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Johns Hopkins Health - Age in Your Own Home, Not a Nursing Home

Spring 2014
Issue No. 24

Age in Your Own Home, Not a Nursing Home

Date: April 1, 2014

age in place

With simple, inexpensive home modifications, some older people can “age in place”—that is, stay in their homes and out of costly nursing homes or assisted living facilities—longer, says Johns Hopkins occupational therapist Ally Evelyn-Gustave. She’s involved with the CAPABLE (Community Aging in Place—Advancing Better Living for Elders) study, which is finding that expenses totaling $1,200 per individual can make a big difference.

The key, she says, is tailoring the modifications to the individual and his or her goals, based on an assessment by an occupational therapist. “We look at their everyday activities, how they care for their home and how they move around in and outside their home,” she says.

Purchases might include rug grips that hold floor coverings in place, antislip strips for bathtubs, second railings on staircases, and chain extenders for ceiling lights and fans. Evelyn-Gustave also recommends strategies such as scooting to the edge of a chair and rocking three times to get up, and navigating stairs by leading with the stronger leg going up and the weaker leg going down.

835 Days
The average length of stay in a nursing home is more than two years. Many residents exhaust their finances in the first six months.
Sources: CDC, AARP

Learn more: Johns Hopkins Healthy Aging Web Portal
Get healthy and stay healthy longer—plus, learn how to care for a loved one facing age-related health challenges—with Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Healthy Aging portal. Visit to learn more.

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