The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation recently announced a gift of $1.25 million to Habitat for Humanity to support aging-in-place services for low-income older adults. Habitat will implement a program designed by Johns Hopkins School of Nursing that combines services in nursing and occupational therapy with Habitat’s expertise in home repairs. The Community Aging in Place – Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE) program will be implemented by Habitat organizations in five communities in the United States.
“We are grateful for the generous donation from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, which will allow us to better address the important ties between home and health for older Americans,” said Rebecca Hix, Director of Neighborhood Revitalization for Habitat for Humanity International. “Through the CAPABLE program, we will work in partnership with health care professionals to help homeowners stay healthy and safe as they grow older in their homes.”
“Helping low-income and vulnerable older adults to age in their communities with independence and dignity is one of our biggest areas of giving and we’re thrilled to begin this new partnership with Habitat for Humanity,” said Aaron Merki, Managing Director for Programs and Grants for The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. “We believe combining health services with home repairs will make aging in place safer and healthier for the over 80 percent of Americans growing older in their homes.”
The CAPABLE program will be implemented over the next two years in five communities across the United States by Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Philadelphia Habitat for Humanity, Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland, and Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna. Local Habitat organizations will implement the program by assessing the overall condition of a house and working in partnership with the homeowner and local health care providers to prioritize critical home repairs that will improve the health, usability, and safety of the home and its owner.
The CAPABLE program is based on the idea that disabilities in older adults result from a combination of medical and environmental factors. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing identified low-income adults as being more vulnerable to these factors because they tend to have reduced access to primary care and an increased likelihood of living in homes needing critical repairs, but often lack the physical or financial resources to address them. Throughout the two-year period, local Habitat organizations will work closely with the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing to measure and analyze results.
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