Research shows that seniors prefer to remain in their own homes as they age. It’s not surprising older individuals want what’s comfortable and familiar to them, rather than relocating their lives to a nursing facility. Researchers at John Hopkins School of nursing are using this general truth, as well as, the problem of high nursing home facility costs to explore a different approach to help seniors age in their own homes.
“Most older adults strongly prefer to live at home, but limitation in multiple basic or instrumental activities of daily living (ADLs or IADLs) is the leading modifiable predictor of nursing home admission (CAPABLE).”
ADLs then become a primary focus of solution for public health. The ADLs presumably can be solved at much lower costs, thus reducing nursing home admissions.
The research study at John Hopkins School of Nursing may have found an effective way to help seniors age in their own homes safely and comfortably, as well as, cut major Medicare costs.
Their program CAPABLE (Community Aging in Place – Advancing Better Living for Elders) is a research study that has proven it’s success. It aims at helping seniors remain in their homes as they age more comfortably and safely. It’s a five month program that incorporates either creative outreach or physical function. Each team is made up of an outreach worker or occupational therapist, an RN, and a handyman.
The study found that investing a smaller amount of money in home adjustments (depending on senior’s need) such as lighting, handrails, bathroom safety, etc…saves the healthcare industry a much larger sum of money. These changes to the home dramatically reduce the number of injuries and nursing home admissions, helping seniors age in their own home.
A portion of each person’s allotment goes towards household installations (1,300) while the other portion pays other services such as therapy or training in using assistive devices. According to Health Affairs, $3,000 invested correlated to $10,000 saved in medical costs.
- 79% of participants improved their self-care over the course of five months
- On average, the number of self-care tasks that proved difficult for participants were halved
- Participants experienced a decrease in depressive symptoms similar to that of anti-depressant medication
Lower income adults struggling with activities of daily living (ADLs) benefited tremendously from this unique program, as it targets both their living environment and their struggles as an aging adult. The data for this study is closely tracked and monitored as this idea develops.
Helping seniors age in their own homes is far from impossible. Targeting the main difficulties of a senior living at home living can make this possible. If your family is struggling to find care direction for a loved one who desire to remain in their homes, a good place to start is an assessment from a geriatric care manager to determine their greatest care needs.