Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"'R-E-S-P-E-C-T' Is Much More Than A Top Tune"

Aretha Franklin recorded "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" and had thousands upon thousands of people listening to the song and singing its lyrics. It was even showcased in the Blue Brothers 2000 film.

Aside from being a catchy tune, respect is something that is quite relevant for us as we work with people in their homes to provide aging-in-place solutions for them. It has many implications.

There are at least five areas of the overall remodeling and renovation program that deal with respect, and likely more.

First, there is respecting our clients. They may have various physical limitations and infirmities. They may be somewhat or very reticent about sharing them with us or in disclosing or discussing them. Working with a competent health care professional such as an occupational or physical therapist will help to alleviate this and get them to share what their issues are, but it is still something to factor into the process.

Some physical needs are going to be more obvious than others, and some may not be that apparent to us. Of course, some people may have no outward physical limitations and remain essentially active in their older years. We need to respect this as well.

We certainly need to respect them as our clients and give them the kindness, attention, courtesy, and concern they deserve as we are meeting with them - initially and over time - to help them decide on a plan of action that works for them.

Second, we must respect their homes - even if they aren't in the best of condition. We are being invited into their property. We are a guest - there for a very important purpose. While we are there, and while all of our crews and trade partners are there working to create their solution for them, we need to be mindful that this is their home that they cherish and that has many memories for them. There likely is a large emotional attachment to it. We are committed to leaving their home much better off than when we started. That's why we have been called into service.

Third, regardless of whether they can write a big check from the funds in their bank account or whether it is a real stretch for them to be able to do anything to improve their homes (or anywhere in between), there is going to be a budget. We must respect and adhere to that budget - being faithful stewards of it. We need to be just as careful when we prepare the estimate and scope of services for them.

Fourth, in creating an action plan and then fulfilling it, we must respect their wishes and desires. While we are going to recommend various solutions, we are not the ones who are going to be living in that home when the job is done. We get to go home. This is their home. We must respect what they would like to have done to accommodate their needs and honor that.

Fifth, we must respect their desire to remain in their home. This is powerful, and it's why we are in business. We have been selected to help them evaluate what is required to make their homes more suitable for them for their current situation and then to make that happen.

Respect is a great word that factors prominently into our aging-in-place businesses and the solution we create and implement/

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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.