Home Safety Modifications Have Life-Transforming Outcomes

September 22, 2022
by Melissa Stutzbach, Vice President of National Programs and Impact Measurement at Rebuilding Together National

Home safety modifications like grab bars might seem insignificant or simple when discussing housing solutions. However, they can be life-transforming for neighbors who need them.

Fall prevention is a priority of Rebuilding Together since our affiliates across the country receive thousands of applications from neighbors who need these types of repairs to remain safely in their homes. In an effort to support this need, affiliates like Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte are partnering with Fortune Brands Home & Security to install Moen grab bars, stairs and comfort height toilets through the Safe at Home program. 

Safe at Home provides home modifications for older adults and people with disabilities to improve accessibility, reduce falls, increase independence and facilitate aging-in-place. It is designed to improve aging-in-place outcomes for low-income older adults through the modification of their home environment to meet their specific needs. Rebuilding Together’s 2020-2021 impact measurement report showed the majority of neighbors who had previously, or almost, fallen did not fall again after repairs. Among survey respondents who were the least likely to report that they would age in place before repairs, 86% reported an increased likelihood that they would age in place after repairs. It also indicated installing grab bars was significantly associated with increased confidence in activities of daily living.

In addition to the increase in safety, there is also a greater return on investment for fall prevention and home accessibility repairs. For every $1 invested by Rebuilding Together and its affiliates in each home, there is a projected $2.84 in social value generated through improved health, safety, independence and cost savings. This number increases to $3.44 when targeting those at risk for falls!

With support from Moen and Fortune Brands, affiliates across the country have had the opportunity to request select in-kind home modification products to provide repairs for neighbors in need. Installing home safety modifications has a greater impact on neighbors than just fall prevention. With the much needed repairs, neighbors who weren’t planning to age in place, can do so safely in the homes and communities they love.