Right at Home, a member of the Homes Renewed Coalition and a provider of in-home care for seniors and adults with disabilities, applauds the introduction of the Home Modification for Accessibility Act.
Recently introduced by U.S. Representatives Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Thomas Suozzi (D-NY), the bill empowers Americans to make decisions about where and how they age in place by offsetting the costs associated with making home modifications through a penalty free early retirement withdrawal and lifetime tax deduction of up to $30,000. This will reduce injuries and subsequent medical costs associated with falls. The coalition supports policies that encourage modifications to existing homes to help older adults age in place.
“Right at Home appreciates the efforts of Congress and the work of the HomesRenewed Coalition to allow tax incentives for home modifications that allow seniors to remain in their residence longer. We applaud Congressmen Crist and Suozzi on their introduction of the Home Modification for Accessibility Act on May 6. This fits well with the Right at Home mission, to improve the quality of life for those we serve,” said Margaret Haynes, President and CEO of Right at Home.
“Historically, housing design did not take into account the aging process and the physical constraints it imposes on seniors and adults living with disabilities who want to age in their home environment. Tax policy to incentivize these much-needed modifications would pay for itself over time with reduced fall risk and less utilization of more costly care options.”
While presenting at the Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting last November, Dr. Jesse Abraham with the HomesRenewed Resource Center reported an alarming statistic: According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Housing Survey, of the 14 million households headed by someone over age 75, 46% had an acknowledged accessibility problem (either entering the home; or getting to or using the bathroom, kitchen or bedroom).
Surveys have revealed the desire of seniors to remain in their homes longer, and there are numerous proposals, pilots and initiatives to introduce more care in the home. However, older homes in which many seniors reside often have steep stairs, unsafe or nonexistent railings, uneven surfaces, and poor lighting that do not accommodate the aging process.
Right at Home’s expertise in navigating the aging care journey will help the HomesRenewed Coalition in its advocacy efforts for accessible homes for seniors.