ANN ARBOR – The city of Ann Arbor is searching for adults ages 60 years and older to take part in its new Aging in Place Efficiently program.
Part of Ann Arbor’s A2Zero Climate Plan, the program is seeking up to 20 income-qualified homeowners to explore aging-in-place and energy-efficient improvements to their homes.
The pilot program begins with a prescreen to ensure that candidates are eligible to participate followed by a social worker home visit to assess individual needs.
If a homeowner passes the initial assessment, an occupational therapy assessment and an energy audit are conducted to determine aging-in-place and critical energy needs within the home and its immediate surroundings.
During the process, each homeowner is asked to share their main concerns and goals for the home to ensure their quality of life is improved through the recommended services.
“Together, we build a job scope for each home that works to ensure project dollars are put to the very best use for our residents,” Missy Stults, manager of the Ann Arbor Office of Sustainability and Innovations said in a release. “Our goal is increased home comfort and safety, resulting in more years spent in the home, reduced climate pollution, and a higher quality of life for our residents.”
According to a city release, the program helps homeowners who may have been underserved build equity in the home, which would benefit residents should delays with nursing care arise.
The city hopes to make Aging in Place Efficiently a permanent program that would over time include any eligible residents, including renters, in Washtenaw County.
Future funding opportunities will determine whether plans for expansion can move forward, said a city release. Partners supporting the pilot program include: Michigan Saves; University of Michigan Hospital – Meals on Wheels and Housing Bureau for Seniors; Washtenaw County Office for Economic Development; Huron Valley Habitat for Humanity; and the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability.
“We are thankful for the funders and community partners, plus the program participants, who are helping us build Aging in Place Efficiently from the ground up,” Stults said in a statement. “And special thanks to the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and the Partners for Places program for financially supporting this critical and timely work.”
So far, six homeowners have been selected to participate in the program.
“The best thing I can say is, ‘I am so happy!’” Diana, an Aging in Place Efficiently participant said in a release. “The Aging in Place initiative is a blessing in disguise for seniors like me that need major work done in their homes.
“The program has great partners that work between them and the participants to help define problems in and around the home that need attention. Everyone involved with this program was kind, understanding, and professional.”
For more information, visit www.a2gov.org/aip or call 734-794-6000, ext. 43738.