Grandma’s Porch Fund

Many elders across our Valley are “aging-in-place” with debilitating illnesses, multiple chronic health conditions and poverty level incomes. They need our help.

In late 2014 Age-Friendly Innovators launched Grandma’s Porch Fund to help low income seniors and persons with disabilities reduce their risk of falling and providing assistive devices that make their homes safer and more accessible. Grandma’s Porch Fund assures that those on modest, fixed, incomes can stay in their homes.  We do that through the no-cost provision and installation of much needed grab bars, railings, wheelchair ramps, bathroom safety devices as well as porch and step repairs and have served hundreds of homes throughout the Rogue Valley.

The process starts with a referral from a local agency or organization (or relatives in some cases) indicating a resident needs help.  Many times the need is to prevent falls or improve accessibility within the home.  AFI staff and volunteers first conduct a Fall-Risk, In-Home Safety and Accessibility assessment to identify specific risks and needs that must be addressed so the occupant(s) can remain safely in their home.

Once the needs have been identified AFI develops a project work plan to purchase and install needed products and/or repair rotting steps and porches.  Among the items installed are:

  • Bathroom grab bars
  • Tub and shower benches with arms
  • Handheld shower wands
  • Toilet risers with arms
  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Railings
  • CO and smoke Detectors
  • Night lights and emergency lighting
  • Carpet tape to secure loose rugs

AFI employs licensed/bonded handymen to make the key installations and utilizes volunteers for less technical problems.

This project is in coordination with Rogue Valley Habitat for Humanity, ACCESS, Rogue Valley Council of Governments Senior & Disability Services as well as other local organizations serving low income older adults.  Fund support has been provided by local donations and grants from Washington Federal Foundation, Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation, Carpenter Foundation, Lithia Ashland Rotary and the Association of REALTORS® HOME program.