Keeping Your Housing
updated October 31, 2017

Maybe you’ve been happy where you’ve been living, but something changed. For example, if your physical condition gets worse and you can’t walk up and down the stairs, you might think that you have to move to a place with no stairs. Or, if it starts to be hard for you to prepare your own meals, you may think you have to move into a place that provides meals.

However, just because you are going through changes doesn’t always mean you have to move.

Improve Access to Your Home if You Have Physical Impairments

There are many improvements that might let you stay in your current home even if you think you can’t. Here are some examples of the changes a person with a mobility impairment might make:

  • Adding hand rails and grab bars
  • Adding a home stair lift (a sort of elevator that can go up your existing staircases)
  • Adding wheelchair ramps
  • Replacing an existing door with a wider one
  • Getting furniture that is high enough for a wheelchair

Other solutions may be even simpler. For example, if you are finding it hard to stand in the shower, you can get a shower chair and take a sponge bath. You can get advice about different solutions by talking to other people with disabilities similar to your own or with accessibility specialists — a good place to find someone is at your local independent living center.

Important note for renters: If you are renting, your landlord does not have to make accessibility improvements. However, your landlord must let you make them yourself, if you are willing to pay for them and they are reasonable. If your landlord doesn't want to let you make accessibility improvements, talk to Home Line Minnesota at 1-866-866-3546 or 1-612-728-5767. Watch a video about reasonable accommodations in your rental.

Evaluate your living situation

Live Well at Home is an excellent resource that can help you evaluate your living situation. It lists common reasons why people think they can’t live alone anymore, including:

  • Needing help with everyday tasks
  • Getting injured after a fall
  • Not having anybody around who can help
  • Having a caregiver who is feeling stressed
  • Feeling lonely
  • Becoming more forgetful

For each of these concerns, Live Well at Home explains what solutions may exist, ranging from accessibility improvements to the home to getting services.

Get Help Paying for Accessibility Improvements

Accessibility improvements can be costly. Fortunately, there are some programs that can help:

Even if making improvements to your home is expensive, it may still be a lot cheaper than moving into a group home or nursing home.

Services That Can Help You Stay in Your Home

Another way that you may be able to stay in your own home is by having people help you with different services. Here are some examples of the services you can get:

  • Help with bathing
  • Home-delivered meals
  • Help taking medication
  • Transportation
  • 24-hour skilled nursing care

HB101's Programs section includes information about programs that can help you pay for these services.

Get a free evaluation of what services and programs might help you

Contact your local county human services agency to learn about services and ask for a MnCHOICES assessment. Anybody who thinks they might need long-term services can ask for a MnCHOICES assessment, even if they don’t qualify for any benefits. Within 20 days, the county must send an assessor over to review your situation and see which long-term care programs or services might help you. If you might qualify for public benefits, the county will help you fill out the application forms.