- Planning For An Aging California
- Center's Research Assistants Contribute to The Field
of Home Modification
- A California Blueprint For Fall Prevention p.2
- Models of Home Modification Programs p.5
Volume 1, Issue 2
From the Director,
back to the Home Modification News, a quarterly newsletter
from the National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and
Home Modification. In this issue, we are proud to highlight
the work of the Center's research assistants. From reading
about them, we are sure you will agree that they represent
the brightest and best in preparing to serve the senior population.
On a less happy note, the budget crisis facing California
has already resulted in the elimination of the Senior Housing
Informationand Support Center (SHISC), a program of the California
Department of Aging (CDA). SHISC represented the state's commitment
to providing seniors and the disabled population with information
about home modifications. With the elimination of the SHISC,
there is now no central group in California actively working
to raise awareness and disseminate information about the important
role of home modification.
The Center remains committed to continuing the efforts of
the CDA in promoting aging in place for seniors and independent
living for persons of all ages. Along these lines, the Center
is involved in several new complementary areas including falls
prevention and technology and aging.
For more information about the Resource Center, visit our
website at www.homemods.org
where you will find a wealth of information related to supportive
housing and home modification.
Planning for An Aging California-
Adequacy and Accesibility
Center staff Jon Pynoos, Ph.D. and Christy Nishita,
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. The report,
entitled "Statement of Findings - Senior Related Housing
Issues," will aid in the creation of a long- range strategic
plan for older Californians, as required by California Senate
Bill 910 (Vasconcellos). Other policy reports prepared under
SB 910 were related to health, transportation, and planning
/systems design. The reports were presented at the California
Commission on Aging's (CCOA) Statewide Invitational Forum
on April 1-2, 2003 which was held in Sacramento.
Invitees to the forum included representatives of state agencies
and organizations such as the California Department of Aging,
California Department of Health and Human Services, the California
Housing Finance Agency, the California Association of Homes
and Services for the Aging, and Housing California.
The report on housing addressed, among other things, issues
of adequacy and accessibility. In order to improve the adequacy
of housing, some of the recommendations looked at problems
associated with electricity, plumbing, or heating. One recommendation
looked at expanding current state funding sources for home
improvements, such as the State Community Development Block
Grant Program and the California Self-Help Housing Program.
On the issue of accessibility, it was recommended that comprehensive
home assessments be conducted in home and community-based
services programs to facilitate aging in place. Examples of
such programs are the Multipurpose Senior Services Program
(MSSP) and the state's LINKAGES program. The assessments would
result in home modifications that increase accessibility to
all parts of the home. Another recommendation advocated increased
funding for home modification by developing accessibility
loan and grant programs under the California Housing Finance
A California Blueprint For Fall Prevention
- A Step Forward
Center Director Jon Pynoos attended and presented at a two-day
invitational conference organized by the Archstone Foundation,
February 5-6, in Sacramento, California. He focused on the
role of home and environmental modifications in his presentation
"Prevention of Falls at Home and in the Community,"
and described the benefits of home hazard reduction and the
use of supportive features in falls reduction efforts. The
conference was co-sponsored by the California Wellness Foundation,
the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System/Geriatric Research
Education Clinical Center (GRECC), and the California Geriatric
Education Center. Other topics covered at the conference included
consumer education, public policy, and service issues related
to older adults and falls.
A copy of the White Paper prepared for this conference can
be found at the Archstone Foundation's website: http://www.archstone.org
Click on the link "Fall Prevention Conference White Paper."
International Conference on Aging, Disability
The Resource Center is proud to be a co-sponsor
of the International Conference on Aging, Disability and Independence
that will take place December 4-6, 2003 in Washington, DC.
This conference is organized into six tracks: Assistive Technology,
High-Technology Applications, Home Modification and Universal
Design, Transportation, Injury Prevention, and Business Perspective
and Issues. The Home Modification and Universal Design track
will focus on buildings and objects in those buildings that
support independence for people as they age. For more information,
visit the conference website at http://www.asaging.org/icadi/
or contact Gwendolyn P. Mann at (352) 273-6451 or email email@example.com
Center's Research Assistants Contribute
to the Field of Home Modification
Alley joined the Resource Center as an undergraduate in
the spring of 2002. That fall she was admitted into the Ph.D.
program in Gerontology. This year she contributed to a policy
report on fall prevention for older Californians. The report
concluded that home assessment and modification should be
included in fall prevention programs as a part of the California
Blueprint for Fall Prevention.
Dawn's primary research interest is the relationship between
community infrastructure and health and quality of life for
older adults. She is also researching ways in which state
policymakers can link housing and services for low-income
older adults living with a disability. She believes strongly
that providing supportive services-ranging from meals to assisted
living-in affordable housing can increase quality of life
for residents and may help states manage long-term care costs.
joined the Resource Center in the fall of 2001 and will be
graduating this month with her Master of Science in Gerontology.
Stephanie's research interests include disability issues and
service delivery in rural areas. Her research focus at the
Resource Center has been on centers for independent living
(CILs) and their home modification (HM) efforts. She has completed
a national study of State Independent Living Councils and
another of California CILs.
At this year's Annual Joint Conference of the American Society
on Aging and the National Council on the Aging, she hosted
a poster session to present her findings on the comparison
between rural and urban California CILs. A surprising conclusion
was that rural CILs in California did not display the expected
service disadvantage compared to their urban counterparts.
On the contrary, rural CILs provided even more HM services.
Stephanie has contributed to an article on continuing care
retirement communities (CCRCs) to be published in the Encyclopedia
of Finance and Retirement.
Nicholas Greco (Nick)
joined the Resource Center five years ago as a freshman. After
receiving his Bachelor of Science in Gerontology and completing
an internship at the National Institute on Disability and
Rehabilitation Research in Washington, DC, he was admitted
to the one-year accelerated graduate program in gerontology.
This year, Nick was actively involved with and succeeded in
obtaining continuing education
accreditation for the online courses that have been developed
through the Resource Center in conjunction with USC Ageworks.com.
He graduates this month with the Master of Science in Gerontology,
and will undergo a summer internship at a Medicaid Managed
Care Organization in Orange County, California.
Nick plans on working towards a Master's in Medical Sciences
during the following school year. After that, he plans to
attend Medical School and specialize in Geriatric Medicine
in the future.
Mayeda joined the Resource Center in the fall of 2002.
She is pursuing her Master of Science in Gerontology and expects
to graduate by the end of this year. She has been active in
updating the Home Modification Resource Guide, a Center publication
that features resources for professionals interested in home
Akemi writes and updates news articles for the Center's website.
Specifically, she has written articles on the passage of Proposition
46, the California Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund
Act, which was overwhelmingly approved last November. Among
other things, the Act will fund grants to enable individuals
with disabilities to make accessibility modifications to their
rental units. She has written on the elimination of the Senior
Housing Information and Support Center, a program of the California
Department of Aging, and is now focusing on the states' budget
crises. She is on the Editorial Team that produces this quarterly
Nishita is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in gerontology.
She joined the Resource Center in the fall of 1999. She appreciates
her work at the Resource Center because it has exposed her
to different types of research, including case study research,
policy analysis, and quantitative research.
Her research has resulted in conference presentations, and
she has co-authored book chapters, journal articles, and policy
reports. One journal article was recently published in the
Journal of Housing for the Elderly on the contributions of
M. Powell Lawton to the home modifications field. In the policy
arena, Christy has co-authored two policy reports on the housing
needs for elderly Californians.
Christy's research interest is in the link between housing
and health outcomes. Her dissertation topic is aligned with
the interests of the Resource Center because she is looking
at the use of self-care strategies (behavior modification,
home modification, and personal assistance) to manage functional
limitations and the effectiveness of these strategies.
is a graduate student who joined the Resource Center in the
summer of 2002. She graduates this month with the Master of
Science in Gerontology and will continue with her Administrator-in-Training
program. Katie was actively involved in planning for the 2002
annual Morton Kesten Summit on Home Modification. Last year's
Summit focused on home modifications as a means for furthering
independence for all Californians, with an emphasis on the
elderly and individuals with disabilities. Katie has been
active in tracking state laws and local ordinances that emphasize
visitability* and/or universal design.**
(*"Visitability" features often include zero step
entryways, wide hallways, and a first floor accessible bathroom.
**"Universal design" is a concept that relates to
the design of products and environments to be usable by all
people, as much as possible, without the need for adaptation.)
Models of Home Modification
Access Remodeling (AR) is a private for-profit
business, founded by Louis Tenenbaum, that has provided residential
accessibility services to clients in the Washington, D.C.
and Potomac, Maryland areas since 1987. AR provides all aspects
of the remodeling services for customers: a home visit, environmental
assessment, and the installation of home modifications.
AR's objective is to reach the "planners"-individuals
preparing to age in place within their own homes. In this
respect, it is important to note that AR does not solely work
with the aging population but also the disability community
and younger individuals.
A critical component of AR's construction
process involves the actual design of home adaptations to
make the environment barrier free. AR subcontracts with an
interior designer, who specializes in universal design, to
ensure that the layout is aesthetically pleasing as well as
safe. AR stresses that a change in health does not mean a
change in residence.
(Editor's Note: Since this case study was conducted, Mr. Tenenbaum
has refocused his efforts into the area of independent living
strategies. For more information, call (301) 983-0131 or email
him at HomeMods@aol.com. Mr. Tenenbaum also has a website
Home Modifications in Baltimore:
The South East Senior Housing Initiative (SESHI)
began when local organizations in the community recognized
the growing needs of the aging population in South East Baltimore.
These organizations raised concerns about physical and environmental
restrictions experienced by a large portion of older residents
living in row homes, the challenges older residents confronted
in preserving their homes, and the lack of affordable housing
alternatives within the community. The outcome from these
meetings resulted in a coordinated effort of non-profit organizations
and a coalition known as SESHI. SESHI has become the primary
organization in a comprehensive community delivery system,
whose principal goal is to assist older adults to reside safely
in their homes.
SESHI's service delivery does not entail installation of home
modifications. Rather, SESHI is the entry point for many seniors
lacking knowledge, awareness, and funds, to procure appropriate
home adaptations and social services that will enable them
to remain living independently. Through coordination of existing
community-based services and home adaptations, SESHI, along
with its coalition members, are testing the value of preventative
health and the impact on the community in assisting older
adults to live independently.
Editor's Note: Both of the above home modification programs
were part of four case studies conducted by the Resource Center.
A summary of these case studies can be found at the following
From The Editorial Team
Due to limited space, here is a brief report
of our Center's other activities.
The Center is co-sponsoring a half-day workshop entitled "Aging
in Place - What's The Problem?" on May 17 in Ventura,
California. This event is being organized by the Ventura Home
Modification Action Coalition. Co-incidentally, on April 1-2,
the Center helped organize and participated at an Aging in
Place workshop which took place at the University of Southern
California Andrus Gerontology Center. Resource Center Director
Jon Pynoos presented a talk entitled "Modifying Homes
for Persons with Alzheimer's Disease." The Centerwas
also actively present at the 2003 Third Joint Conference of
the National Council on the Aging and American Society on
Aging that was held in Chicago, Illinois from March 13-16.
We look forward to next year's conference that will takeplace
in San Francisco, California.
About the Resource Center
The National Resource Center on Supportive Housing
and Home Modification is headquartered at the University of
Southern California Andrus Gerontology Center. The Resource
Center is a project supported by The California Endowment
and the Archstone Foundation.
The Resource Center sponsors the National Home Modification
Action Coalition, an informal nation-wide network ofprofessionals
and researchers interested in promoting aging in place and
accessibility in the home. In addition to these efforts, we
are currently developing a national initiative to help older
adults maintain their independence and age in place.
For more information about the Resource Center
or any of the above, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (213) 740-1364. You can also visit us on the web at