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CAPABLE (Community Aging in Place—Advancing Better Living for Elders)

A program that enables seniors to remain at home, remain functional, and remain safe

Sarah Szanton, Ph.D., A.N.P., Introduces
the Johns Hopkins CAPABLE Program


Most senior adults prefer to remain in their home as they age. However, their inability to take care of their basic needs like preparing their own meals or going to the bathroom or dressing themselves often means admission to a long-term care facility, which compromises the individual’s dignity and costs them, or taxpayers, thousands of dollars a month.


Community Aging in Place—Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE) is a low-cost program that integrates a registered nurse an occupational therapist and a licensed handyman who work with individual seniors—particularly low-income urban men and women of color—to keep them at home, functional and safe.

The CAPABLE Training Program

Training Workshop, held quarterly at Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore,
or by special arrangement at your institution. The Workshop includes:

  • e-learning modules for OTs and RNs
  • Training materials
  • Follow-up telephone support

  • Combining environmental and personal supports, older adults can cut their disability in half and decrease depressive symptoms by as much as an antidepressant would.
  • Results from a demonstration project during 2012-15 showed a 3x Return on Investment, a 2x Improvement in Functionality and symptoms of depression and the ability to shop and manage medications also improved. 
About Sarah L. Szanton, Ph.D., A.N.P.

While making house calls as a nurse practitioner to homebound, low-income older adults in West Baltimore, Sarah noticed that their environmental challenges were often as pressing as their health challenges. This inspired her to explore ways to make it possible for low-income older adults to live in their own homes for a longer period of time. Her “aha” moment came when she realized the potential impact home maintenance could have on health. Sarah has since developed a program of research, The Community Aging in Place—Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE) that combines handyman services with nursing and occupational therapy to improve mobility, reduce stress, and decrease health care costs. When she’s not investigating ways to help older adults “age in place”, Sarah mentors and teaches future nurse researchers as a Professor and the Director of the PhD program at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.


SOLUTION OVERVIEW: 1-page summary to share with your colleagues


For more than 125 years, Johns Hopkins has led the way in both biomedical discovery and patient and population care. Faculty research most often leads to innovative protocols, programs and services, establishing the standard by which others follow and build upon. Our goal: make these innovations available beyond our walls to improve the health outcomes of individuals and populations—within our community and throughout the world.


Contact us to learn more about this solution and how it can benefit your organization.

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