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New Program Helps Frail Seniors in Denver Live Independently

A program for frail low-income seniors: Community Aging in Place – Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE), is growing in Denver via the Visiting Nurse Association.

New research shows that CAPABLE provides considerable help to vulnerable seniors who have trouble with “activities of daily living” – taking a shower or a bath, getting dressed, transferring in and out of bed, using the toilet or moving around easily at home. Over the course of five months, participants in the program experienced 30 percent fewer difficulties with such activities, according to a randomized clinical trial — the gold standard of research – published this month in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Positive findings are especially notable given the population that was studied: 300 poor or near-poor older adults, nearly 90 percent women, over 80 percent black, with an average age of 75 and multiple chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, arthritis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. While about 1 in 3 older adults in the U.S. need help with one or more daily activities, rates of disability and related health care costs are higher in this challenged population.

“Why does it work? Because we’re guided by what people want, and in order to get better, you have to want to get better: It has to be important to you,” said Amanda Goodenow, program manager for CAPABLE at the Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. In Colorado, CAPABLE has been funded by a local foundation and Habitat for Humanity, which supports the program in six markets.

Learn more at Kaiser Health News



Contact Alexis Hertel at

(303) 322-2228

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