Spotlight on Innovation: Mobile Homes and Services
We're highlighting the cutting-edge programs and successful strategies used by the 2018 recipients of n4a's Aging Innovations Awards in this weekly spotlight feature. This week we're focusing on Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens (AASC), winner in the Community Planning & Livable Communities category.
Since 2013, AASC has provided safe and affordable housing through the Appalachian Agency Senior Living Community to help reduce the isolation experienced by older adults and people with disabilities who live in rural areas. Renovated, accessible homes owned by the agency in a local mobile home park are reserved for older adults who have low incomes and who have health issues or who are at risk of homelessness or extreme social isolation.
The main office complex houses an adult day care center, a childcare center, county transit offices, AllCARE for Seniors (a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE program) with an onsite medical and physical therapy clinic as well as administrative and program offices. Services that help meet residents' needs onsite and enrich their lives include housekeeping and personal care assistance, medication management, assistance in enrolling in Medicare, emergency services, educational services, nutrition assistance, guardianship services, PACE services, a community garden and accessible transportation.
AASC created the program because it noticed a steady flow of requests from clients seeking safe and affordable housing. Once AASC staff identified the need, the agency acquired two abandoned mobile homes and later purchased another unit. Fortunately, these mobile homes were already equipped for aging in place with widened doorways and bathroom modifications. The agency relied on its own ingenuity and independent efforts to move the project forward.
Currently, AASC owns 11 homes in the 32-spot mobile home park. Two-thirds of the residents in the park are age 55 and older. AASC is exploring opportunities to further develop the senior living community, including potentially constructing an onsite community center.
To learn more about this year's winners, read our press release and check out our book of winners to learn how your agency can implement this or similar programs in your community!