CAPABLE: Simple Home Mods to Enable Independence

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A team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and the School of Public Health are engaged in a crucial research project.  CAPABLE:  Community Aging in Place–Advancing Better Living for Elders provides assessments by occupational therapists for low-income seniors in relation to their home environment.  Interventions include medication management by providing pill organizers and demonstrating their use; non-skid and weighted dishes and utensils. In addition, repairs and modifications are made by carpenters.  Toilet seats are raised, handrails and grab bars are installed, cabinets are lowered, lighting installed.  The program provides up to $1200 in carpentry services.  A primary goal of the project is determine whether the cost of the OT and physical interventions delays institutionalization, thereby decreasing overall societal costs.  This is what I have been arguing for with my goal of “creating a paradigm shift whereby we view enabling design as a missing variable in public health.”  This program is funded by $8 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.