Place strategy

Another state invests millions in CAPABLE aging-in-place program

This month, the Colorado Visiting Nurse Association (Colorado VNA) received a $2.3 million grant from the state to expand its CAPABLE program and provide care for more Medicaid members.

CAPABLE is an interdisciplinary program at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing that combines nursing, occupational therapy, and DIY services. It stands for “Community Aging in Place — Advancing Better Living for Elders” and aims to prove that with modest investments and short-term interventions, aging adults can stay in their homes longer while improving their quality of life.

“It’s very non-clinical in the sense that a clinician is not bringing their knowledge and telling the older person what to do,” Sarah Szanton, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, told Home Health Care News. . “It’s very centered on what the elderly person would like to be able to do at home. Then the occupational therapist and nurse will use their experience to help the person think about strategies to do this.

CAPABLE started in Baltimore over 12 years ago and has expanded to over 25 cities in 23 states since then. In order to develop the program, the CAPABLE team usually partners with other organizations.

Colorado VNA has been providing CAPABLE services in the Denver area since 2017 and has served over 300 customers. This most recent expansion will be dedicated to recipients of Colorado’s Medicaid, also known as the Health First Colorado program.

Through the three pillars of CAPABLE care, caregivers work with clients to increase mobility and functionality in the home. The program typically lasts four to five months and includes goal setting, action planning, and recorded improvements for Activities of Daily Living (ADL).

The additional investment in CAPABLE by Colorado shows the program continues to deliver strong results, Szanton said.

“The fact that our dollars can be used across the state for seniors to maintain their ability to age in place is a win for communities,” she said. “It also means that older people will be able to fulfill their [goals].”

Many older adults in CAPABLE programs across the country are caring for grandchildren, running small businesses, or a number of other time-consuming activities. Szanton said investing in their home care needs is a welcome sign.

“We need to remember that age is a part of life and when older people are supported they can do a lot to contribute to society,” Szanton said. “It’s a great day for this announcement because it can happen in any state.”

The grant for Colorado VNA came from the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Funding.