TOWSON, MD—The Baltimore County Department of Aging on Tuesday announced the Baltimore County Age-Friendly Upgrades for Seniors (BCAUSE) program, which offers Baltimore County homeowners over the age of 65 the opportunity to receive home repairs or safety modifications to help enable them to stay in their homes in order to age safely in place.
The BCAUSE program is a collaboration between the Baltimore County Department of Aging (BCDA), Civic Works, Rebuilding Together Baltimore, CHAI, and Dundalk Renaissance.
“Seniors are the backbone of our communities. They are our caregivers, teachers, and everyday leaders who constantly give back,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “This innovative, life-changing program will help empower more of our residents to age in their communities with choice, independence, and dignity.”
Studies have shown that the majority of older adults prefer to age in place in their own homes; however, there can be a gap between the desire for older adults to stay in their homes and the ability to make the necessary repairs and modifications to do so.
The BCAUSE program offers eligible homeowners in Baltimore County up to $4,500 of home repairs or safety modifications to help them age safely in place. To be eligible for the program, a person needs to be a Baltimore County homeowner who is 65 years or older and is at or below 50 percent of area median income.
Through BCAUSE, BCDA will work with eligible individuals’ care manager and/or occupational therapist to screen homes for falls risks and hazards and determine what repairs or improvements are needed. If a participant does not have a care manager through BCDA, DSS, or other partner, they will be connected with a Baltimore County Department of Aging Community Outreach Specialist for home screening as well as a general needs assessment for other wrap-around services, including home-delivered meals, SNAP benefits, Medicaid, and other supports.
Home repairs covered by BCAUSE include, but are not limited to:
• Roof repairs,
• Electrical and heating systems repairs, and
• Safety modifications, such as grab bars, stair rails and assistive devices
All home repairs are completed by one of the BCAUSE partner agencies (Civic Works, CHAI, Dundalk Renaissance Corporation, or Rebuilding Together) or by an approved contractor.
BCAUSE is funded through an $800,000 capital grant from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation with additional funding from Wesley Inc., which has dedicated itself to serving seniors since 1868.
At least 100 households are expected to benefit from this program in the first year.
“This exciting new collaboration will empower more low-income older adults across Baltimore County to access the repairs they need to safely stay in their homes,” said Earl Millett, Program Director, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. “The Foundation is thrilled to provide critical capital funding to help make this program possible.”
Older adults interested in participating in the BCAUSE program should call the Baltimore County Maryland Access Point (MAP) at 410-887-2594, Monday-Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. A certified Information and Referral Specialist will complete an application over the phone to determine eligibility.
The mission of the Baltimore County Department of Aging is to strengthen lives by providing services, programs and connections to resources. For more information on the various programs provided by BCDA, visit https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/aging or calling Maryland Access Point (MAP) at 410-887-2594.
More in the video below.