Safe at Home is a service offered by CICOA to help our neighbors age in place through home accessibility modifications. According to AARP, more than 90 percent of people aged 60 or older want to stay in their home and community for as long as possible. One primary barrier to aging in place is when the home is no longer accessible or presents a fall risk. Working with local contractors and funded by philanthropic dollars, CICOA’s Safe at Home department completes more than 60 home modifications projects each year.
Safe at Home Director Dan Amonett is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist, a designation earned from the National Association of Home Builders. For each home project, Dan completes an assessment of need, determines the scope of work, verifies homeowner eligibility, and oversees the work completed by contractors. Types of projects completed include barrier-free showers, grab bars, porch handrails, wheelchair ramps, concrete sidewalks, banisters and lighting. A final inspection is done once work is finished and homeowners complete a satisfaction survey.
Due to COVID-19, the Safe at Home assessments have been on a brief hiatus to prevent exposure for homeowners and staff. The department has put in place a series of safety protocols and is now back in the field assessing homes for modifications. We make prescreening calls to make sure no one in the home is feeling symptomatic or has come into known contact with anyone testing positive for the virus. Staff follow strict guidelines for use of personal protective equipment, such as masks, rubber gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. We are targeting outdoor projects as much as possible to minimize contact and always using social distancing.
Applications continued during the hiatus, so we have our work cut out for us over the coming months to address the backlog. Many believe that the safest place they can be–pandemic or not–is in their home. CICOA wants to make sure their home meets their needs and is as safe as possible.
Fragile seniors are at risk of falls in their homes, but your compassion and generosity can keep seniors safe at home.