To Prevent Falls, It May Pay Off to Remodel the House

Home renovations could be well worth the expense for older adults and people with a history of falls because they prevent injuries and might curb medical spending, a study in New Zealand suggests. The cost-benefit analysis found a 33 percent reduction in spending to treat fall injuries over three years, and potentially a six-fold savings in “social costs” related to such injuries. In a prior study, the authors followed 1,850 people in New Zealand for three years and found home remodeling associated with a 26 percent reduction in medically treated injuries from falls. But researchers didn’t know whether the cost of renovations could translate into less spending on treatment related to falls, said lead study author Dr. Michael Keall of Otago Medical School in Wellington. Their next study found that “modifications were highly cost-beneficial for the general population,” Keall said. “We expected the cost-benefit ratio to be still higher for older people, or those with a prior history of falling.” One limitation of the analysis was that it didn’t only focus on the elderly; it included everyone in the general population, making it hard to estimate the costs or savings for older people who may have the greatest risk of falls. The renovation costs also included a large number of older homes requiring repair, researchers note in the journal Injury Prevention.

Source/more: Japan Today


David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.

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