It’s all about the home
Many people like to make aging in place seem more complex and involved than it is. It’s quite simple and very intuitive. Aging in place simply means that we continue living in our present home without leaving it. Hopefully, it is a place that we are happy occupying. If not, we (as aging in place professionals) can help people to resolve some of the most pressing and urgent matters.
Aging in place has nothing to do with what the community offers except that we want to be connected to it to the extent we need that to happen. As far as the community helping us to age in place, it’s a personal matter inside the walls of our individual homes and on our property.
We are not dependent on what is going on outside of the four walls of our home for aging in place except that we don’t want it to impact us negatively.
Safety is key
No matter where we are living or what our home looks like physically – whether it is in a traditional urban neighborhood, in suburbia, in a more rural area, a ranch home, or one of multiple stories, with or without a basement – the key aspect of our home that drives the success of our aging in place journey is safety.
We must feel and remain safe inside our homes. We can’t always control what happens and what circumstances we will face when we leave home and decide to go into the community for shopping, work, recreation, or other pursuits, but we can make sure – to the best of our ability and those helping us – that our homes provide a safe haven.
There’s an old saying that without our health we have nothing. Therefore, having a home environment that is as safe to be in as possible is critical to long-term aging in place success. No one wants to be injured and find themselves compromised in using their home and enjoying their daily routines.
If we aren’t able to enjoy life and function as we would like because of an injury that has occurred to us in our home, aging in place is not going to be as pleasant for us as it could have been.
Our responsibility to the public
We can’t be everywhere, and there are only so many people that we can serve. Therefore, we need to take our work seriously for those who rely on our advice and expertise in making their homes safer or more comfortable, convenient, and accessible.
Since the home is key to successful aging in place, we need to make sure that people can use their homes well and that those homes will offer the safety people need and require long-term. Individual needs may change, but a well-designed and conceived living space should provide lasting safety opportunities for the occupants.