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Senior Safety Program-Updates for 2016-2017

Safety Equipment-Duett, Bed rail, Freedom Alert, Tub Grab barSince 2003, IPAT has been responsible for the day-to-day implementation of North Dakota’s Assistive Safety Devices Distribution Services through a contract with the ND Department of Human Services, Aging Services.  The Senior Safety Program, as it is known, provides up to $300 of safety equipment to qualifying ND Residents, age 60 years and older, not residing in a nursing home.  The following are reminders and updates to the program for the coming year.

As specified in our contract with Aging Services, IPAT shall give priority to serving:

  1. Older individuals residing in rural areas.
  2. Older individuals with greatest economic need (with particular attention to low-income older individuals, including low-income minority older individuals, older individuals with limited English proficiency, and older individuals residing in rural areas.)
  3. Older individuals with greatest social need (with particular attention to low-income older individuals, including low-income minority older individuals, older individuals with limited English proficiency, and older individuals residing in rural areas.)
  4. Older individuals with severe disabilities.
  5. Older individuals with limited English proficiency.
  6. Older individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders with neurological and organic brain dysfunction and their caretakers.
  7. Older individuals at risk of institutional placement.

In an effort to ensure that the right person gets the right equipment at the right time, effective October, 2016, IPAT will be instituting a new assessment document as a part of the request for Senior Safety devices.  It is IPAT’s responsibility to adhere to the requirements of the contract and to ensure those administering the program that IPAT is meeting the criteria set forth in the contract.

Durable Medical Equipment (DME) such as wheelchairs, Rollator walkers, etc. are now covered devices under Medicaid and Medicare when medically necessary.  If for some reason these devices are not covered for a particular person, a recommendation by the appropriate professional (i.e. Physical Therapist) for the exact device with specifications for that person will be required before an order can be placed for the individual through this program. This is to ensure the device fits the individual’s needs, so they remain safe and additional medical issues do not arise due to the wrong device or measurement.

This program has a very limited amount of financial resources, so it is also imperative that the individual or individual’s representative have exhausted all other potential forms of payment such as insurance, the Medicaid State Plan, the Medicaid Waiver (i.e. HCBS for Aged and Disabled Waiver), and other programs for which the individual may be eligible for prior to contacting IPAT for Senior Safety devices.

In addition, it must be noted that this program can in no way be used as a means to obtain equipment on short notice, especially for emergency purposes (i.e. hospital releases).  We receive numerous requests on a daily basis, and each request is dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please make note that we have had a change in personnel.  Courtney Ness is now the main contact for the Senior Safety Program and can be reached at 701-365-4728 or 800-895-4728. You can also email us at seniorsafety@ndipat.org.

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