Resource Center Announces Availability Of "California
Blueprint for Action on Home Modification"
The National Resource
Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification is pleased
to announce the availability of the report "California
Blueprint for Action on Home Modification." This report
was officially released at the 5th Annual Morton Kesten Summit
that took place at the University of Southern California Andrus
Gerontology Center on Monday, November 10, 2003. This Blueprint
is based on the work of last year's Summit, and is divided
into five main sections: consumer awareness and acceptance,
service delivery, financing, regulations and standards, and
systems change. (Click
here for the Executive Summary.)
The Morton Kesten Summit is held annually to guide public
policymakers, program staff, practitioners, and consumers
in making home modifications and supportive home environments
more available throughout the state. This year's Summit discussed
the status, challenges, and innovations in home modification
in California, and required participants to commit themselves
to a project in which they were willing to invest some time
The 2003 Annual Morton Kesten Summit was also an event to
celebrate the first National Aging in Place Week, November
9-15. The week was initiated by the National Reverse Mortgage
Lenders Association with the assistance of an Advisory Council
that includes the Resource Center, the Center for Universal
Design at the North Carolina State University, and the IDEA
Center of the State University of New York at Buffalo. The
purpose of Aging in Place Week is to bring attention to the
role that home modifications play in independent living for
older persons by making homes safer, more comfortable, and
supportive. It is intended to educate older persons and their
relatives, concerned professionals, and policymakers about
home modification measures that promote aging in place.
To order a copy of the entire report, please make out a check/money
order for the amount of $10.00 (ten dollars) to the Andrus
Gerontology Center, and mail it to the address below.
Shipping and handling is included.
Center on Supportive Housing/Home Modification
University of Southern California
Andrus Gerontology Center
3715 McClintock Ave., #228
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0191
For more information, call (213)740-1364 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
and National Family Caregivers Month!
Individuals who care
for older persons face significant challenges. Many caregivers
either don't know that help is available or don't know where
it can be found. National Family Caregivers Month provides
organizations the opportunity to increase public awareness
about the availability of caregiver support services and to
alert caregivers about how to find much-needed services.
"Caregiver Adaptations to Reduce Environmental Stress"
or CARES, a Center project funded by the Administration on
Aging, has taken several steps to promote the use home modifications
and assistive devices to help reduce burden and physical strain
for caregivers. Although often overlooked in discussions of
caregiver support, the home environment is a critical component
that significantly affects the capacities of caregivers and
service agencies to provide assistance. Caregiving often requires
physical demands that strain caregivers, jeopardizing their
own health, strength, and energy level. Home modifications
(e.g., portable ramps, roll-in showers, widened doorways)
and assistive devices (e.g., raised toilet seats, reachers,
walkers) can provide immediate relief and enhance the ability
of caregivers to deliver care with less stress.
The National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home
Modification has an online Directory of Home Modification
Resources and a section specifically designed for caregivers
titled "Home Modification for Caregivers" at: www.homemods.org
The U.S. Administration on Aging, which administers the National
Family Caregiver Support Program, hosts a Resource Room for
caregivers and professionals on their website at: www.aoa.gov/prof/aoaprog/caregiver/caregiver.asp
For more information: Contact Chris Lee at (213) 740-1364
Press Release for 2003 Morton Kesten
In an effort to guide
public policymakers, program staff, practitioners, and consumers
in making home modifications and supportive home environments
more available throughout the state, the National Resource
Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification is proud
to host the 5th Annual Morton Kesten Summit: "A California
Call to Action on Home Modification" on November 10,
2003. The Summit will take place at the University of Southern
California Andrus Gerontology Center in Los Angeles.
The focus of this one day working conference is to report
on activities in home modification, universal design, and
visitability in the state of California. The report "A
California Blueprint for Action on Home Modification,"
a product of the last Summit, will form the basis for this
year's conference. The report is divided into the following
areas: service delivery, funding, regulations and standards,
consumer awareness/acceptance, and systems change. This year's
summit participants will discuss the status, challenges, and
innovations of home modification in California, and work to
develop strategies to address supportive home environments.
The 5th Annual Morton Kesten Summit is a state-level event
to celebrate the first National Aging in Place Week, November
9-15. The week has been initiated by the National Reverse
Mortgage Lenders Association with the assistance of an Advisory
Council that includes the Resource Center, the Center for
Universal Design at the North Carolina State University, and
the IDEA Center of the State University of New York at Buffalo.
The purpose of Aging in Place Week is to bring attention to
the role that home modifications play in independent living
for older persons by making homes safer, more comfortable,
and supportive. It is intended to educate older persons and
their relatives, concerned professionals, and policy makers
about home modification measures that promote aging in place.
Home modifications and supportive home environments are key
elements in promoting independence, assisting caregivers,
making tasks easier, preventing injuries and delaying institutionalization.
Unfortunately, there is a large unmet need for features such
as ramps, easy to use faucets, bathrooms and kitchens with
easy accessibility, handrails or grab bars, and extra wide
doorways in existing and new housing.
The National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home
Modification, headquartered at the University of Southern
California Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center, is funded
by The Archstone Foundation and The California Endowment.
The Resource Center's mission is to make supportive housing
and home modification a more integral component of successful
aging, long-term care, preventive health, and the development
of elder-friendly communities. The Resource Center offers
a vision for the future as well as practical strategies and
materials for policymakers, practitioners, consumers, manufacturers,
suppliers, and researchers.
The 5th Annual Morton Kesten Summit:
November 10, 2003
Our Center is proud to
once again organize and host the 5th Annual Morton Kesten
Summit at the University of Southern California Andrus Gerontology
Center in Los Angeles, California. The 2003 Summit will be
during National Aging in Place Week, November 9-15. This year's
summit continues to focus on the role of home modification
in promoting independent living for the elderly and persons
The document "A California Blueprint for Action on Home
Modification", a product of the last Summit, will form
the basis for this year's conference. The coming 5th Annual
Morton Kesten Summit will report on activities in home modification
and universal design in the state of California based on the
following areas: service delivery, funding, regulations and
standards, and consumer awareness/acceptance.
There will also be presentations on innovative endeavors
in home modification activity across the state. Participants
will then focus on some of the gaps that still exist in advancing
the home modification agenda.
Continental breakfast and light lunch will also be provided.
Registration is free and is limited to the first 100 people.
The deadline for registration is October 27, 2003. For
more information or to register, call 213-740-1364 or email
National "Aging in Place"
Week to take place November 9-15
The Resource Center is
pleased to participate in organizing the first National Aging
in Place Week. Its purpose is to bring attention to the role
that home modifications play in independent living for older
persons by making homes safer, more comfortable, and supportive.
It is intended to educate older persons and their relatives,
concerned professionals, and policy makers about home modification
measures that promote aging in place. The week has been initiated
by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association with
the assistance of an Advisory Council including the Resource
Center, the Center for Universal Design at the North Carolina
State University, and the IDEA Center of the State University
of New York at Buffalo.
In southern California, we are considering the following
events: organized tours of homes that have successfully undergone
home modifications; educational forums to inform the public
about the benefits of home modifications; and, professional
workshops for practitioners from various professions to discuss
home modifications and other issues related to aging in place.
If you would like to participate in the southern California
events, please contact Maria Henke at (213) 740-1364 or email
here to visit the National Advisory Council on Aging In
Place website, www.seniorsafehome.com
for information on design ideas, useful products and how to
find them, and professionals who can help plan and implement
Center Part of National
Advisory Council on Aging In Place
The National Resource Center on Supportive Housing, along
with other interested organizations, has partnered with the
National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) to form
the Advisory Council on Aging In Place. The primary focus
of the Council is to educate and create awareness among senior
homeowners and their relatives, policymakers and other interested
parties about home modification measures that will enable
older adults to remain living safely and independently in
their own home as they continue to age.
The Council has a full schedule of events planned for the
remainder of the year, which includes the first Aging in Place
Week, scheduled for November 9-15. Aging in Place Week will
feature national and local events that will increase awareness
about home modifications and products that can assist seniors
to remain living at home, including information regarding
new options for financing retirement needs and reverse mortgages.
In addition, the Council will launch its new website, www.seniorsafeathome.com
that will serve as a portal for consumer education about aging
Among "Best Sites" on AARP's New Internet Section
The National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and
Home Modifications has been listed under AARP's new section
titled "Internet Resources on Aging" as one of the
best sites for people age 50+.
The web sites in AARP's Internet Resources on Aging are chosen
for their usefulness for older adults and their families,
as well as for researchers, students, and professionals in
the field of aging.
To view this new section, visit www.aarp.org
and click on "what's new". The Center is listed
under "Home Modification and Universal Design".
CARES Project: Focus
Although often overlooked in discussions of caregiver
support, the home environment is a critical component that
significantly affects the capacities of caregivers and service
agencies to provide assistance. "Caregiver Adaptations
to Reduce Environmental Stress" or CARES, a Center project
funded by the Administration on Aging, has taken several steps
to: 1) assess caregiver awareness and need for home modifications;
2) ascertain the environmental coping strategies used by caregivers
in their own homes or in the homes of care recipients; and
3) evaluate the extent to which caregivers use home modifications.
CARES convened four focus groups of caregivers.
Home modifications (e.g., portable ramps for access, roll-in
showers to assist with bathing, widened doorways for inside
transport) and assistive devices (e.g., raised toilet seats
to assist with toilet transferring, hand held showers for
bathing) help reduce physical burden and strain. Focus group
1. Lifting, transferring, and bathing are the top three physical
burdens faced by caregivers;
2. Most caregivers do not know how to locate home modification
products or professionals.
3. The most common home modification used to help with caregiving
is grab bars, however, many home modifications were not especially
designed products but are homemade solutions invented by the
4. Caregivers perceived the bathroom to be the most problematic
room in the house.
5. A supportive home environment must be accompanied by the
ability to get in and out of the home and to transfer the
care recipient into a car or taxi.
6. Caregivers do not use home modifications primarily due
to expense and lack of understanding of the benefits.
7. Caregivers believe they would receive more financial support
if they placed their loved one in a facility.
Environmental coping strategies via home modifications and
assistive devices must be addressed by programs, professionals
and policies responding to the needs of caregivers. CARES'
next project will provide training and technical assistance
to aging network agencies on strategies to improve environmental
coping strategies for caregivers
To view the full-length article [in WORD format] titled "Caregiver
Adaptations To Reduce Environmental Stress: The Role Of Home
Modifications" written by Julie Overton from the
National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modifications,
Needs in California
Jon Pynoos, Ph.D. and Christy Nishita from the Center,
along with Marvin Schachter and Carla Hett Smith from the
California Commission on Aging, produced a policy report on
the housing needs of older adults in California. This report
will aid in the creation of a long- range strategic plan for
older Californians, as required by SB 910 (Vasconcellos).
Input from public discussions held around the state as well
as additional research culminated in the production of policy
papers on the issues of housing, health, transportation, and
The papers were presented at the California Commission on
Aging's (CCOA) Statewide Invitational Forum on April 1-2,
2003. The CCOA is the "principal advocate in the state
on behalf of older adults, (providing) advisory participation
in the consideration of all legislation and regulations made
by state and federal departments and agencies relating to
programs and services that affect older individuals".
Invitees to this forum included representatives of state
agencies and organizations such as the California Department
of Aging, California Health and Human Services, the California
Housing Finance Agency, the California Association of Homes
and Services for the Aging, and Housing California.
The paper on housing issues included sections on the adequacy
and accessibility of housing. To improve the adequacy of housing
by addressing problems with electricity, plumbing, or heating,
a few of the recommendations were to:
1. Expand the current state funding sources for home improvements-
the State Community Development Block Grant Program and the
California Self-Help Housing Program
2. Create a state low-interest loan program for home repair,
similar to Maine's award-winning FIX ME program, which is
a low-interest rehabilitation loan program funded by the state
and specifically targeted to low-income homeowners.
To address the accessibility of housing, a few of the recommendations
1. Link home modification better with community-based programs:
Comprehensive home assessments should be conducted in home
and community-based services programs (e.g. MSSP and other
case management services) to facilitate aging in place.
2. Increase funds for home modification by:
a. Advocating for Medicare and Medi-Cal to pay for home modification
assessments by health care professionals and reimburse a greater
range of home modifications
b. Developing accessibility loan and grant programs under
the California Housing
Finance Agency. Programs could be modeled after the Minnesota
Housing Finance Agency's (MHFA) Fix Up Fund, which uses housing
revenue bonds to assist homeowners to increase the livability,
accessibility, and energy efficiency of homes. The MHFA also
has an Accessibility Loan program funded by state appropriations.
3. Endorse the concepts of visitability and universal design
a. Providing incentives for builders and developers to adopt
these practices in housing
funded by the state
b. Encouraging local governments to adopt mandatory universal
design guidelines and
The full report (in Microsoft Word format) can be accessed
Housing Forum Paper Findings
S. Liebig named recipient of the 2002 Clark Tibbitts Award
Congratulations to Phoebe S. Liebig, Ph.D., Associate Professor
of Gerontology and Public Administration at the University
of Southern California who is this year's proud recipient
of the prominent Clark Tibbits Award. Presented by the Association
for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), this award is
given to recognize individuals who have made exceptional contribution
to the gerontology education field.
With over 25 years of dedication to the field of aging, Dr.
Liebig has conducted countless research and national studies
focusing on long-term care. Among her many achievements, Dr.
Liebig is currently a research faculty at the Andrus Gerontology
Center; she has published numerous influential selected chapters
and journal articles on elderly housing issues with an emphasis
on state policies, legislation, and cross-national comparisons.
To find out more about the award, visit www.aghe.org.
Proposed Elimination of the California
Department of Aging
In response to the state budget crisis, the Legislative
(LAO) has proposed the elimination of the California Department
in favor of combining it with the Department of Social Services
The LAO predicts that eliminating the CDA could save approximately
million in expenditures with the consequential elimination
positions. The LAO notes the benefit of a reduction in service
duplication by transferring CDA responsibilities to DSS. In
proposed consolidation of the CDA and DSS is expected to improve
linkages and result in a more cohesive, user-friendly system
consumers. The LAO adds that the move to house Older Americans
programs with other agencies would not be unique to California,
twenty-nine other states currently operate using this format.
For details, please see the LAO's Analysis of the 2003-04
Budget Bill at:
One of the primary duties of the LAO is to offer legislative
to the Governor's budget in the form of the "Analysis
of the Budget Bill,"
which is published at the end of February.
City of Irvine Wins National Disability's
2002 Accessible America Award
The City of Irvine was awarded the 2002 Accessible America
by the National Organization on Disability (NOD). This national
heralds Irvine as a model city for its focus on disability
issues and its
successful design of programs, services and facilities that
for all citizens and visitors who have disabilities.
Designed to recognize community-wide efforts to be accessability
the contest showcased cities where citizens with disabilities
have full or
equal opportunities to participate in the life of the community,
access to jobs, education, religious worship, voting, transportation,
housing, and the entire range of social, recreational, cultural
Irvine's welcoming attitude impressed the judges, eight leading
disability advocates and experts. As one of the nation's largest
urban communities, Irvine uses its master plan to promote
full access to
schools, parks, religious institutions, recreational facilities
for all residents, workers and visitors. Some examples of
City programs and
services that advocate accessibility include:
The City's Community Partners Emergency Response Team, which
disability community involvement in brainstorming concerns
and in preparing
for emergencies. The Irvine Residents with Disabilities Advisory
Board, chartered in 1990, who
responds to disability issues related to transportation, community
employment, housing, accessibility and social/recreational
Irvine's Access Reporting Policy, which forwards citizen complaints
community accessibility to the appropriate City department
investigation and resolution, culminating in a plan of action
weeks. This is a particular series of programs that are near
and dear to my
heart, said Mayor Larry Agran. Our city has worked very hard
to ensure a
quality environment for all our residents, including those
This dedication is what makes Irvine the strong community
it is today, and
what it will be for generations to come.
City officials will receive a cash award of $25,000 to support
and fund local
disability-related endeavors. This award acknowledges the
City of Irvine's
community-wide progress on disability issues and promotes
other cities to
replicate these efforts.
For more information on Disability Services, call (949) 724-6633.
California Association of Homes and
Services for the Aging Public Policy Conference
Resource Center staff attended the California Association
of Homes and Services for the Aging's (CAHSA) annual Public
Policy Conference. The conference was held February 3, 2003
through February 5, 2003 in Sacramento. Almost 200 representatives
of member organizations from all over California convened
to learn about current legislative issues affecting older
adults and older adult service providers. Attendees represented
all spectrums of the continuum of care-from skilled nursing
to home- and community-based services.
Capitol visits were an integral part of the conference. CAHSA
members met with state senators and assemblymembers to brief
them on issues of concern. Freshman legislators in particular
were targeted, and many were interested in learning about
the continuum of care CAHSA members provide for older Californians.
CAHSA announced the recipients of its Legislator of the Year
awards. The Assemblymember of the Year is Dario Frommer (D-43),
and the Senator of the Year is Jackie Speier (D-8). They were
recognized for their efforts to promote legislation benefiting
CAHSA outlined its five legislative priorities for the current
session. They are as follows:
1. Recognizing the special needs for housing seniors and frail
elderly in California
2. Authorizing on-line training for RCFE administrators
3. Protecting independent living residents in CCRCs
4. Addressing the workforce crisis (i.e. nursing shortage)
5. Liability insurance
For more information about CAHSA and its public policy platforms,
please visit http://www.aging.org.
February 5-6, 2003
A California Blueprint for Fall Prevention
In Sacramento on February 5-6, 2003, the Archstone Foundation,
the California Wellness Foundation, the VA Geriatric Research
Educational Clinical Center, and the California Geriatric
Education Center will present the conference, "A California
Blueprint for Fall Prevention." Prominent leaders on
falls and home modifications will gather to discuss the latest
Falls are painful, expensive, and potentially deadly health
risks for American seniors. Causes of falls include physical
weaknesses, balance problems, functional impairment, poor
vision, and polypharmacy. Participants at the conference will
share ideas and explore programs that have been rated as successful
and hold promise for fall reduction.
The Archstone Foundation was created in 1995 as a philanthropic
organization that would help promote health in general. In
1996, the focus of the foundation was redirected to senior
health. For more information about the Archstone Foundation,
please contact: www.archstone.org.
February 2, 2003
USC Experts Assist Alaska's Elderly Veterans
Dr. Jon Pynoos, Professor of Gerontology and Policy Services
at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology along with
Loren G. Lipson, Chief of the Division of Geriatric Medicine
at the USC Keck School of Medicine, are assisting the Veteran's
Administration (VA) with advice to reconsider a plan to create
a new facility that would have centralized services for elderly
Alaskan veterans in a single location.
Relying on the advice of Pynoos and Lipson, the VA is moving
forward with a new plan that would guarantee veteran housing
in six Pioneers' Homes--state-run long-term care facilities
already in existence, and obviate the need for many veterans
to move from their communities to access care.
James Kohn, Director of the Division of Longevity Service
of the Alaska Department of Administration, said the new plan
provides clear advantages over the original proposal to build
a single new central VA facility to serve the entire state.
"Dr. Lipson has been up on numerous occasions for several
years. He and Dr. Pynoos have served as consultants and both
wrote to Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi endorsing
the plan. I think their comments had quite a bit of influence
in Washington," he added.
Source of article is taken from "USC Expertise Guides
Treatment of Elderly in Alaska's Pioneer Homes" by John
Nalick (USC News). To view the article in its entirety, click
NRCSHHM Welcomes Dory Sabata, OTD!
Our Center would like to congratulate Ms. Dory Sabata who
has just successfully completed the Doctorate in Occupational
Therapy (OTD) at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Ms. Sabata spent the last few months of 2002 here at the Center,
fulfilling the internship requirement of the doctoral program.
During her time with us, she assisted with the review of background
papers for the Morton Kesten Summit and participated as a
co-author of a white paper for a state level Falls Prevention
Conference, among other things. Congratulations Dr. Sabata!
Dr. Sabata will be joining the staff of the Center as a Program
Specialist. She will assist in advancing the Center's research
agenda and will be active in education, in particular the
online component. Welcome!
January 28, 2003
The NRCSHHM to Offer Internet Courses
for Care Managers
The National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and
Home Modification is offering an internet-based course for
care managers in the County of Los Angeles, California. "Six
Steps to Integrating Home Modification into Your Care Plan"
begins Tuesday, January 28, 2003 to educate busy care professionals
about the significant role of home modifications in alleviating
the stress associated with caregiving. The course is offered
in an asynchronous format via the internet to that participants
can access course work any time at their convenience.
Home modifications (HMs) are adaptations to the physical
environment to increase ease of use, safety, comfort, security
and independence. HMs include structural changes (e.g., widening
doorways, remodeling bathrooms), use of special equipment
and assistive devices (e.g., grab bars, handheld showers,
transfer benches), and behavioral changes (e.g., moving furniture).
HMs provide family caregivers with adequate space and supportive
features so that care can be provided safely and easily. HMs
also increase the care receivers' independence, comfort, safety,
and help everyone to save money by reducing the need for paid
caregiving and delaying institutionalization.
During the course, care managers will participate in interactive
exercises to test and enhance their knowledge of the various
issues surrounding home modifications. By the end of the course,
care managers will be able to assist their clients with incorporating
home modifications into their daily routines, and have networked
with their counterparts in the rest of the Los Angeles County.
For more information, contact Maria Henke at (213)740-1364
or email email@example.com.
"Six Steps to Integrating Home Modification into Your
Care Plan: A Special Course for Los Angeles County Care Managers"
is made possible through support of the Los Angeles County
Area Agency on Aging under Title III-E, the National Family
Caregiver Support Program.
October 30, 2002
The 4th Annual Morton Kesten Summit
On October 30, 2002, the National Resource Center on Supportive
Housing and Home Modification organized and hosted the 4th
Annual Morton Kesten Summit. The Summit focused on the implementation
of home modifications as a means for furthering independence
for all Californians, with an emphasis on the elderly and
individuals with disabilities. Co-sponsored by the California
Department of Aging Senior Housing Information and Support
Center, this year's Summit took place at the University of
Southern California Andrus Gerontology Center in Los Angeles,
California. The theme for the Summit was "A California
Blueprint for Action on Home Modification.
Approximately 130 people representing state and local government
agencies, local home modification programs, disability groups,
associations, professionals, consumers, and researchers attented
the one-day, invitation-only conference. Participants listened
to panel presentations on four key areas: Service Delivery,
Funding, Regulations and Standards, and Consumer Awareness/Acceptance
and then developed draft recommendations for a California
Blueprint for Action on Home Modifications in breakout groups.
Next steps for the California Blueprint for Action include
a California Home Mod list serve, a finalized Blueprint for
Action on Home Modifications with specific recommendations,
and a follow-up Summit at the state's capitol in Sacramento
in the spring, 2003.
If you would like a copy of any background papers or more
information about the Summit, call (213) 740-1364 or email
Information that the USC National Resource Center on
Supportive Housing and Home Modification publishes on
the World Wide Web may contain references or cross references
to other agencies, products, programs, or links. The
USC National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and
Home Modification does not endorse nor qualify any of
the listed products, programs or links. The listing
of these products, programs, and services is for informational
purposes and individuals must use their own caution
and judgment when using these resources. USC does not
hold any liability or personal interest in any of these
agencies, products, or services.