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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Center for Applied Health Research on Aging
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Upkeep and Repair Plus: Pilot and Feasibility Study


Upkeep and Repair Plus: Pilot and Feasibility Study


September 2020 – September 2021

Funding Source:

ARCC (Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities)

Grant Number:



Housing is an important social determinant of health, yet there is a lack of research formally evaluating the effect of housing support services on the health of older adults. Furthermore, there are few social service agencies in Chicago that offer these vital services for elderly residents. Since 1982, H.O.M.E. (Housing Opportunities & Maintenance for the Elderly) has provided innovative affordable community-based housing support services, consisting of home repair, a shopping bus, moving assistance, and caring volunteers, to older adults living on low incomes in Chicago.

In 2019, Rachel O’Conor (Research Faculty, CAHRA) and Gail Schechter (Executive Director, H.O.M.E), were awarded a partnership development grant from the Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities (ARCC) to establish research infrastructure and priorities to evaluate the role of housing support services on the overall health of low-income older adults in Chicago. 

Promoting independent living, home safety and reducing falls were recognized as priorities, and adapting H.O.M.E’s Upkeep and Repair Program was identified as a possible way to continue to promote independent living among older adults. 


In partnership with H.O.M.E., we are conducting a pilot study to determine the feasibility of implementing a low cost home modification program, and to determine if a standardized low cost home modification program enhances safety and promote independent living among community-dwelling older adults. 

The home modification program will consist of a standardized bathroom safety package comprised of five components:

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• Principal Investigator: Rachel O'Conor, PhD MPH
• Project Lead: Sarah Wozniak

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