PHOENIX, Ariz. (Jan. xx, 2023): Ability360 completed 128 home modification projects in 2022, valued at $1.1 million, the highest total in the last six years, and is taking applications for similar work for 2023.
The Ability360 home modification program for individuals in Pinal and Gila counties and sections of rural Maricopa County includes installation of ramps, widening door openings, installing grab bars, modifying sinks and toilets, relocating electrical switches and other home modifications that combat issues related to falling and increase accessibility for those who may have various mobility issues.
The program also is available in Cave Creek, Wickenburg, Buckeye, Gila Bend, Tonopah and Wittman.
“Projections indicate that one in four older adults will fall this year,” said Darrel Christenson, Vice President of Community Integration at Ability360. “One of our goals with the fall-prevention component is to reduce the number of falls by increasing safety. The big-picture goal of the program is to ensure that homes are fully accessible.”
Christenson cited one project in which a resident had to shower with a garden hose in his backyard because his shower was not fully accessible. Once the project was complete, “he was able to bathe in dignity,” Christenson said. Another resident whose progressive disability required him to use a power wheelchair was unable to get down the five steps from his house and was unable to leave his home. Following installation of a ramp, “he was no longer trapped in house,” Christenson said.
The rural grant program is primarily for fall prevention for eligible individuals aged 62 and over with low-to-moderate income.
To qualify, an individual or family member must have a permanent physical disability, be a homeowner and be income eligible. Funding can cover up to $5000 of the cost and, in some cases, the work may be fully covered at no cost to the household.
To apply for home modification or fall prevention, go to https://ability360.org/home-modifications/.
Limited funds also are available for individuals in Tempe with a disability and for older adults with low-to-moderate income. To apply for a home modification under this program, contact D Young at email@example.com or call Ability360 at 602-296-0503.
Statistics from 2020 show that falls resulted in $1.8 billion in hospital costs, 1,112 deaths and more than 133,000 emergency department visits. “In addition, 45 percent of fall victims suffered traumatic brain injuries,” Christenson said.
For more information, visit www.ability360.org.
• Steve Carr, The Kur Carr Group, Inc., 602-317-3040, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ability360 continues a 40-plus-year tradition of empowering programs for people with all disabilities. Ability360 offers and promotes programs to empower people with disabilities to take personal responsibility so that they may achieve or continue independent lifestyles within the community. The independent living philosophy states that people with disabilities should have the same civil rights, options, and control over choices in their own lives as do people without disabilities. Ability360 is located at 5025 E. Washington St. Ste. 200, Phoenix, AZ 85034, www.ability360.org, 602-256-2245.