Most older adults say, when asked about their future plans, that they want to remain in their homes for as long as possible. But there are many factors that can make living independently difficult for the elderly, and without proper support, falls or other circumstances can lead to a sometimes costly move into assisted living. The CAPABLE program developed by the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing helps seniors function better in their own homes with the support of a team to improve safety and independence.
The Community Aging in Place – Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE) program helps seniors with functional limitations and chronic health conditions thrive in their home environment by providing support from a team that includes a nurse, an occupational therapist, and a handy worker. When implemented by community organizations, the CAPABLE approach helps lower medical costs significantly and better the daily function of seniors, reducing their symptoms of depression, and improving the ability to manage medications and to grocery shop.
By adapting the living space of seniors with assistive devices and home modifications such as installing grab bars, improving lighting or repairing flooring, seniors can continue to live safely at home and thrive. Small changes in the living environment of seniors can give them the boost in motivation they need to continue to stay active and independent. Lowering kitchen cupboards and making bathrooms more accessible for older adults using a wheelchair or walker helps seniors age in place with more confidence and safety.
As many people learned during the pandemic, larger, crowded nursing homes present a serious risk for residents when a contagious disease like COVID-19 infects a building. Elderly adults may be able to live a better quality of life at home, with the support of a team trained by programs like CAPABLE, and save health care dollars that will be stretched thin over the next 20 years as the Baby Boomer generation reaches old age.
Learn more about the CAPABLE program by following this link to the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing website.