Georgia Seniors May Be Able To Stay Independent With This Government Program

A great majority of the elderly and disabled would love to live independently. However, the barriers to accomplishing this can be beyond their means. Some require wheelchair ramps and hospital beds as well as other accommodations. These modifications to homes and apartments can cost a great deal, putting them outside of the ability for some people to afford. These people often have no other choice but to enter a nursing home, but there is one program that is helping eligible seniors and disabled people to once again live independently. My AJC reports.

54-year-old Martha Mann began having trouble walking. While a year and a half stay in nursing homes helped to heal her legs, her feet remained paralyzed. Still, she decided that she wanted to once again live on her own.

Her son found out about a program called Money Follows the Person, which is administered by the state Division of Aging Services. The program provides a yearlong budget for eligible persons to make the transition from a nursing home to living independently.

The program has been offered since about 2006 and helps for people to afford things like hospital beds and installing hardwood floors, as Mann used her funds to do. She now lives at the Villas of Friendly Heights in Decatur.

For the current fiscal year, the program has spent $3.3 million dollars. However, the program is being phased out by the federal government. Going forward, eligible people will need to get services through a Medicaid waiver.

The program expects to spend $3.1 million dollars over the next fiscal year. Each person can receive up to $25,000 for a year to assist them with upgrades on their homes to live more independently.