Are there community home maintenance programs for seniors?

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | Jun 01, 2011

Senior communities often offer a wide variety of home maintenance programs specifically for seniors. Some of the services offered in senior communities include inside work such as cleaning, dusting, vacuuming and taking care of the laundry chores. Outdoor maintenance can include such seasonal work as lawn mowing, shoveling snow, raking leaves or any other outdoor chores needed. Senior communities can also offer more extensive maintenance such as interior or exterior painting, installing safety aids such as grab-bars and railings, or making minor plumbing repairs and other general handyman tasks.

Why Choose Senior Communities Home Maintenance Program?

Many seniors who live in senior communities and currently live mostly independently still may need senior assistance in maintaining their home, condo or apartment, often due to physical limitations or even financial issues, including an inability to pay for necessary home maintenance. Even such things as hanging Christmas lights in December, putting up a Christmas tree or other seasonal decorations can be a part of senior communities home maintenance programs.

In the spring, the employees of the program can help you plant flowers or other plants, and can make sure on a weekly basis that the plants are properly watered and taken care of.  Most senior communities provide a trained staff of individuals who are able to promptly take care of any maintenance issues, ensuring the repairs are done correctly.  Seniors contribute toward the cost of the specific service based on their ability to pay. In many of the programs, a certain staff person assesses the needs of each senior and then recommends appropriate services.

Specific Senior Communities Programs

Some cities—Cleveland being a frontrunner among them—offer a wide array of programs and services which benefit seniors in home maintenance tasks. The Paint Program is a much-loved program offered each year from May through August, and after you fill out an application—and meet income guidelines—the city gives you paint and supplies up to $400 to paint your home, fence, porch or garage. Of course with this particular program you might have to hire someone to do the actual painting work, but you may be able to pay for labor with the money you save on paint and supplies.

Many senior communities offer a home weatherization assistance program which provides needed weatherization services to those seniors who meet the income requirements. The participants in the program can receive over $3,000 in free home improvements which can include attic insulation, necessary venting, repairing any air leakages, wrapping the hot water heating tank, and even furnace checks and repairs. This program can be invaluable for seniors who need insulation and weatherization in their homes but simply cannot afford it.

The Senior Homeowner Assistance Program in Cleveland—and other cities—provides those who are over the age of 60 as well as anyone who is disabled, critical health, safety and maintenance repairs for their home. Most programs require that the applicant meet certain income guidelines and must live in the home and show clear title. This program includes such repairs and maintenance items as roof replacement, bathroom remodel or even the repair or addition of porches.

Senior Communities Helping One Another

Other senior communities programs put together those seniors who are still physically able to take care of minor home repairs and maintenance with those who need such services for seniors and can, in return, provide a service of their own. In other words, perhaps a senior woman living alone needed to have a running toilet repaired. Another senior, either a retired plumber or handyman, makes the needed repairs, and in return, the woman takes care of his laundry for a couple of weeks, walks his dog, cooks several meals, or anything else the two mutually agree upon. This is a sort of bartering system, which works quite well in in senior communities.



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