Home Nurse income $600,000 allocated to help low-income seniors in Tampa improve their homes

$600,000 allocated to help low-income seniors in Tampa improve their homes

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The funding is earmarked for home improvement projects for seniors who would otherwise have to leave their home because it does not meet their needs.

BRANDON, Fla. – This year, state lawmakers set aside $600,000 to help Hillsborough County seniors stay in their homes rather than be burdened with rising housing costs or long-term care .

That’s exactly what a group called The Self Reliance Center for Independent Living is doing. Help seniors with disabilities by making changes that can keep them where they want to be.

In their own homes, with their own families.

“Staying at home means everything. I didn’t know how much,” said Dave Rimmer, who lives in Brandon.

Rimmer, fast approaching 80, was afraid he would have to leave the house he and his wife bought seven years ago after a biking accident left him stranded.

But thanks to Self Reliance, the Rimmers recently received a new, safer shower that will keep them together in their home for years to come.

“It’s so much better to be able to move around and move around and do anything,” Rimmer said.

Rep. Jackie Toledo (R-FL) presented Self Reliance with a check for $600,000 on Wednesday. That’s enough money to help about 15 additional households.

Daniel Lugo recently had a ramp installed in front of his home. The upgrade will allow Lugo and his wife who uses a wheelchair to stay together in their home.

“I mean, so awesome,” Lugo said. “Because now I don’t need to hold her anymore.” She is independent with the wheelchair. Go around the ramp. And it has been a blessing for us.

“Most seniors with disabilities want to stay in their homes,” Toledo said. “But for those who are older and have a disability, the only choice is often to go to a retirement home or an assisted living facility.”

The project’s sponsors say it’s about much more than adding convenience. It is a matter of independence. And dignity.

“It’s just a pride to stay in your own home,” said Self Reliance executive director Gary Martoccio. “And with a modification that allows that.”

Lawmakers say the money is also a good investment because helping people stay in their homes is much cheaper than providing publicly funded long-term care. Nursing homes, Toledo said, can cost $8,000 a month. Serviced residences – approximately $3,000 per month.

Proponents say they would like to see this particular program expanded. They say that in Hillsborough County, 15% of the population is 65 or older and has lived in their homes for over 40 years.

“This service,” Toledo said, “prevents premature nursing home placements and unnecessary hospitalizations.”

Self Reliance is now accepting applications from low-income seniors who qualify for home renovations they might not otherwise be able to afford. Click here to find out more.

It’s a return on investment that’s hard to put into words for those who receive help.

“It means everything to us,” said Wanda, Dave Rimmer’s wife. “Because this is our home, and we want to stay here.”