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According to an AARP study, nearly 90 percent of older adults want to stay in their homes as they age. People are not only comfortable in their homes, but they are surrounded by a social network of neighbors and friends.
Living at home as you age, also known as aging in place, is "the most desirable way of aging...” and "in most cases it is the more cost efficient way of aging." However, not all homes are designed or furnished to accommodate the changes that take place with aging. Although people may be comfortable in their homes, they may not always be safe.
According to the National Center for Injury Control and Prevention, more than one third of adults age 65 and older suffer injuries from falls each year. The average health care cost of a fall injury is estimated to be $19,440.
Home environmental modifications, simple assistive technology devices and patient/caregiver education can significantly reduce those costs. Home Safe Home is a program designed to promote aging in place by providing individuals with an assessment of their living environment.
Who can benefit?
Individuals interested in living at home independently as they age and/or as they adapt to an injury or disease process. It is also beneficial for caregivers and for children of aging parents.
Why Home Safe Home™?
The purpose of this program is to provide you with recommendations that may make it more feasible for you to stay in your home, safely, for long as possible. It may reduce the risk of the need for alternative living environments (long term care facilities, assistive living and/or family) and the costs associated with these places.
Who will work with me?
The Home Safe Home™ program will be administered by an occupational therapist with training in home assessments, home modifications and equipment assessment.
Option 1: This option is designed to provide an evaluation of the physical living spaces. The therapist will assess how the individual's home is accessed and general safety of the environment. This service is not billed through insurance and does not require a physician's prescription.
Option 2: This option is a more in-depth assessment of the individual's physical function and actual performance of activities of daily living within the home. This is a service provided based on medical need.
For example, if an individual has had a recent illness, change in function, or disease process that has caused some concern with the ability to live safely and independently at home, this evaluation would be performed. It includes an occupational therapy evaluation as well as a home assessment. This service does require a physician's prescription and can be billed through insurance, but payment by insurance is not guaranteed.
For both options, the participants will receive written recommendations for home modifications, equipment needs and adaptive techniques to promote improved independent function at home.