Saturday, July 16, 2016

"Why We Like Aging-In-Place"

Helping people remain in their homes is the key objective of aging in place and with those of us who strive to make this happen. We know that many people regard their home like an old friend - regardless of the age of the home or how long they have lived in it. Helping them retain that relationship with their home is important to them and to us.

That home represents so many memories to them of life events that have transpired within the home and in their lives while living there - along with the collective experience before they arrived and began living in that home. This includes growing up, attending school, finding their first home or apartment, the home or homes (or apartments) they may have lived in prior to this one, and any family they may have formed along the way.

The people living in their present home have become very attached to it. They don't welcome the thought of trying to replace that home or having to move from it. That's where we come in. We can and do provide answers and solutions.

No matter the physical condition of the home that people have where they are living presently, or any deficiencies or shortcomings it might have in being able to accommodate their physical needs (for owners or renters), we know that people want to hang onto and remain living in their present homes for the foreseeable future.

There are several reasons why people choose to remain in their homes, and any one of them is sufficient for us to begin helping them enjoy a safer, more comfortable, more convenient, and more secure home.

People that we help can be of any age or ability. They have just decided - for one or more reasons - that they want to remain living in their current home. We have the ability to improve that home to make it as functional and as serviceable as their needs and budget prescribe.

This is why we like aging-in-place. It allows us to work with people who want to remain in their homes and provides a real service for people to get additional functional use out of a home that may seem to have reached the end of its useful life for them but has plenty of opportunities to provide an effective living space for them in the years to come.

People may find that the space they have is too small for their current needs, that it's not configured appropriately for them to move about easily, that the doorways or hallways are not wide enough, that they don't feel secure in standing or moving about in their space, that the appliances or bath fixtures don't function well for them or are difficult to use, that there is not enough storage space or that they have too much stuff for the space they have, that they can't climb stairs or enter their home as easily as they could before, find that there are several other issues that need to be addressed to make their homes serve them better.

While budgetary constraints may limit the amount of work that can be done, there are many recommendations and actual solutions that can be implemented to assist people to stay living in their homes. We can be the change agents people need.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.