Online vote to decide $50,000 winner.
Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley are teaming up to empower local seniors to age safely at home. As a finalist in the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation’s Vital Seniors competition, the partnership stands to win $50,000 through a public vote, as well as other funding.
As part of the competition for more than $2.5 million in funding, YMOW and the 9 other finalists have produced 30-second videos in a competition for a $50,000 People's Choice award. The videos, summarizing each organization’s innovative idea for helping people in Washtenaw County to age well, will be posted online and subjected to a public vote from Oct. 1 to 21.
“We are calling on everyone to spread the word and to vote,” said Alison Foreman, executive director of YMOW.
The YMOW/Habitat project uses the principles of CAPABLE (Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders), a model by Johns Hopkins University, to help local seniors age safely in their homes.
YMOW’s video features Marilyn, an Ypsilanti resident and YMOW client who is among the first to benefit from the CAPABLE project. Marilyn already receives meals for herself and her pets, but through CAPABLE she also will get help with organizing her finances, enjoy home repairs that will make her house safer, and she will work with an occupational therapist in hopes of regaining the ability to climb the stairs in her home.
“CAPABLE aims to find tangible and lasting ways to help people age safely at home,” Foreman said. The CAPABLE model has been proven effective in allowing seniors to remain at home longer, therefore reducing the cost of their care. It also is recognized by the National Council on Aging as an evidence-based falls prevention program.
Each senior in the CAPABLE program is supported by a team consisting of a social worker, handyperson, nurse and occupational therapist, all of whom work with the senior to make tangible improvements in wellness, activities of daily living, home safety and more.
Along with making seniors safer, CAPABLE also saves money. Each five-month intervention is expected to cost $3,900 – a mere fraction of the cost of assisted living care.
As a finalist in the Vital Seniors competition, YMOW/Habitat also remains eligible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding. Winners will be announced in early November.
“This is a big undertaking for YMOW and Habitat, but one that could mean life-changing interventions for local seniors,” Foreman said. “We are proud to bring the CAPABLE model to Washtenaw County and look forward to helping our neighbors improve their lives.”