A home assessment program run by a licensed occupational therapist (OT) and aimed at ensuring home safety for seniors and others is now being offered at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, headquartered in White Plains, NY. The program was created to determine the accessibility and safety of homes, predominately those of older adults, reports a recent Burke Rehabilitation Hospital news release. Ultimately, the program aims to pinpoint and remove obstacles from the home and spotlight potential dangers such as tripping hazards in order to enable residents, particularly those who live alone, to stay safe in their homes for longer periods of time.

Elizabeth Lenehan, OT, supervisor of outpatient occupational therapy, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, emphasizes that, “Helping people stay healthy and active in their home environments as long as possible is the ultimate goal of the new home assessment program.”

According to the news release, the program’s evaluation also includes a review of the stairs in the home, the need for railings, ramps, and other devices that may help make the home safer. To accommodate these needs, residents may also find assistance through the program in locating contractors that are specially trained in ramp construction and rail installation. 

The release notes that a Burke therapist may also recommend the installation of a home medical alert system in the event of a fall or medical emergency for residents who live alone or spend long periods of time alone in the home. The therapist may also provide tips to enhance residents’ safety such as having a list of medications, doses, and number of times the medication must be taken. “This is one easy way of ensuring that if there is a medical emergency in the home, responders will know the medical history of the resident immediately….,” Lenehan explains.

Lenehan adds that the program centers on little things that can be done to keep loved ones safe at home, “It’s about quality of life, and most people would prefer to stay in the homes they love as long possible,” she says.

The Burke Home Assessment Program reportedly requires a physician’s referral that includes a medical diagnosis and should note that a “Home Assessment” is being ordered.  

For more information, visit http://www.burke.org

Source: Burke Rehabilitation Hospital