Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"Adjusting Priorities Is A Constant Activity"

Priorities are a part of life. We constantly are making choices and evaluating whether one choice is better for us than another - in essence, setting priorities or measuring our decisions in light of priorities we already have set or that are emerging.

What to have for breakfast? Are we trying to reduce calories, increase protein consumption, limit fat intake, or bulk up for a strenuous day ahead with no real chance for a lunch break? Do we want to eat healthy, grab something quick, or skip it altogether? Are we going into a meeting soon that will have pastries, fruit, and coffee so eating a breakfast has a lower priority for our schedule right now? Are we trying to adhere to some goals we have established for ourselves?

Something as simple as having or not having breakfast - a choice we face everyday - has priorities and consequences. Depending on how we prioritize the importance of eating, what food to include if we do eat, and how we think we will feel after consuming it (full, sluggish, guilty, hungry, happy, or something else), this will determine how we approach this daily event.

Then there is driving to the office or that first appointment. Do we have enough gas to make it or do we need to stop for fuel, is the car reasonably clean in case we will be seen by someone important or possibly need to take a client or colleague to lunch, and have we left early enough to miss potential traffic delays or allowed for an alternate route just in case?

As we go throughout our day, we constantly are asking ourselves - consciously or subconsciously - whether something we are doing or about to do is the best thing we can be doing at the moment or if there is something more important to be doing (a higher priority). This doesn't mean that we are working 24/7. Getting a class of water so we don't become dehydrated, grabbing a snack for sustenance, or taking a shower after we exercise may have the highest priority of the available choices at the moment we choose to do them.

This practice with setting, adjusting, and acting upon our priorities gives us the experience we need then to begin working with the public to modify their homes for a safer and more comfortable existence.

There could be dozens of issues that we encounter or that we notice when we arrive at a potential client's home. Depending on their short-term and long-terms objectives, their general level of health, and any physical limitation they may be experiencing, we will help them establish some priorities for their renovations.

A lot of what we are going to recommend is going to be dependent on the condition of the home, improvements that have been made to the home already, the mobility needs of the clients, their budget, the number of years of service that might be a desirable outcome from the renovations, whether everything that needs to be done should be attempted in one renovation or it will be staged over time, and how adjacent homes in the neighborhood have been improved or upgraded.

Then will will help our clients set priorities to tackle the most urgent or pressing needs first and some of the lesser needs later or perhaps not at all - if they aren't presenting any obvious safety concerns.

Setting priorities is how we determine what needs our attention the most on down to items less demanding. When people have a large budget, everything might be able to be accomplished. Still, the order in which the renovations will be completed needs to be set - priorities. For more limited budgets, priorities will identify the most important work to be completed.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, 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. Also check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn