Category Archives: Housing

“America’s Health Rankings Senior Report released by United Health Foundation”

Pennsylvania ranks 26th in the country for senior citizens, according to the 2017 America’s Health Rankings Senior Report released by United Health Foundation.

Minnesota is the leading state for senior health in 2017, a title it also held in the first two years of the America’s Health Rankings Senior Report. Utah (second) reached its highest ranking in the report’s five-year history, after rising four spots this year. Hawaii (third), Colorado (fourth) and New Hampshire (fifth) round out the top five states.”



“Homelessness in the US: Sleep Study and Accommodation Directory” –


“It’s difficult to sleep if you don’t have a home. It’s especially difficult to sleep deeply when you have no way to secure your personal belongings and you’re worried about your personal safety.

“Unfortunately, this describes what sleeping is like for the homeless.”

This Website,, report may be a helpful resource. It is a portal to help increase awareness and help those affected by homelessness.

The portal contains a complete directory of all emergency shelters in the US, organized by state, with contact information (phone, web and address) as well as all of the services they offer plus a curated compilation of national and online resources for those affected by homelessness looking for help. Also included is overall study on homelessness in the US today.

Wolf Administration Extends Pennsylvania Home Heating Assistance Program Deadline

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Pennsylvanians struggling to pay home heating bills will now have until April 7 to apply for financial help through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

The federally funded program was slated to end March 31, 2017, but the Wolf Administration decided that given the unpredictable weather this winter, Pennsylvania would extend the program, giving people extra time to apply for funding.

“Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable were able to heat their homes this winter because of LIHEAP,” said Governor Wolf. “By keeping the program open longer, we hope to provide additional assistance to those who are struggling to keep their family warm.”

LIHEAP offers assistance in the form of a cash grant sent directly to the utility company or a crisis grant for households in immediate danger of being without heat. Some households are eligible for both types of assistance. Cash grants are based on household income, family size, type of heating fuel and region. In addition to proof of income and household size, applicants must provide a recent bill or a statement from their fuel dealer verifying their customer status and the type of fuel used.

“Everyone deserves a safe, warm home. I encourage Pennsylvanians to apply today to ensure they have the necessary resources to stay warm as the climate continues to be unpredictable,” said Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas.

Individuals can apply for a LIHEAP grant online at or in person at their local county assistance office. They may also call the statewide toll-free hotline at 1-866-857-7095 with questions about the program.

For more information about LIHEAP, visit

SOURCE: news release

No Wrong Door: Person- and Family-Centered Practices in Long-Term Services and Supports

This paper provides concrete examples of how seven No Wrong Door Systems—sometimes called Aging and Disability Resource Centers—are promoting person- and family-centered practice. No Wrong Door Systems involve an array of organizations including Area Agencies on Aging, Centers for Independent Living, and state agencies such as Medicaid agencies and state units on aging. Older adults, people with disabilities, and their families can access services through these agencies in a variety of ways including in person, by telephone, and online.

Individualization is at the heart of person- and family-centered practice. It is an essential component of No Wrong Door Systems, allowing people to have information about their options and facilitate decision making based on individual and family preferences, values, and financial resources. The paper includes a toolkit of resources and contacts for states to learn more and even replicate these practices. A checklist—specifically created for this project—provides a roadmap for states to ensure that No Wrong Door Systems operate in a person- and family-centered way.

nwd checklist

This paper is the first in a series of promising practices and emerging innovations reports. This series is a new feature of the upcoming, 3rd Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Scorecard. The LTSS Scorecard—written by the AARP Public Policy Institute and funded by The SCAN Foundation and The Commonwealth Fund—measures state-level performance of LTSS systems that assist older people, adults with disabilities, and their family caregivers.

Click here to download the long term scorecard.

Click here to download the complete report.


“Six charts that illustrate the divide between rural and urban America” – The Conversation

disability divideData reveal notable differences between rural and urban America. American Community Survey (ACAS) 2011-2015 5 year estimates, Table S1810, CC BY

This article from The Conversation identifies some of the data-driven views of the article’s authors (– Stephan Weiler, Professor of Economics, Colorado State University; Tessa Conroy and Steve Deller, Professors of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison) identify.

“Editor’s note: We’ve all heard of the great divide between life in rural and urban America. But what are the factors that contribute to these differences? We asked sociologists, economists, geographers and historians to describe the divide from different angles. The data paint a richer and sometimes surprising picture of the U.S. today.”

Click here to read the article at The Conversation.

“A Housing Crisis for Seniors” – The New York Times

senior-housing-crisisSally Deng

by Allison Arieff

“Last fall, I had to take the car keys away from an elderly relative who lives alone. This intervention should have happened much earlier, but when the day came it was one of the more emotionally wrenching things I’ve ever done. ‘Don’t take my car away,’ he pleaded. ‘Without my car I don’t have a life.’

“The fear he expressed is one shared by many older Americans, who, overwhelmingly, live in places where car travel is a necessity. And that number is skyrocketing: The population aged 65 and over is expected to grow to 79 million from 48 million in the next 20 years, and by 2035, one in three American households will be headed by someone 65 or older (and 9.3 million of those will be one-person households like my relative’s). A report just out from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, “Projects and Implications for a Growing Population: Older Households 2015-2035 Housing,” reveals that this demographic shift will increase the need for affordable, safe housing that is well connected to services way beyond what current supply can meet.

“My now-car-free relative is not the sort to sign up for one of those 55-plus communities promising sunshine, gardens and golf.”

Click here to continue reading this column at The New York Times.

“How to make a home much more friendly to seniors using wheelchairs or walkers” – California Healthline

Home caregiver comforting senior man in wheelchairThe housing industry has failed to accommodate an aging population, experts say. (iStock)

by Judith Graham

“When Dan Bawden teaches contractors and builders about aging-in-place, he has them get into a wheelchair. See what it’s like to try to do things from this perspective, he tells them.

“That’s when previously unappreciated obstacles snap into focus.

“Bathroom doorways are too narrow to get through. Hallways don’t allow enough room to turn around. Light switches are too high and electrical outlets too low to reach easily. Cabinets beneath a kitchen sink prevent someone from rolling up close and doing the dishes.

“It’s an ‘aha moment’ for most of his students, who’ve never actually experienced these kinds of limitations or realized so keenly how home design can interfere with — or promote — an individual’s functioning.

“About 2 million older adults in the U.S. use wheelchairs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau; another 7 million use canes, crutches or walkers.

“That number is set to swell with the aging population … ”

Continue reading this article at California Healthline, click here.

“Aging in Place Needs ‘Out of the Box’ Thinking | An Influencer in Aging on better housing for older Americans” – next avenue


by Louis Tenenbaum

“The election is over. Happy or not, we can’t predict what the new administration will do. But two things are certain. First, aging issues won’t disappear. Second, we can’t expect more federal funding or new entitlements. But this could be a good thing if it pushes us to think out of the box, particularly regarding aging in place.

“What Out of the Box Means for Aging in Place

“While low-income older adults desperately need funding and support, 70 percent of older Americans (70 million people) do not qualify for government or not-for-profit programs but, at the same time, cannot afford expensive retirement communities or 24/7 care.”

Continue reading this column at next avenue, click here.

HomesRenewed  is a coalition of business, consumer and nonprofit stakeholders driving policy and investment to increase the number of age-friendly homes, supporting Aging in Place.

“18 Steps to Fall Proofing Your Home” – National Council on Aging blog

“More than 75% of falls take place inside or in close proximity to the home, but your home doesn’t have to be an obstacle course of potential falls. Some simple and quick changes will easily help reduce your risk of falling. Review the steps below to get started today.



  • Add a non-slip rubber mat to the shower or tub. The traction of the mat or rubber self-stick strips will help keep you from slipping when stepping on the wet surfaces.
  • Install grab bars by the toilet and tub. The hard surfaces of the bathroom can make falling even more dangerous. Having properly installed grab bars around the toilet and tub provide needed support and balance. Remember, towel racks aren’t grab bars, but grab bars can be towel racks. Grab bars should be installed by a professional to make sure they are at the correct levels and properly anchored to the walls.”

Read the complete article at the National Council on Aging (NCOA) site here.


“Ideas Worth Stealing: Why this program for ex-offenders is working better in rural areas” – Keystone Crossroads

ideas-worth-stealingFile image of Zach Hassinger at an apartment in downtown Lewisburg, Pennsylvania in 2015. Hassinger got the apartment through the Union County Justice Bridge Housing Program, which tries to prevent people on probation or parole from re-offending. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

“Re-entry programs focused on housing aren’t uncommon, exactly. But it’s rare for local public housing authorities to be involved, and rarer still for them to spearhead the initiatives.

“Union County’s Housing Authority, however, took the lead with the county’s Justice Bridge Housing Program, which subsidizes apartments for select ex-offenders when they’re released from jail. Now in its third year, the program appears to be achieving its aim of reducing recidivism.

“Some other Pennsylvania communities have taken notice and want to start their own, similar initiative. But movement toward implementation thus far has been slow and limited to areas that are rural, like Union County.”

Read this Keystone Crossroads report in its entirety.