Thursday, May 4, 2017

"May Is A Noteworthy Month For AIP Professionals"

Of all the months in the year - each with it's own special attributes - May is a great month because it's spring, and that in itself is great. There's so much going on - the trees greening, new flowers, the sounds of birds and insects, smells, and additional signs of life that has been absent for a few months. The weather is warming, and the days are longer. Spring clearly is a time for optimism.

May is great for another reason, and it's a good thing there are 31 days in May because it takes all of them to accommodate all of the dates we need to commemorate this month. More than any other month, May has more weeks and days devoted specifically to aging in place occupations and actions than any other one. This is not counting the many other activities in May such as Mother's Day, Cinco de Mayo, graduations, baseball, the Kentucky Derby, the Indianapolis 500, and Coca-Cola 600 - among others. 

May also provides a solemn remembrance and observance that is important to all of us, in the form of "First Responders Week" (May 21-27), "National Police Week" (May 15-21), and "Peace Officer Memorial Day" (May 15). In this two-week span, we are able to pay tribute to those who protect us domestically.

May is very much at the heart of the aging in place business, starting with the entire month dedicated each year to remodeling activities - which is one of the activities we do as aging in place professionals - as "National Remodeling Month." Whether we are involved in actual remodeling of work with contractors to help create solutions for our clients, National Remodeling Month is one we can all identify with.

This is also "National Mobility Awareness Month" and we already, as aging in place professionals, are aware of the mobility challenges that people face with arthritis and other joint difficulties, and how so many people face mobility challenges as they age - resulting from auto accidents, falls, sports injuries, and general aging conditions. Reaching, holding, grasping, standing, sitting, walking, stepping, climbing, squatting, bending, standing, lifting, turning, and so many other activities that we do, whether independently or with the assistance of devices or others, including all of the ones that come under the heading of activities of daily living, involve some joint movement and therefore mobility. 

Where would aging in place be without the seniors that we serve - although we work with any age and ability? May is "National Older Americans Month." Older Americans are the primary focus of our aging in place emphasis. This is a nice parallel with Remodeling Month.

This is "Building Safety Month" and the first week is devoted to Building Solutions For All Ages" - with a direct tie-in to aging in place solutions because providing solutions for all is at the heart of what we do. We certainly are interested in creating effective building solutions - new construction and through remodeling.

In addition to mobility, May is also focused on sensory needs with it being "Better Hearing & Speech Month." We know how hearing tends to decline over time, and how speech is tied to effective hearing. This clearly is something that is an aging in place emphasis.

Next week (May 6-12) is the annual "National Nurses Week." Nursing - in the hospital, in rehab and convalescent centers, as hospice care, home health, and other venues - along with other health care professionals are such an important part of our aging in place services.

There are many other observances and commemorations in May that we note and observe as aging in place professionals. In fact, there are more that can be covered in this post, so some will be left to tomorrow. We are not forgetting or ignoring them. We just want them to get the coverage they deserve.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist-Master 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.