Over a person's lifetime, they find many things that they desire to have, but their home is their most basic possession - whether it is owned or rented. Cars are important (unless someone takes mass transit or uses a taxi or service like Uber to get where they need to go), and clothing is necessary. However, when it comes to one of life's most basic needs people need shelter and a place to keep their stuff, raise a family, protect themselves from the outside world, maintain some degree of safety and security, and 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 jobs and professions that people have where they can help others - even in their homes. This includes decorators, designers, and painters 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.
To look for, find, and choose the home that meets their space and layout needs, location, price, and other considerations, people often engage the services of a real estate sales professional. Agents have an entire marketplace of homes at their disposal to share with someone interested in acquiring a new home (whether it's new construction or just a different home in the same general area as they are living or completely different). Finding the right 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. Often, this turns out to be the forever home even when it is purchased younger in life.
Additionally, there are several service personnel who help people to enjoy their homes and keep them serviceable, such as furniture cleaners, appliance repair, heating and air conditioning technicians, handymen, electricians, plumbers, landscapers, pool service, chimney sweeps, and housekeepers, 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 those of us who are able to help people remain comfortable in their homes as aging in place professionals. We may wear some of the hats just mentioned, but we have the special ability to evaluate and make the necessary changes (subject to available options, individual needs, and budgetary parameters) to allow people to remain living in their present homes long-term in the safest, most comfortable, convenient, accessible, and enjoyable manner possible.
We get the privilege of helping people in the most personal of areas for them - their homes - and to 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, requirements, and needs may change.
Being an aging in place professional is extremely rewarding and allows us to provide a truly invaluable service for our clients.
Steve Hoffacker, CAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging In Place Specialist - Master Instructor and best-selling author of aging in place 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.