Sunday, January 10, 2016

"Aging-In-Place Defined"

Aging-in-place as a concept is much older than many people might think. It dates back to the 1950s as something that was often done - without applying a specific name to the strategy - and it goes back to the earliest times when we consider that people often took their parents and other loved ones into their home to care for them. This is the classic extended family.

In many cultures, the extended family is widely accepted and utilized.

Since 2002 when the Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist designation program was jointly created by the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) and AARP (formerly known as the American Association for Retired Persons), thousands of professionals have completed their designation with the aim of helping people to remain in their present homes - by creating safe, comfortable, and accessible solutions for their individual needs.

Aging-in-place has never meant leaving one's home and moving into a community where an enjoyable lifestyle or social opportunities might be offered. While some people choose to this - either as renters or owners - that is not what aging-in-place is all about.

To be sure, there are many retirement and independent living communities and opportunities for people who choose to sell or move from their current homes and relocate into another dwelling such as this - often smaller and more compact than what they are leaving. That is not the point.

For those of us dedicated to helping people remain in their current homes long-term - regardless of their current age, physical abilities, or needs - aging-in-place means just that. We want people who have grown emotionally attached to their current homes, who aren't able financially or physically to move from their present homes or easily replace them, who enjoy the neighborhood where they live, or who really like the layout of their present home and the comfort it provides to remain living there indefinitely.

We realize that some modifications and adaptability may need to occur over time, and we are up to that challenge. Our objective is to help people who want to remain in their current homes to be able to do so.


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Steve Hoffacker, CAPS, MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit my website at stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.