Friday, August 26, 2016

"There's No Place Like Home"

It's hard to say which sounds best - going home, being home, staying home, or coming home? All are good. For this reason, aging-in-place - the aspect of helping people remain in their homes for as long as they desire (indefinitely actually) - is having amazing appeal and interest. For those of us who participate in helping people achieve this objective, it is very rewarding.

After being away from home for a day (at the office, attending a seminar or meeting, or being out-of-town), or traveling for a few days, a week, or longer, the thoughts of both going home when boarding the plane or getting in the car for the journey home (no matter how many miles need to be traveled) and then coming home from the airport or pulling into the driveway are both very comforting.

There is no place like home. It's that simple. This is one of life's basic truths.

Many people make careers of selling homes, and people love shopping for and buying homes. Nevertheless, there is a tremendous interest and need - and growing - for people to remodel, renovate, and reconfigure the homes they already have to keep abreast of or match their changing lifestyles or needs over time. While we may begin with the actual structures - houses - our main business is creating safe, attractive, comfortable, convenient, accessible, visitable, and maneuverable homes for the people who live in them.

The homes we live in ourselves and those we help others create and live in are our sanctuaries - our retreats. Whenever we leave the comforts of home - where we are free to be ourselves whether we are dressed up or wearing our pajamas and whether or not our hair is combed - and venture out into the world, we encounter challenges in one form or another. We might just be going for a walk, bike, ride, or jog around the block before returning home. We might be going shopping or to the park to play tennis. We might be going to the office. Maybe we are going out for a sandwich or to have dinner. Regardless, there are many perils that we encounter when we are away from home.

Sometimes our homes present challenges and difficulties to us as well - because of clutter, organization, too much stuff accumulation, space allocation, or carelessness. Accidents, burns, and falls do happen in the home - unfortunately. We need to do all we can in our own homes and with our clients to minimize those risks.

"Home" is a beautiful word. Many people are familiar with the needlepoint works of "Home Sweet Home" or "There's No Place Like Home" and have them displayed on their walls. Home means security, comfort, a place to return to after we have been in the outside world (subjected to all the world has to throw at us), a nurturing place, a private place, and so much more. It's good to be home again after any absence from it (even a few hours), and it's good to be in the business of creating sound living environments for people.

There's no reason for people to give up the homes they have now and search for something else when we can help make those homes even more comfortable and well-suited for them.
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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.