Laura Villa is disappointed. She’s been trying to give away money since January and hardly anyone is taking it.

Villa is the program director for SEAGO Area Agency on Aging, a non-profit agency that helps seniors and the disabled in Graham, Greenlee, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties in a variety of ways.

Back in January, the agency learned that the Arizona Caregiver Coalition has a three-year grant program that allows family caregivers to be reimbursed 50 percent for home modifications and assistive care technology up to $1,000 per year.

That means that family members who are caring for seniors can be reimbursed for such things as grab bars, wheelchair ramps, the cost to widen doors, adaptive light switches, roll under sinks and roll-in showers, said SEAGO’S Karen Enriquez.

The grant will even reimburse up to 50 percent the cost of hearing aids, communication devices, medical alert devices and button assistance devices as long as they don’t exceed $1,000 a year.

Villa said SEAGO has been promoting the program since January, but so far only three families in Cochise County have taken advantage.

Villa and Enriquez said they would love to see more family caregivers apply, especially because means seniors might be able to stay in their homes longer.

“It’s not a hard process,” Enriquez said. “They’ve just got to have their receipts and show they are caregivers.”

To apply: The family caregiver must call the Caregiver Resource Line at (888) 737-7494. A Caregiver Resource Specialist will complete pre-screening questions with the caregiver.

If they pass the pre-screening, the Caregiver Resource Specialist will mail or email a copy of the application, Medical Need Verification Form and W-9 (to receive a reimbursement check, if approved).

The family caregiver will need to complete and submit the application and required documents.

Once all documents are submitted to the Caregiver Coalition, they will be reviewed, and the family caregiver will be contacted on next steps within 90 days.

For more examples of qualifying expenses for Home Modification Costs and Assistive Care Technology, inquiries or additional information please contact the Caregiver Resource Line at (888) 737-7494.

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