Page 116 - Cityview May-June 2017
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only can you use Medicare dollars to pay a neighbor or certain family members to be your caretaker, but you can also use program benefits to help pay for minor home modifications, such as ramps, a walk-in tub, grabbers, and the widening of doors.
Medicare will also help pay for durable medical equipment that can
be shown to be medically necessary
and will withstand repeated use. For instance, if your doctor says that you need a hydraulic lift to help a caretaker hoist you out of bed, Medicare may cover up to 80% of it. However, you’ll want to do your homework before buying one, as reimbursements are heavily regulated.
For the very poor (those earning less than 50% of the median income) who are over 62 years old, living in a rural area (20,000 or fewer residents in the metro area), and unable to secure private loans, a USDA Rural Housing Home Repair Loan or Grant may be an option. Grants up to $7,500 and loans up to $20,000
are available to help with “repair or remodeling to make homes accessible and useable for handicapped or disabled persons.” However, they can’t be used to “purchase or install equipment (range, refrigerator, etc).”
Veterans and surviving spouses can also get loans for purchasing or modify- ing a home through the VA’s Home Loan Guaranty Services.
What Home Really Means
“The consciousness of a well-spent life and a memory rich in good deeds afford supreme happiness.” — Cicero
Life is always liable to throw us curve balls. We ought to do all we can to prepare. Yet, though it’s nice to build an island on which one can be totally self- sufficient, it’s important to keep in mind that this only goes so far in building a home. So, in planning for the long-term, don’t forget to cultivate the most fruitful plants of all: meaningful relationships built on mutual respect. And make sure to share many laughs in the home you’ve built. It will keep you young.
Jon Hersey studies issues in moral philosophy at the University of Tennessee and is Assistant Editor
at Cityview.
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