Community Aging in Place—Advancing Better Living for Elders, or CAPABLE, is a home visitation program for older adults developed by Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Over the course of 10 visits, six with an occupational therapist and four with a nurse, clients identify self-care goals such as walking to the mailbox, doing laundry, or showering that they would like to address for improved functioning.  and to live safely and independently at home. Based on the client’s independence goals and their living situation, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver also plays a role by implementing minor home modifications such as safety bar installation, improved lighting, and floor repair.


The vast majority of older adults desire to remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible. A safe home environment is critical to the ability to function independently, yet the home setting is often overlooked by care models because they take place in a clinical setting. CAPABLE seeks to demonstrate that modest investments in short-term interventions can help older adults remain in their homes longer, improve health outcomes, and decrease medical costs.


In one population of older adults who participated in CAPABLE, 79% improved their self-care over the course of five months.1

  • The average CAPABLE participant improved by cutting their disability in half (i.e., the number of self-care tasks that are difficult for the participant were halved).
  • Participants experienced a decrease in depressive symptoms similar to that of an anti-depressant medicine.
  • Preliminary results suggest that CAPABLE cuts inpatient costs by 34% compared to a comparison group.

CAPABLE is also beginning to yield evidence of cost-savings via delaying nursing home admittance and proper utilization of primary care rather than emergency care.

1Data from January 2015 paper in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.


Colorado VNA is the first community-based organization in the country to pilot CAPABLE in a home health care setting. Funding for the 24-month pilot has graciously been provided by an anonymous donor, Colorado Health Foundation, and the Comprecare Fund at The Denver Foundation. Additional investments are sought to help Colorado VNA complete the pilot and demonstrate that CAPABLE is a cost-effective service to keep older adults in the community.


Colorado VNA is currently seeking individuals to participate in the CAPABLE pilot. To qualify, you must:

  • Be at least 65 years old
  • Own your own home or live in a family member’s home within the metro Denver area
  • Be proficient in English or have a family member available to translate
  • Have difficulty performing at least one activity of daily living (e.g., dressing, bathing, toileting) or difficulty with two or more instrumental activities of daily living (e.g., housework, meal preparation, taking medicine as prescribed)
  • Live at or below 80% AMI (equal to a monthly income up to $4,196 for a 1-person household, up to $4,796 for a 2-person household, up to $5,396 for a 3-person household, and up to $5,992 for a 4-person household.)

If you have questions or would like to inquire about participating in the program, please contact Amanda Goodenow (MS, OTR/L), CAPABLE Program Manager, at GoodenowA@VNAColorado.org or at (303) 698-6302.