"I've fallen and I can’t get up."  Do you remember that line from the Life Alert® commercial back in 1989?  It was campy, but it highlighted a serious issue – falls are a danger to seniors and can force them out of their homes or worse.  How big is the problem?  According to the CDC:

 

  • Fall death rates, for older adults, increased by 30% from '07 to '16.

  • Each year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.

  • Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.

  • Fall injuries are among the 20 most expensive medical conditions.

Many of the clients we serve are elderly and live alone. Unsafe conditions exist and accidents happen. Even with the challenges of living alone and the cost of making a home safe and  accessible, nearly  90 percent of people over age 65 want to stay in their home for as long as possible, and 80 percent believe their current residence is where they will always live.*

Many of the clients we serve are elderly and live alone. Unsafe conditions exist and accidents happen. Even with the challenges of living alone and the cost of making a home safe and  accessible, nearly  90 percent of people over age 65 want to stay in their home for as long as possible, and 80 percent believe their current residence is where they will always live.*

Since HRM is focused on providing critical home repairs, we have not addressed home safety requirements as a formal program (although we have occasionally addressed these types of needs). But that is changing... Driven by the fact that the senior population is the fastest growing age segment here in Gwinnett County, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services has undertaken efforts to help seniors stay in their home longer and safer. HRM is partnering with them to start a pilot program to install grab bars in their homes. We will be working on this project over the next several months for candidates they have screened.

This is one small step to helping provide safer homes for seniors to “age in place”.  Want to join in this effort or learn more?  Give us a call or complete a volunteer form.

*AARP Public Policy Institute, “Aging in Place: A State Survey of Livability

Policies and Practices ”, p. 1.

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