CAPABLE program: Aging in Place

"Capable program" is a new program funded by the The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services  (CMS) Innovation Center. It was started to meet the mandate that the Center "funds projects that have  potential to affect the “triple aim,” a framework for decreasing  costs while improving health and quality of life" for older adults.

This program, whose full name is: Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE) is "designed to overcome the functional and home environmental barriers of older adults." 

One of the key components of the program is that it is  team based AND patient-directed. 

 Teams are composed of "an occupational therapist, a registered nurse, and a handyman".  Their  aim is "to decrease hospitalization and nursing home usage of community-dwelling older adults with  functional limitations who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid."  

As a result of this program the 'activity of daily living  limitations improved in 79% of the first 100 people who completed  the intervention".  This is significant since it is an inability to take care of one's own daily living needs that sends most elders into senior care residences or nursing homes despite their desire to stay in their own homes, apartments.

How the Capable program started:

This program was started in response to the finding  that "clinicians under treat function in routine medical practice  because of lack of reimbursement, workforce training, and clinical practice barriers. Further, the home environment, which is so important in the ability to function, is often overlooked in mainstream care models because care usually occurs in clinical settings."

The program was established to address each of these unmet needs.

 It is novel in several ways:

First, it is patient  directed, not just patient centered. (The patient says what s/he needs and the team works to provide that.)

Second, a Nurse, Occupational therapist and a handyman work as a team to help the participants achieve their functional goals. This is important since the handyman knows what is possible and may several ways of solving an issue. 

Third,  healthcare dollars are invested in the home environment in order to save increased healthcare expenses that would be involved in Nursing home or Care facility placement. 

If you want to read more, there is an article with preliminary data on the first 100 individuals to complete this Community Aging in Place, Advancing  Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE). To read it click here:  the Capable Program url  

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