Tribal Elder Program
The Home Modification Occupational Therapy Alliance (HMOTA) first began working with Tribal Elders in 2021 as part of a program to support Elders to age in place. The program provides $10,000.00 per Elder household annually to support the Elder to be safe in their home and to prevent falls. The program covers safety features for the home such as low-threshold showers, grab bars, handrails, home automation, and lighting, as well as general maintenance that is required for safety.
Falls Are Not Okay
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- One in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year.
- Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.
- Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.
- Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths.
- In 2015, the total cost of fall injuries was $50 billion. Medicare and Medicaid shouldered 75% of these costs.
- The financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages and may reach $67.7 billion by 2020.
Falls, with or without injury, also carry a heavy quality of life impact. A growing number of older adults fear falling and, as a result, limit their activities and social engagements. This can result in further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness.
Addressing the social determinants of health through home accessibility
How the program works:
- Elders who are 55 and older apply to the Tribal office to participate in the program, many times this is the Tribal Housing Office.
- The Tribal Housing Office then refers Elders to HMOTA for a Occupational Therapy Home Evaluation.
- An occupational therapist meets with the elder to evaluate mobility skills, how they do things in the home and the home itself. Standardized tests are used to allow us to track the impact we have on safety. All information collected is confidential.
- The elder and the OT prioritize the elder’s needs and wants, and the OT submits an evaluation with prioritized safety recommendations to the Housing Program Manager.
- The elder has $10,000 to invest towards what they’d like completed in their home.
- The Tribal Housing office often assists in working with the contractors to modify the home.
- The occupational therapist meets with the client after the home modifications to train them in safe practices with the new modifications.
HMOTA has Home Modification Occupational Therapists throughout the USA and can provide OT services throughout the country.
So elders that remain in the local vicinity as well as those who are outside the local area can benefit from this program.
The Elders’ Aging in Place grant can help with:
- Bathroom remodeling that will increase safety, beauty in the home as well increase the value of the home.
- Basic safety features: Lights to make reading easier and prevent falls. Grab bars and handrails to prevent loss of balance.
- Home maintenance: To keep home safe and in good condition. A minimum of 10% of the grant must be spent on home safety features such as accessibility, lighting, grab bars, home automation, handrails, etc.
- Planning if you’ve had a diagnosis like Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s or congestive heart failure.
- Home automation: Utilizing Amazon Show 8 to automate the home including:
- Video calls by saying Alexa call my son.
- Medication and date reminders.
- Voice activation of lights and fans.
- Video doorbells with intercoms.
- Keypad lock systems that work with phones.
- Easy access to Zoom calls.
- Drop-in video calls by loved ones, if enabled.
- Requirements for home automation:
- This includes 4 in home trainings to assist with set up and use.
- Must have good WIFI.
Life improvement through home improvement.
Contact us for more information and to get a program started near you!
Email: [email protected]