Senior citizens living in their own homes often have physical limitations that require special safety/medical equipment. The number one danger for the elderly is falling. Research shows that out of the seniors who fall, 80% cannot get back up, and out of those, 30% are on the floor for more than 1 hour. Experts rate the bathroom as the number one most dangerous room in the home due to slips and falls. During this time of rising healthcare costs, some of the elderly cannot or will not purchase the equipment needed to insure safety in their homes. This limits their independence and most likely will increase their health risks.
How has 4-H helped?
The Mesa Goathill Go-Getters (MGG) Elderly Safety Community Service Project joined with the local 4-H club Civic Engagment project, and Kronos, a local FIRST Lego League team. Together, they provided bathroom safety equipment for seniors living in their own homes, educated their community through flyers and presentations, and created a device for fall recovery. Through the 4-H civic engagement grant, bathroom equipment was donated to the Convalescent Aid Society (CAS) in Pasadena. CAS is a non-profit organization that loans out durable medical equipment at no cost to anyone in need. Through the use of GPS and the Internet, MGG members contacted organizations that accept and recycle safety equipment. With their approval and grant funds, posters and flyers were created to help better educate the community of their services. 250 flyers were passed out at 5 different locations – libraries and senior centers. Lastly, an invention was created to assist seniors in getting back up after a fall. It is called “U-Lift”. The grant provided materials used to create the new device.Learn more here>
The Civic Engagement project has taught me that I can do anything that I put my mind to
Henry, Project Member
The 4-H MGG Elderly Safety Community Service Project provided members with priceless, hands-on experiences with all the H’s in 4-H – Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. This project taught youth to brainstorm ideas, make plans, and execute them successfully. Members learned to communicate with adults, work as a team, and respect others strengths and differences in order to greater impact society. It also “… helped the members of MGG see the bigger picture,” says Mrs. Schrieber (MGG Club Leader). Locally, the equipment would help people in San Gabriel Valley for years and years to come since each piece is used and re-used. “…The civic engagment project is a fantastic program for kids,” concluded Mr. Daniel Maljanian, CEO of CAS. So far, 2 seniors have used CAS services due to this project. As for educating the community, many flyers were requested by seniors for their family, friends, and social groups. The project youth were especially surprised and pleased seeing the impact they were having. Lastly, even though the benefits cannot be tracked, the promotion of organizations that recycle equipment will hopefully help reduce plastics and waste in landfills and help the earth stay healthier.