If Passed, The Senior Accessible Housing Act Will Help Seniors Live at Home Safely
As the years take their toll, you may need assistance with your daily needs. However, you don’t want to leave your home and move to a facility. Pegasus home caregivers help with home safety modifications, so you don’t have to move.
Being able to stay at home is called aging in place. It’s beneficial to your well-being in many ways. Regardless of your physical health, home health care helps you enjoy the benefits of living at home.
Aging in place benefits include:
- Living where you’re most comfortable
- Setting your own schedule
- Having friends and family visit whenever you want
- Having a pet
- Keeping your personal belongings with you
- Minimizing changes in your life
Maintaining as much independence as possible is extremely important to most seniors.
You know your home needs some safety upgrades to be safe for you. For example, grab bars in the bathroom mean you could shower or bathe by yourself. The list goes on.
Not only does the list of safety upgrades go on, so does the cost of those upgrades. You’ve collected a few estimates. There’s no way can you afford most of them.
The Senior Accessible Housing Act Will Help Pay for Home Safety Modifications
On March 29, 2017, Representative Charlie Crist (D FL) introduced H.R. 1780. He titled the bill Home Modification Credit for Seniors. The bill has been assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee.
Once public input is collected and hearings held, the bill must go to the House and Senate for approval. If approved, it is then signed by the President and becomes law.
The bill has been dubbed the Senior Accessible Housing Act. It is supported by many members of Congress. At present, there is no timeline for further action on it.
Home Safety Modifications
The bill covers the following kinds of modifications:
- Installing entrance and exit ramps
- Widening doorways
- Installing handrails and grab bars
- Installing non-slip flooring
It will eventually include other home safety modifications if placed on a list maintained by the IRS.
The goals of the Senior Accessible Housing Act are to increase your ability to:
- Live safely at home
- Maintain your independence
- Be comfortable in your home
The Act applies only to individuals aged 60 years or older.
The upgrades aren’t reported as regular medical expenses. The Senior Accessible Housing Act doesn’t directly reimburse you for the cost of safety upgrades. You claim your expenditures on your tax return as a credit.
Your income tax liability is calculated as usual. The credit is then deducted from the amount due. The Act allows up to $30,000 during your lifetime to be claimed as a credit against income taxes.
Falls Are Disabling and Expensive
Statistics show that falls are the third leading cause of death. Medical costs for individuals who survive a fall are huge. Although those costs may be paid by Medicare or other insurance, they are still a drain on the economy.
Aside from the cost, a fall often leaves you physically disabled. Far too many people end up in facilities after a fall. Home health care and safety modifications can help you avoid that fate.
The Senior Accessible Housing Act credit would reduce the amount of taxes collected by the IRS. However, proponents believe the amounts saved on medical care will total more than the lost tax revenue.
Another boost to the economy will come from the companies that:
- Design safety upgrades
- Manufacture the safety equipment
- Install the safety modifications in your home
New jobs will be created, increasing employment and the amount of payroll taxes paid.
If you’re concerned that adding safety upgrades to your home will make it look like a hospital, don’t be. Designers are already creating modern innovations that avoid an institutional look. It’s possible that the upgrades can even increase the value of your home.
The priority, of course, is to allow you to live at home safely. Home modifications, coupled with home health care, help you retain your independence. The Senior Accessible Housing Act can be a win/win for all involved.
Pegasus home health care experts can help you evaluate what modifications you may need. They also know the difference between your short-term needs and what you may require in the long-term. They know which upgrades will do the most to keep you comfortable and safe.
There is always a possibility that the Senior Accessible Housing Act won’t be passed. Regardless, Pegasus professionals will help you find the necessary funding for home safety. They are knowledgeable about federal, state, and local agencies and programs.
Pegasus home health caregivers specialize in personalized services to meet your unique needs. Home safety is a big part of that. They’ll always be on hand to help you live safely, comfortably, and independently at home.