Monday, March 6, 2017

"We Get To Do Something We Love - And Make A Difference"

There are many worthwhile pursuits one can undertake to earn a living, and all help people to various extents. People in government provide a service and help people solve issues or navigate bureaucracies to get the results they are seeking.

People in public service such as law enforcement, fire-rescue, and other first responders clearly affect the lives of the people they serve - many in life and death situations. They are highly regarded and respected for what they do.

Health care workers in hospitals, clinics, rehab centers, pharmacies, and doctor's offices provide critical services as well - often when people are seriously injured or traumatized from an illness life-changing event.

Merchants and the people who work for them help us meet our needs for groceries, transportation, clothing, appliances and home furnishings, repair services, and entertainment and make a difference by making their products and services available to us on a consistent basis - regardless of how often we need them or which particular establishments we shop at or how often.

Then, as aging in place professionals, we get to come along side people and serve them in a way that others only get to in a limited way. All of the above listed occupations and professions are important. We depend on them them - some more frequently than others. It's good to know that when we need what they provide that they are ready to answer the call - whether they come to us or we go to them.

In our services, we mostly are visiting people in their homes (although some us have retail locations where we offer products or meet consumers initially) to make their living environment more rewarding and enjoyable for them. They have various needs - from needing simple safety or accessibility modifications to facing major mobility challenges.

We make a difference in people's lives by helping them where it really counts and matter most to them - in their homes. People want to remain living in their homes, regardless of how old they are, the physical challenges they may be facing, how long they have lived in their homes, whether they own their home or are renting an apartment, and the general condition of their living space.

We analyze and evaluate the general safety conditions present in their homes, make recommendations on what can be done to make their lives safer and more enjoyable in their homes, determines how their homes can be more functional and comfortable for them, help them determine an appropriate budget for the work that needs to be done (including being able to direct them to funding sources that might be available to assist them), and then complete the renovations that will make their lives better for them and allow to remain living in their current homes.

Not only do we love the work we are doing - whether it is construction, installation, design, assessments, consultation - but we get to help people accomplish a very important objective in their lives which is staying at home and out of nursing or retirement homes. While there are similar solutions we might offer people with similar needs or concerns, each job is different because no two homes are exactly the same on the inside and no two occupants of those homes have exactly the same outlook on life or use their homes exactly the same.

Many people can say that they make a difference with the work that they do, but we truly can see it reflected in the lives of those we serve.

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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.