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AGS: Videotape of Seniors' Homes Can Identify Hazards

Caregivers' tapes can help occupational therapists decide which home modifications are necessary

TUESDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- Family members who use a camcorder or other recording device to document an older relative's home can provide important information to occupational therapists about safety hazards and barriers to independent living, according to research presented this week at the American Geriatrics Society's annual scientific meeting in Seattle.

Colleen Campbell, M.S.N., of the Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville, Fla., and colleagues trained family members of 31 older patients who lived long distances from occupational therapy services to conduct video home inspections. An occupational therapist reviewed the videotapes.

The researchers found that the video inspections were a cost-effective way for occupational therapists to identify safety hazards and barriers to independent living, and recommend home modifications such as grab bars, handrails, raised toilet seats with safety frames, bathtub benches, and ramps.

"The results of this home safety assessment pilot project demonstrate the feasibility of a new approach to home assessments that is cost effective and less time consuming while assuring appropriate home equipment and home safety," Campbell said in a statement.

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