CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions is teaming up with other Indiana agencies for the Safe at Home event from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 21.
Safe at Home is a half-day of service that helps make homes safe and accessible for homeowners ages 60 and older or to persons of any age with a disability. Locally, volunteers will make home modifications to 40 homes in Marion County.
Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls, and falls remain the leading cause of injury and death for older Americans. Falls threaten seniors’ safety and independence and can create an enormous personal and community financial burden.
The average healthcare cost for treatment of a fall-related injury is $19,000, and in 2010 the total cost of fall injuries for older Americans was an estimated $30,000.
“Falls are a proven threat to the health and independence of older adults, but fortunately there are simple steps anyone can take to eliminate tripping hazards and reduce the likelihood of falls,” CICOA President and CEO Orion Bell said in a press release.
CICOA’s Safe at Home volunteers will make modifications to help prevent falls in the place seniors are most likely to sustain a fall: their own homes. According to the National Health Interview Survey, more than 75 percent of all fall injuries occur inside or outside the home.
To prevent these kinds of falls, volunteers will make simple home modifications such as installing grab bars in bathrooms and handrails on stairs, and clearing weeds, shrubbery, and debris from walkways and porches. Volunteers will also install smoke detectors.
CICOA began the Safe at Home program in 2009. This year’s event will take place in conjunction with the start of national Fall Prevention Week which is Sept. 22-28.