IU Health, CICOA Offer 10 Tips for Making Homes More Accessible for Seniors
| Indianapolis—Each year, one in three adults age 65 and older falls, resulting in a $19,000 average healthcare cost for treatment of their injury according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s why Indiana University Health, CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions and other Area Agencies on Aging across the state are partnering to help raise awareness of the importance of falls prevention and home modifications for independent seniors.
Hoosiers can benefit from facts, inexpensive tips and simple home modifications to make their homes safer in the days leading up to National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, Sept 22.
For example, more than three-quarters of all falls among seniors occur either in or near their home. On Oct. 6, IU Health will attempt to reduce this number by teaming up for the “Safe at Home” Event to make homes modifications to over 150 seniors’ homes across Indiana and 50 in Marion County.
“Many falls are unnecessary and costly because seniors can make simple modifications to their lifestyle and home to avoid such situations,” said Dr. Felipe Perez, director of the Acute Care for Elders unit at IU Health Methodist Hospital. “For example, a grab bar in a bathroom can be as little as $30. Compare that with thousands in rehabilitation costs after a fall and the uncalculated burden placed on family members caring for their loved one.”
Falls are the leading cause of injury death for older adults, a trend that is likely to continue as the baby boomer population ages. Similarly, IU Health emergency departments have seen an increase in the percentage of injuries related to falls among seniors since 2010.
IU Health and CICOA are offering the following 10 tips for making a home safer:
1. Remove throw rugs
2. Install a grab bar in tubs or shower
3. Secure or install handrails
4. Repair steps
5. Build ramps to make entering and exiting homes safer
6. Obtain a medical alert device for seniors living alone
7. Repair or install lights in hallways and stairwells
8. Clear overgrowth and debris from walkways
9. Inspect and remove tripping hazards from homes
10. Call the Aging & Disability Resource Center at 1-800-986-3505 for local resources
As part of its commitment to ensuring older Hoosiers continue to live independently in safe, accessible homes, IU Health is partnering with CICOA for the second consecutive year. This year, however, both organizations are expanding their scope by spreading falls prevention education and home modifications across the state.
This collaboration will culminate on Oct. 6, when IU Health hospitals across the state will join CICOA and other Area Agencies on Aging in sending volunteers and rehabilitation professionals into over 150 homes statewide. While there, they will assess and modify seniors’ homes as part of the annual “Safe at Home” event. For more information, visit iuhealth.org/getstrong or http://cicoa.org/safe-at-home.
About Indiana University Health Named among the “Best Hospitals in America” by U.S. News & World Report for 15 consecutive years, Indiana University Health is dedicated to providing a unified standard of preeminent, patient-centered care. A unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine – one of the nation’s leading medical schools – gives our highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology.
About CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions is the premier source of information and access to resources for seniors, persons with disabilities and family caregivers living in Central Indiana. Through a network of agencies, service groups and volunteers, CICOA provides home care services including personal home care, home-delivered meals, home health care, transportation services, respite care and caregiver assistance. Annually CICOA provides in-home care management to more than 3,400 clients, delivers more than 500,000 nutritious meals to homes and neighborhood meal sites, and offers respite care and supplemental services to 3,000 caregivers. CICOA’s Aging & Disability Resource Center handles more than 81,000 calls per year from people seeking assistance with aging and disability issues. To learn more visit http://www.cicoa.org.