TRAIL is one of many organizations and agencies that help make Johnson County a welcoming and supportive community for people of all ages. While TRAIL’s mission is to help older adults age in place, other organizations provide free or low-cost resources to meet a wide range of needs related to healthy aging. Scroll down this page to learn more about help for caregivers, home maintenance, safety and wellness, tech assistance, and transportation resources.
These two government-affiliated programs offer good starting points to help you explore local options. On their websites you will find extensive lists of aging-related resources in Johnson County and elsewhere in Iowa:
We also encourage you to explore the programs and services offered by the Iowa City-Johnson County Senior Center and, for Medicare-related questions, the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP).
In addition, the University of Iowa is an excellent source of information, expertise, and assistance about aging and geriatrics:
Several local agencies and organizations can offer assistance, often at little or no cost, for the more specific needs listed below.
The Home Alone Alliance, a collaborative project of American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), is a partnership of public, private, and nonprofit sector organizations coming together to address the ways health care organizations and professionals interface with family caregivers. The Home Alone Alliance website contains links to instructional videos for family care providers and other helpful resources.
Older family members and friends are not always eager to turn to others for assistance with activities of daily living, for a variety of reasons. TRAIL has developed a document called "Tips for Communicating with Seniors Who May Be Reluctant to Accept Help" that we hope others will find useful in these situations.
- Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity's (IVHFH) Helping Hands Program provides affordable maintenance and renovation services to elderly, disabled, and low-income individuals and families. IVHFH will provide a zero-interest loan to homeowners and oversee the completion of each Helping Hands project. IVHFH will consider exterior repairs to improve structural problems including, but not limited to: ramp construction, siding repair, porch repair and exterior stair replacement, and interior repairs to make a home more comfortable and convenient for the homeowner including, but not limited to: grab bar installation, furnace repair, water heater repair. See the IVHFH website for eligibility requirements and application procedures; or contact IVHFH at 2401 Scott Blvd, Iowa City, IA 52240, (319) 337-8949.
- Iowa City Housing Rehabilitation, Inc. is a City program that provides zero interest loans and/or limited grants to income eligible residents to aid in making repairs to their homes. Staff assist homeowners with home inspections, specifying work plans, and repairs, and securing bids from contractors. Must be single-family, owner-occupied home. Income eligibility guidelines, types of allowed rehabilitation, and application process are detailed on the City website, or contact the office at 410 E. Washington Street, Iowa City, IA 52240; (319) 356-5246 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- North Liberty Methodist Church’s "Make a Difference Days" are held in April and October each year. These services are limited to North Liberty residents and are free except for the cost of materials. The focus of the April day is window washing, painting, leaf raking and minor home repairs. The October date prioritizes yard work, winter weatherization and minor home repairs. These and other projects (such as roof repair and ramps) are possible during the year, depending on the extent of the project and people available. For more information, call (319) 626-2762 or contact Tom Widmer at (319) 594-5158
SAFETY AND WELLNESS
Visiting Nurse Association of Johnson County offers a fall-prevention program called "Stepping On," a 7- week workshop series for independent community-dwelling older adults who have fallen, are at risk of falling, or who have a fear of falling. Participants will learn to better manage their own risk of falls and take steps to prevent falls. Participants will practice strength and balance exercises and learn how medications, vision, safe footwear, and home modifications can affect risk of falls. To learn more about the program, visit the "Stepping On" website; or contact Iola Feldkamp, RN, BSN, Community Program Coordinator, VNA of Johnson County, (319) 337-9686 ext. 1155, email@example.com; or Kathleen Lee, MSN, RN, Injury Prevention Coordinator, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, (319) 384-5681, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iowa City Public Library provides a variety of tech-related assistance to anyone free of charge. Common requests include setting up or accessing email, using the library's digital collection, learning to use new devices such as smart phones and tablets, help with social media and guidance on longer term projects such as digitizing photos. Library staff and volunteers are not able to help with hardware repair, home router setup and fixing problems associated with viruses or other malware. Whenever possible, patrons are encouraged to bring their mobile devices with them and should remember to bring power cords or data cables as necessary. Two sessions are offered weekly; call (319) 356-5200 for more information:
Monday, 10:00 – Noon
Tuesday 12:00 – 4:00
Wednesday 10:00 – Noon
2nd floor computer lab
Iowa City Public Library
123 South Linn Street
Senior Tech Zone
Thursday, 10:30 – 12:30
2nd floor computer lab
Iowa City Public Library
123 South Linn Street
The Johnson County Social Services Mobility Coordinator serves as a single point of contact for transportation referrals, education and community outreach. The Mobility Coordinator helps increase awareness of public transit and expand potential ridership, and works collaboratively to improve overall mobility for elderly, low-income persons, and persons with disabilities.
Anyone can contact the Mobility Coordinator regarding a transportation need. The services of the Mobility Coordinator are provided at no charge to the user. For more information, visit www.johnson-county.com/mobility or contact Mobility Coordinator Kelly Schneider at (319) 356-6090 or email@example.com.
As an alternative to traditional taxi-cabs, older adults in our community and elsewhere are increasingly using transportation services such as Uber. If you’re interested in learning more about this popular ride-sharing app, check out these helpful videos:
We're here to help
If you are unable to find what you’re looking for in the resources listed above, please get in touch!