Empowering Medicaid Members: Home Modifications that Reduce Caregiver Dependency and Boost Independence

Empowering Medicaid Members: Home Modifications that Reduce Caregiver Dependency and Boost Independence

Learn how home modifications can reduce personal care hours and keep members more independent at home.

The world is indeed changing, and at the center of this transformation is a quickly growing older adult population. In fact they are currently the fastest growing population, with 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day. 

This "silver tsunami" is undoubtedly reshaping the landscape of healthcare and how we think about administering long-term care. Importantly, the older adult population has made it clear that they prefer to age at home. This is a desire understood by many health plans that are actively working to respect the wishes of their members. 

However, our healthcare system is facing a significant challenge. The rate in which people are aging cannot be supported with the current volume of caregivers. 

Efforts have been made to support caregivers by increasing their pay and providing more training. However, retention rates are still low and the cost of personal care hours (PCH) keeps going up and up. To make things worse, high turnover rates also lead to member dissatisfaction. New caregivers can be disruptive and distressing for members who require care in the most personal aspects of their lives. Medicaid plans need to find a new way to fill this growing gap, and home modifications are the solution. 

In this article we’ll explain why home modifications are a viable strategy to reduce the dependency on personal care services, keep costs low and ensure members can remain independent in their homes for longer. 

Why Home Modifications Are the Missing Lever 

Home modifications are beginning to be recognized for their ability to enhance safety but also for their ability to promote independence. Even small changes such as installing grab bars, improving lighting, and removing tripping hazards have been shown to reduce fall risk by up to 55%

More than just preventing accidents, these modifications transform homes into environments that promote autonomy.

Older adults overwhelmingly prefer to remain in their home and community, where they can maintain their independence with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, toileting, and cooking. By adapting their living environments with modifications like walk-in showers, bidets, adjustable countertops, and stairlifts, member’s are better supported to manage these tasks independently. And the benefits of such modifications are both immediate and measurable - with research indicating up to a 46% reduction in the need for additional in-home help. 

This reduction not only supports health plans' goals of keeping members in the community but also presents a cost-effective solution to many of the challenges with administering long-term care today. However, how can the initial investment in making these changes be offset by the decreased need for personal care in the home? 

Examples of How Home Modifications Can Reduce Personal Care Hours 

Understanding how targeted home modifications can directly reduce personal care hours is essential. Here are some impactful examples:

Toileting: For many older adults, toileting can require up to 3-5 hours of personal care assistance per week, a substantial amount of time when considering how this can impact both privacy and dignity. By integrating modifications like a bidet, toilet riser, and strategically placed grab bars, members can regain much of their independence. These modifications make it feasible for member’s, depending on their level of mobility, to manage toileting and maintain safety. 

Bathing: Bathing is another task that many older adults prefer to perform independently, yet it poses significant fall risks. Installing solutions such as shower chairs, peened grab bars, and a tub cut transforms a bathroom into a much safer environment. A tub cut lowers the barrier to enter and exit the shower, reducing the risk of falls, while a shower chair and sturdy grab bars support balance and stability during bathing. 

Mobility: Safe and effortless movement within and around the home is crucial for maintaining independence and ensuring member’s can live life both in and out of the home. Solutions such as a ramp can facilitate access to the outdoors without assistance. By eliminating the need for personal care to help with basic movements, these adjustments empower members to navigate their living spaces freely and safely.

By allowing individuals to safely and comfortably handle more aspects of their daily lives on their own, these strategic changes decrease the frequency and necessity of caregiver visits. This results in substantial savings in personal care hours. Most importantly, it upholds the dignity and respects the preferences of member’s, allowing them to lead more satisfying lives within their own homes.


As healthcare systems face increasing pressures from the aging population and the rising costs of long-term care, innovative solutions like home modifications prove essential in maintaining the independence and safety of older adults. Jukebox Health’s occupational therapist-led member independence program addresses these challenges head on.  By partnering with us, health plans can significantly enhance their ability to keep members safer and more independent at home.

Our program focuses on strategic home modifications that reduce the need for personal care assistance, thereby lowering costs and improving quality of life for members. From simple adjustments like installing grab bars and ramps to more comprehensive modifications like bathroom and kitchen remodels, Jukebox Health ensures that each solution is tailored to the specific needs of the individual.

For more information on our PCH Reduction Program and how you can partner with us, contact our partnerships today, hello@jukeboxhealth.com. 

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