I recently attended a meeting with the national Extension Healthy Homes Partnership which has existed for a couple of decades yet is now headquartered out of the University of Missouri. It was mentioned that in the past we’ve looked at symptoms of the house that cause a particular health problem. Mold causing allergic or respiratory reactions, lead causing problems with blood poisoning, carbon monoxide leading to asphyxiation, etc… Yet the new movement is to look at the home comprehensively so that indoor air quality, surface coverings and safety to limit falls and injuries are all taken care of for both the occupant’s long term health and the dwelling’s integrity.
In that vein, Alaska CES will be teaching Healthy Homes with certain audiences and conditions in mind- vast aging population, rural living, northern clime. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island will join CES on some of these as we teach by teleconference about modifying existing homes to help folks get around and operate their homes with limited ambulation, grasping ability and visual acuity. There will be a focus on the entry and bathroom areas for these other states due to the importance of mobility. Keep an eye out for an Aging in Place class at your district CES office!