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USC/n4a Data Brief on Local Aging Network Efforts in Home

Data Brief: Building Community Capacity to Serve Older Adults: The Role of Area Agencies on Aging in Home Modifications and Repairs

This Data Brief highlights key findings from the 2019 National Survey of Area Agencies on Aging on how Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) are providing and funding home modification and repair activities. It was developed by the USC Fall Prevention Center of Excellence in partnership with the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging as part of the Administration for Community Living project, “Promoting Aging in Place by Enhancing Access to Home Modifications.”

“While it is commonly known that older adults wish to age in place, a supportive home environment is even more important in these unprecedented times This survey revealed the critical contributions of AAAs on the local level to support and provide home modification and repair services,” said Julie Overton, MSG, MHA, Senior Learning and Development Specialist for the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology.

“We are pleased to have partnered with n4a on this important effort to gather information directly from AAAs regarding their efforts in home modification and repair. Of the 600+ AAAs, over half (61%) directly provide or contract out for home modifications to serve older adults in their communities,” reported Jon Pynoos, Ph.D, Directory of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. “The Older Americans Act, passed in 1965 to support aging network service delivery, was found to be used by over 70% of AAAs to deliver home modification and repair services.”
According to n4a, “The coronavirus epidemic has further shone a spotlight on this issue. While older adults are safer at home due to the coronavirus, more time at home can present challenges, such as a potential for increased falls due to poor lighting, cabinets that cannot be easily reached, or showers that don’t have grab bars, as well as less access to in-home assistance. Although it may be difficult to arrange these repairs until after the pandemic eases, AAA home modification or repair programs are and will continue to be there to ensure that older adults’ homes are places of safety and comfort.”