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Carroll Center for the Blind Receives Tufts Health Plan Foundation Grant

Project Safe Homes Designed to Prevent Falls Among Seniors with Vision Loss

The Carroll Center for the Blind has received a grant from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation’s healthy aging programs to fund a program assisting elders, who, as a result of reduced vision, are more prone to falls within the home. Project Safe Homes’ certified mobility instructors will make a home visit in order to assess and fix safety concerns in the home.

During a one-to-two hour visit, Project Safe Homes instructors will analyze each room in the home, identify safety concerns and provide low-cost/low-tech remedies that can make the home safe, such as: repositioning furniture, resolving clutter and other tripping hazards, marking stairways, securing handrails, offering suggestions to improve lighting, securing loose carpets and rugs, labeling stove and appliance controls with raised tactual marking, and checking or installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

“Falls are the leading cause of death among people 65 years and older, and people with low vision are at even greater risk of falls or fractures,” according to Joseph Kolb, director of community services at the Carroll Center for the Blind. “Sixty percent of elder falls occur in the home and every 18 minutes, an elder falls in the home. In 2003, falls among older adults accounted for nearly 13,000 death, 1.8 million emergency room visits and 421,000 hospitalizations. Our experience confirms that many falls can be prevented and we can show you how.”

In addition, the grant will provide funding for low vision technology assessments and training by a Carroll Center certified low vision therapist. Individuals who are 60 years old or older, have low vision and live in Massachusetts or Rhode Island, are eligible for this free service. For more information, call Dina Rosenbaum at 617-969-6200, ext. 238 or email dina.rosenbaum@carroll.org.

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