In conjunction with National Fall Prevention Week, Home Safety Services of Foster City, California, partnered with the San Mateo County Fall Prevention Task Force and the local Rebuilding Together affiliate to perform senior home safety modifications for three low income, community dwelling seniors in East Palo Alto, CA.
The seniors received a variety of services and counseling to help prevent falls and maintain their independence. Home Safety Services contributed materials and labor of three staff persons to the effort. Another partner, OT House Calls, provided counseling, training and materials as well. Members of the task force and staff and volunteers from Rebuilding Together rounded out the work crews.
In the bathrooms, grab bars, hand-held showers and elevated toilet seats were provided. Custom fabricated stair railings were provided at entrances. One recipient with significant gait issues, received a 24’ long modular aluminum wheelchair ramp (see photos)
All of the services were provided at no charge to the recipients. The retail value of the goods and services provided to the three recipients was in excess of $15,000. In each case, the modifications will greatly increase the likelihood that the recipients will be able to stay in their respective homes longer and more independently.
Martin Simenc, President of Home Safety Services, states: “this is a great example of private companies and community agencies collaborating to meet the needs of at-risk seniors and to highlight the importance of home modifications in preventing falls and maintaining independence. It takes a team of resources to meet the needs of our community dwelling seniors.”
Simenc goes on to say, “that falls do not only happen to the poor. Our middle and upper income seniors are just as likely to experience a life changing fall and also need home modifications. And although funding is an issue for a lot of seniors, awareness (of the importance of home modifications and the resources available to perform them) and inertia (a desire to keep things as they have been) are often equally challenging barriers to overcome.”
This event, scheduled to coincide with National Fall Prevention week, is just the latest chapter in this lengthy and fruitful public/private relationship.
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