Early data from the initial pilot year indicates the program is associated with a 79% reduction in falls (from an average of 1.57 falls in the year prior to participation in Comfortably Home to an average of 0.33 falls in the six months following participation in Comfortably Home), a 61% reduction in hospitalizations and ER visits (from an average of 0.59 in the past year to an average of 0.23 in the six months following participation in Comfortably Home), an 80% reduction in close calls related to fires (from an average of 0.15 in the past year to an average of 0.03 in the six months following participation in Comfortably Home), and a 78% reduction in the number of areas of the home that participants have deemed unsafe or difficult to use (from an average of 0.76 areas in a home to an average of 0.17 areas six months after participation in Comfortably Home). Ninety-six percent of participants feel the program has relieved a financial burden and 100% of participants indicate they “feel safer in their home”.
Home Safety Improvements
At intake 94% of participants felt there was an aspect of their home that was unsafe or difficult to use; compared with 23% of participants at follow up. At 3-month and 6-month follow up, all of the participants reported that Comfortably Home had made their homes safer and that they felt the program would be helpful to others.
Participation in the Comfortably Home program was associated with a reduction in falls by more than the 20%. At baseline, 49% (n=26) of participants fell in the past year, at follow-up 30% (n= 9) reported a fall in the six months since participating in Comfortably Home.
At baseline, when people fell, there was a 43% chance that the fall would result in a significant injury. When people reported a fall at the 6-month follow up, there was a 22% chance that the fall would result in a significant injury.
Participation in the Comfortably Home program was associated with more than a 20% reduction in close calls and safety hazards that increase the risk of fires. At baseline, 15% reported a close-call to a fire in the past year; at follow-up only one person (3%) reported a similar event.
Participation in the Comfortably Home was associated with more than a 15% reduction in hospitalization (see Figure 5). At baseline 59% of participants indicated that they had either spent the night in the hospital or visited an Emergency Room on at least one occasion; at follow-up 23% of participants indicated that they had either spent the night in the hospital or visited an Emergency Room on at least one occasion. Participation in the Comfortably Home cannot reverse the number of chronic illness that people are living with. Thus, the decrease in number of hospitalizations does not reflect a change in diagnoses but may reflect an improvement in the environment that supports the ability of a person to live safely and independently in their home.
Increased mobility and independence
At baseline, 29% of participants said that they had no difficulty performing any Independent Activities of Daily Living. At follow-up 63% reported IADL independence. Participation in Bath Comfortably Home was associated with an increase in people’s ability to live independently.
Level of Isolation
Isolation, despite the difficulty of the measure noted above, decreased for people who participated in Bath Comfortably Home; 17% identified as very or severely isolated, compared with 3% at follow up.
More than 35% of participants indicated a relief of financial burden associated with Comfortably Home assistance. Overall, 80% of participants at baseline predicted that Comfortably Home assistance would relieve financial burdens; 96% of participants at follow-up indicated that participation in Comfortably Home had relieved some of their financial burdens