Wednesday, March 1, 2017

"We Have A Truly Wonderful Role To Play"

There are many occupations and professions which bring people joy to perform and be engaged in. There are many that truly provide an outstanding service to their clientele. As aging in place professionals, we truly are in a wonderful realm that impacts people where it counts the most - in their homes.

A person's home is their most basic possession - whether it is owned or rented. Cars are important (for those who drive to work or shopping), clothing is necessary, but people have to have a place to keep their stuff, shelter themselves from the outside world, maintain some degree of safety and security, and raise their families or maintain a personal retreat. This is what the home represents, and we get to help make it safer, more functional, and more enjoyable for people.

There are many professions that help people with their homes, including decorators and designers who help people furnish their homes to make them more appealing and aesthetically pleasing. Designers also make sure that people relate well to their environment and that their homes serve them well in terms of the color choices, finishes, patterns, furnishings, and accessories that are selected and used.

Real estate agents help people shop for, find, and select the home that meets their space and layout needs, location, and price. They have an entire marketplace of homes at their disposal to share with someone interested in acquiring a new home (actually new construction or just a different home) so finding the home that works for people is just a matter of looking long enough or asking the right questions to locate the best choice for what someone is seeking.

There are many service personnel who help people in their homes - furniture cleaners, appliance repair, heating and air conditioning technicians, handymen, electricians, plumbers, landscapers, pool service, and painters, among others.

There also are many retail and online vendors who offer building materials, furniture, artwork, accessories, kitchenware, clothing, flooring products, technology products, lighting fixtures, linens, appliances, food stuffs, and similar items that people use to furnish their homes, live in them, and use them comfortably.

Then, there are are those of us who are aging in place professionals  who may wear some of the hats mentioned above but are uniquely trained and interested in helping people benefit from living in their homes long-term in the safest, most comfortable, convenient, accessible, and enjoyable manner possible.

In addition to the many occupations, professions, and vendors mentioned already that have an impact on how people use and equip their homes, we also include consultants, contractors, remodelers, builders, occupational therapists, and durable medical equipment suppliers.

Collectively, we get involved in reviewing and assessing how well someone's home works for them now in meeting their physical and space requirements, the relative safety it provides or allows, and how it allows them to get maximum enjoyment from their home while remaining safe and secure in their living space.

We get to work in the most personal of areas for people - their homes - and to help make sure that those living environments are serving them the best that they can - not just today but over the coming months and years, even as their physical condition and needs may change.

This is how and why we get to perform such a wonderful function for people and truly provide a invaluable service for them.

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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.