More Participants Needed for Local CAPABLE Program

CAPABLE, the free program which aims to allow low-income seniors to safely age in place, is seeking more participants. In the Midcoast region, CAPABLE is run collaboratively through Mid Coast–Parkview Health and Bath Housing.

CAPABLE, which stands for Community Aging in Place Advancing Better Living for Elders, was developed by Johns Hopkins University and works to make homes safer and more accessible for residents through free modifications.

The program partners with local homeowners and identifies goals necessary for them to be safer in their homes. After identifying the objectives, the CAPABLE team then makes "adaptability" changes and minor repairs to help the residents use their homes better.

Staff listens to homeowners’ needs and develops a work plan around ease of living.

To participate, homeowners must be over 60 years old or have a disability, own their own home or live in a home owned by someone in their family, and live in Brunswick, Topsham, Bath, or most of the surrounding area.

They must also meet income guidelines and desire to improve on the way they perform at least one daily task. Tasks can include things such as bathing, housework, or taking medications.

CAPABLE can include up to 10 home visits to develop a plan. As part of the program, small equipment like medication organizers, shower chairs, and more may be provided for support.

A variety of minor home improvements and repairs, such as installing grab bars, railings, and improved lighting are also possible.

All home visits, small equipment, approved home improvements, and repairs associated with CAPABLE are free.

The nursing and occupational therapy services are provided by Mid Coast–Parkview Health professionals, and the home repairs are provided by Bath Housing specialists. The program is made possible through grants from the Davis Family Foundation, the John T. Gorman Foundation, and the Maine State Housing Authority.

CAPABLE asks, however, that enrolled homeowners actively participate in the program and answer questions to help team members understand how their work has been helpful.

Local CAPABLE participant Jim Atwood, for instance, said taking part in the program helped make multiple areas of his life easier.

"They did everything they said they were going to do," Atwood said. "The equipment for my shower has made it safer and I have changed my eating habits for my diabetes."

Those interested in receiving help from the CAPABLE program should contact Bath Housing at (207) 295-3091.