on Aging or even social workers untrained to use information and referral databases in depth. As a former librarian, I was blown away by 211!
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Many communities have online groups that work in conjuction with one another for construction needs, buying and selling and other things. The one I'm a part of is called NextDoor. Really great source. Look into one.
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My friend got a lot of help from the VA when he was diagnosed with ALS.
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Another resource might be the Texas Baptist Men www.texasbaptistmen.org After the fires in Washington State 2 years ago, they came up and helped my daughter's neighbor who lost his house build a shed. He is not a Baptist. Then when they found out he was going to live in the shed, they came back and insulated it and did some other things that made it livable. They also were working with an Amish group that also helped Joe.

Team Rubicon seems to be great people, I know a young woman who has volunteered with them. I agree that Habitat for Humanity also might be a good resource.

Hugs to you and your hubby.
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I believe that it can vary quite a bit from state to state and year to year. I live in Massachusetts and there used to be a program through the state that provided funding for projects like you are asking about. It was offered through the same group that took care of fuel assistance. Through our county Elder Services, you can get grab bars installed and similar smaller things. If your loved one is covered by Medicaid, there was a program called "The Money Follows the Person" where if an individual was in a nursing home hoping to move back home, some modifications were provided like ramps, hospital beds etc. That program has a new name now that escapes me. Last idea.....get an estimate and post a go-fund-me page. Do it as yourself, not for your dad so it's not their liability if and/or when your dad may need to file for Medicaid or Long-term care. Ultimately, my advice is to contact your elder services organization for help identifying your options. Good luck!
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It’s not so much an accessibly issue but home upkeep. If the floorboards/vinyl are so pliable that it went through when you stepped on it, you need a new floor.
Did you check your homeowners policy for any coverage? I’m not sure there is any funding set aside for citizen floor repair. 
I agree a good architect & then a contractor.
It does sound like a crisis, however. It could get dangerous with the weight of a hospital bed. Sounds precarious to me! Oh the joys of being Harry Homeowner....
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Your local Habitat for Humanity might be a good choice for information about home repairs or recommendations. Although their primary mission is building homes for people who have never been home owners, in my area a lot of retired construction workers spend a few hours a day on these projects. You might be able to get your labor free and reduced pricing on your materials.
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Hi,Grandma! Yes, those hinges are called “off-set” hinges. I can’t change them out myself, but my son-in-law is always willing to help. Thanks!
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I am not sure about funding sources but a good architect could save you a lot of research and risk. They would know code and they know construction.
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There are hinges that you can put on a current door that will allow the door to open more fully. Not sure what they are called but the CNA that came from Hospice told me about them. (I did not need them as my house if accessible but I was asking for a member of one of my support groups)
If your Husband is a Veteran there are programs, Grants through the VA that will pay for adaptations.
Some Senior groups have lists of "handymen" that may do work like this and usually they are lower cost.
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If you have Long Term Care insurance it will often pay for modifications.
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Yes, GA, that’s scary. It seems as though we Senior Citizens exist only to be taken advantage of, especially women. Luckily, I know a bit about repairs and construction. I know what needs to be done, just dont have the strength, funds or tools to do it. My son has offered, but he’s going to be a dad any day now and I don’t feel right asking him. I’m going to take a second, calmer look at it tomorrow and see if I can do my best to patch the floor.

I had the same experience as you with one of those Home Insurance places. When our hot water tank blew, I called them to send someone to fix it. They sent a plumber who had to travel 45 minutes just to light the pilot. It blew out again a day later and this time he didn’t even show up. What looks great in theory doesn’t always work in reality.
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Ahmijoy, be careful in contacting the AAA; in our area it has a program allegedly allowing people to remain in their homes. I don't recall the name of the program offhand...SameAddress is the program, I think.

But I contacted ours re that same program, had an estimator come out, and he wanted to do a lot of work that wasn't necessary. It was also clear that he was in a noncompetitive position because he didn't know how to estimate or compete with other contractors. He even indicated he had wanted to work for a government agency.

His estimate was 5 times what I paid a professional contractor. He was also belligerent and became annoyed and critical when I told him I didn't need all the work done that he proposed to do. Although I didn't say, I felt it was definitely a rip-off.
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Oh no! Sorry to hear about the floor hitting the crisis point. Let us know what the Area of Aging says. Hoping there is some funding and help you can get with this repair.
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Thanks, SnoopyLove. Yes, we’ve taken the door off the master bedroom, and while he slept in there, it did work. Our issues now are with the door that leads to our garage. We can’t take that one off but a handyman suggested offset hinges. There’s a small vestibule and it’s very difficult to maneuver the powerchair. Ideally, we would have put the ramp down from the front door instead of in the garage, but as they say, hindsight is always 20-20.

As I put my foot through the floor yesterday, we need to have something done. I’m going to try contacting our local Agency on Aging to see if there is any help.
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One thought just in case helpful is that taking interior doors off the hinges made the doorways wide enough for my dad's power wheelchair. We did this with the bedroom and kitchen doors so my dad could carefully roll in or be rolled in. Not as great as having new, wider doorways, of course.

It would be great if you could get some assistance for the flooring issue. Would you care to advise us what state you are in? Maybe someone would have some ideas for your state.
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Thanks, GA. We are in Ohio, and after posting, I remember that somewhere in my email folders is the name and number of a lady who offered to walk us through the process a few years ago. We don’t need the entire house modified, although an accessible shower would be nice, but a wonky doorway makes it extremely hard to get Hubby’s powerchair out and not damage the “joystick” drive control, expensive repairs of which would be on us. We do have agencies here who will help but finding the right one can be a tangled mess.

Thanks for your help. I appreciate it!
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Just found the organization: Team Rubicon. Their focus is definitely disaster relief, such as major disasters, but they might be able to suggest other similar organizations, or as I wrote, if you're Veterans, they might be able to help. Just a thought....
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Joy, there are in fact companies that do specialize in adaptive construction. This is their focus. From conversations with friends who are in construction, this is somewhat of a niche area; mainstream construction companies don't always want to get involved, in part b/c of the increased costs and sometimes iffy funding sources.

Contact the local Alzheimer's Assn. and ask for the individuals who maintain the lists of referrals of various sources. I got good lists from them for private duty, hospice care providers, retrofit contractors, etc.

The AAA can also provide lists, but it takes them a week to do so. ALZ e-mails lists, w/in 1/2 hour in my experience. The AAA also holds Caregiving Expos, in the fall in our area, and retrofit/adaptive contractors typically have booths and photo albums of their projects. But that's several months to wait for an expo.

I would do this: Contact the Alzheimer's Assn. so you can get referrals now; contact the AAA also but expect to get nothing for a week or so (although this may be a local problem with not getting information out quickly).

Contact local Senior Centers or Senior Centers in upscale areas (more likely to have senior expos), and ask when they're having their own Senior Expo. At least 3 in my area have smaller expos, generally with limited contractors b/c of limited space (no room for big van demos).

When I contacted the outstanding code enforcement people in my father's area and asked for retrofit recommendations to modify an existing exterior ramp, they only could provide one reference. I called; the owner was an arrogant fellow who wouldn't even come out for an estimate. He told me to take photos and come to his office to discuss the issue. It was the first ever time I've been told that an estimate wouldn't be provided on site. It was clear he wasn't interested in that kind of project.

I don't know about financial help except for Veterans, and there are funds available for adaptive projects.

As to Weekend Warriors, if you or your husband are Veterans, there's a group of Veterans and volunteers who voluntarily assist in post-disaster cleanup, remediation, and basic assistance. My mind is a blank right now and I can't remember the name, but I'll try to and post back later after visiting my father.


If you're in Michigan, let me know and I'll dig out my brochures from past AAA expos and provide names of local contractors, some of whom may be affiliated with or local offices of major companies.
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