October 15, 2009
Elizabeth Blevins, Director, Office of Communications
Office: (740) 351-3810; FAX: (740) 351-3179; Cell: (740) 464-4854
940 Second Street – Portsmouth, Ohio 45662
Web site: www.shawnee.edu
Occupational Therapy Students at Shawnee State University
Work with Senior Home Inspection Program in Ross County
Shawnee State University’s Master of Occupational Therapy
students are working with the Senior Home Inspection Program
(SHIP) program in Ross County to provide home safety to
seniors 60 years of age and older serving 106 people since
October 2007 with a waiting list of more than 30 people.
SHIP team members were awarded the 2008 Community Service
Award from the Area Agency on Agency (AAA-7) and the 2008
Outstanding AAA/Provider Partnership of the Year award from
the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging. The idea for
the Senior Home Inspection Program was developed originally
by Lt. Dale Gillette, retired from the Ross County Sheriff’s
“They are looking at the home for physical hazards that
could be a potential risk factor and they are also doing an
evaluation through observation and interviews that person’s
functioning,” said Dr. Christine Raber, associate professor,
Master of Occupational Therapy program in Health Sciences.
“Usually, when a fall occurs in an older adult, it is a
combination of factors, maybe dizziness, fatigue and
something in the environment like the corner of a rug that
they trip over and fall.”
Students work with the Ross County Fire Association, Ross
County Sheriff’s Office, Area Agency on Agency, Department
of Job and Family Services, the Ross County Senior Citizen’s
Center, Chillicothe Police Department and Southern Care Inc.
Each agency provides their unique services to seniors, such
as home security and fire safety inspections to help seniors
safely age in their homes.
The students provide a home safety inspection checking that
rugs are secured, nightlights are working, bath mats are in
place and other potential physical problems that may cause
problems. Students in the master of occupational therapy
program have been working with SHIP twice a month since the
program began in 2007.
A home security assessment is provided to check lighting,
locks, windows, power cords, clutter and install emergency
beacons. Many items are provided to the seniors such as bath
mats, non-stick rug tape, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide
detectors, nightlights, power strips, batteries, flashlights
and aging services.
“Grant money is what helps us provide all these things for
free,” Raber said.
The year-round program is funded with grants from the Adena
Health Foundation and the David Mead Massey Foundation. The
state of Ohio has a fire safety program that provides smoke
Scioto County officially opened its SHIP program in June.
The Master of Occupational Therapy students at Shawnee State
University travel to Ross County to provide services for the
elderly through the SHIP program twice a month. In the
photo, the students are, in front, from left, Sarah McGraw,
of Minford, Austin Clyse, of Ironton, and Lauren Fenske, of
Dublin. In the back from left, are Bobby Byrd, Wheelersburg,
Janelle Iadanza, of Canton, Betty Dyer, of Firebrick, Ky.,
and John Hancock, of Portsmouth.