Rebuilding Together Rogue Valley (formerly Age-Friendly Innovators) is an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization launched in 2014 by two Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) trained under the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) program.
Rebuilding Together Rogue Valley (RBTRV), formerly Age-Friendly Innovators, is an all-volunteer organization launched in 2014. We use elements of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing CAPABLE model (Community Aging in Place—Advancing Better Living for Elders) and have, over the last four years, quietly and effectively, provided our services to over 450 older adults and their families by assuring in-the-home fall-risk assessments to low income older adults and persons with disabilities who want to “age-in-place” i.e. safely remain, as long as possible, in their current homes. RBTRV uses a beta-tested fall risk assessment process and a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fall-risk checklist. Assessments are done in teams of two, using Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS) and/or trained volunteers. We employ state-licensed, bonded handymen to make any recommended installations (grab bars, grab rails, porch repair etc.). Durable medical equipment typically provided includes shower chairs, shower wands, toilet risers etc. offered in a manner responsive to the referring health provider and the elder’s personal needs. Our funding comes from small foundation grants, sponsorships and donations. Jackson Care Connect provided us with $20,00 in late fall 2018 and we are very grateful. Our referrals come from self-identified Jackson Care clients. and occasionally from JCC staff. as well as Providence health providers and therapists, Asante health providers, ACCESS, Rogue Valley Council of Governments/ Senior and Disability Services, the Housing Authority, Habitat for Humanity and All Care Health members and health practitioners. Increasingly in 2019, we are seeing self-referrals from individuals recently discharged from the hospital with bathroom safety and accessibility challenges that compromise their ability to return to and remain safely in their homes. Ramps remain a substantial need and a recently identified CDBG grant from the City of Medford to build ramps (“Ramps for Medford Elders” or “Gramps Ramps”) should benefit JCC households in Medford, starting in the fall of 2019. In 2018 we had 213 referrals and the majority were for individuals or households identifying with OHP. As of April 23, 2019, we have had 110 referrals and assessments have been completed or are scheduled on all. In Southern Oregon, many low-income seniors are living independently but lack resources to make needed safety improvements. Their homes may be a single-family structure, a manufactured home or even an aging recreational vehicle. Our fall-risk assessment program, typically referred to as Grandma’s Porch involves an in-the-home evaluation to determine immediate “safer at home” needs and educate about possible future needs. The assessment process takes 30-45 minutes and is provided at no cost. The assessment covers four critical areas in the home: Accessibility: Can the person safely access their home to go to doctor’s appointments, church, the grocery store? Trip Hazards: Are loose rugs secured? Are pets and their toys managed? Are dangling cords secured? Bathroom Safety: Are there grab bars and other durable medical equipment in place appropriate to the need? Does the bathroom environment improve independence in activities of daily living? Home Environment Safety: Are there working smoke and CO detectors; are clogged dryer vents addressed? Are furnace filters changed? The fall-risk assessment is followed by a written summary of recommendations sent to the householder and, when requested, to the referring entity. Installation and/or provision of what is needed i.e. durable medical equipment and small in-home repair occurs within a week—and is completed by our talent pool of licensed and bonded handymen at no cost to the individuals or family. An older adult falling typically means emergency room transfer and hospitalization typically because of a head injury or a hip or femur fracture. The cost of a fall is, at minimum, $30,000 (CDC 2015). The risk assessment and simple home modifications Rebuilding Together Rogue Valley provides costs $330 per household (final 2018 data). We have demonstrated impact (self-report and provider feedback) that includes increased independence with ADLs (particularly toileting and bathing) and reduced fall risk and falling behavior. The potential for cost avoidance related to ER use and hospitalizations as the result of falling behavior in older adults is significant. In 2019 we are instituting a telephone call-back system designed by OHSU nursing students to take a deeper look at impact. Rebuilding Together Rogue Valley/Grandma’s Porch appreciates Jackson Care Connect’s investment in preventing falls, preserving homes and saving lives in partnership with our “small but mighty” non-profit. Thank you.
Vision: Communities actively embrace and support healthy and independent living for older adults..
Mission: Empower and assist older adults to lead healthy and independent lives in their homes by promoting greater awareness of aging -in-place issues and developing supportive strategies, products and services.