Detroit –Habitat for Humanity Detroit, in partnership with Henry Ford Health and Baldwin Society Supporting Older Adults, has launched The Return Home Safe (RHS) program to reduce the risk for at-home falls by providing modest home safety repairs and transitional private-duty aides for eligible low-income seniors in the Detroit area.
A report by America’s Health Rankings said 29.3% of Michigan seniors ages 65 and older are likely to suffer from a fall, and one out of five falls causes a serious injury like a hip fracture and head trauma. These can lead to decreased mobility, loss of independence, social isolation and depression, and premature death.
“We see the positive impact that safe and healthy housing can have on quality of life,” says Stephanie Osterland, CEO, Habitat for Humanity Detroit. “We are excited to utilize Habitat Detroit’s construction expertise to improve safety for our seniors.”
“Most of us know a senior who does not have the resources they need to be safe and well at home. Through this program we can help keep loved ones from experiencing the negative impacts of falls,” says Steve Ebben, Board Member, Baldwin Society Supporting Older Adults.
RHS is made possible by an initial $100,000 grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund which will make a significant impact for the seniors in the cities we are serving. Support from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundationis providing funding to aid in the research and analysis of the data to be collected from this program. However, additional funding is needed to allow Habitat to reach our goal of helping 100 seniors with repairs in the next 18 months and we are seeking additional partners to help assist these individuals.
“When older adults come home from the hospital, they need a safe environment that will not cause further injury but facilitate their recovery,” said Audrey Harvey, vice president and executive director at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation.“The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation is pleasedto help fund the Return Home Safeprogram to ensure this vulnerable population can get well in a familiar setting.”
Eligible low-income seniors are ages 65 and older, own their home in Detroit, Hamtramck, or Highland Park, and are considered at-risk for falls. Henry Ford’s Mobile Integrated Health team will work with Habitat to identify seniors who are at-risk for falls to receive home repairs. The repairs would be at no cost to eligible seniors.The types of repairs to be made may include installing grab bars in the bathroom, fixing handrails and uneven flooring, and improving lighting.
“We are pleased to partner with Habitat for Humanity Detroit and Baldwin Society Supporting Older Adultson this community initiative to ensure the safety of seniors in their home,” said Alexander Plum, Director of Henry Ford’s Clinical & Social Health Integration.
Tayo Moss, Program Manager at Michigan Health Endowment Fund, said “The Return Home Safe intervention is a wonderful community initiative. We look forward to the progression of this work as it supports seniors through their healing process.”
For more information on this program and waysto support, please contact Mary Ellen Kearney, Director of Fund Development, Habitat for Humanity Detroit, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 313-521-6691 x 109.