The Center for Disease Control defines Aging in Place as:
“the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”
At Sage in Home, we focus on BETTER HOMES FOR ACTIVE LIVING.
Active Living is an inclusive term for Aging in Place, Universal Design, Independent Living and any other terminology that promotes safety, comfort and ease of use in the home.
Aging in Place is a concept often used by professionals, including home remodelers and designers as well as some retailers and product manufacturers. Our directory of Sage Professionals includes many professionals who earned a Certified Aging in Place Specialist designation.
The term “Aging in Place” is also used by non-profit and Government agencies to describe programs and activities aimed at helping people stay in their home.
“Aging in Place” programs include home safety checks or assistance with product purchases for home safety, such as grab bars. Many of these program providers, such as Local Agencies on Aging help people directly, such as “Meals on Wheels” (delivering food to a home).
Active Living and Aging in Place
Who should Aging in Place proactively? Ideally, “everyone, of all ages”, but particularly:
- Sage Boomers
- Adults supporting their Aging Parents, and
- Multi-generational households
Aging in Place Qualifications
The National Association of Home Builders offers a training course on Aging in Place as it relates to the home and products for the home.
I am a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. As part of the Certified Aging in Place Specialist training, we learned to recognize that health issues and aging combine create challenges in the home.
Want to find a Certified Aging in Place Specialist to add to your network? Check our directory which lists qualifications.
To support you as you help patients and clients Age in Place – Sage in Home wants to help you learn about Safety, Comfort and Ease of Use in the home with our Sage Tips – so can help you make better decisions about the home products that you purchase and services that you hire.
Prior to starting Sage in Home, I realized that recommending products for my mother’s renovation project took me out of my comfort zone. And I was concerned whether the contractors understood her mother’s needs as a Senior.
I knew that replicating the decisions for my own home renovation didn’t make sense. My mother had different needs. Read more in “Helping our Senior Parents”
Note: Sage in Home verifies qualifications relating to Aging in Place, Accessibility (Certified Environmental Assessment Consultants) and Independent Living (Executive Certificate of Home Modification) when a Sage Professional claims or requests a listing.
Better Homes for Aging in Place
To Age in Place a client or patient may want to consider:
- Small improvements to a home for daily living
- Home remodel (or Renovation) or New Build
- Purchasing Home Health Products.
Within the home construction industry, the term “Aging in Place” is also used to refer to building a new home to meet your needs for a long time to come. And, entire new subdivisions or residential areas are often planned for Aging in Place.
Without a proactive approach, your patents and clients may get to understand Aging in Place “the hard way” as they prepare a home for recovery after hospitalization.
Let’s be proactive! We want to encourage family caregivers to consider discussing an Upgrade for Safety, Comfort or Ease of Use with their Senior family members. In the Mom’s home tour, we take a caregiver through product decisions for three small improvements to a bathroom – a bath chair, grab bars and a step stool.
It should be no surprise that Fall Prevention is a big focus at Sage in Home. If you look at one of our guides, such as Bath Chair Product Guide, you will see that our first Sage Tip relates to preventing falls. We also address Safety in terms of Size & Fit, Hygiene, Multi-Generational Living, Installation and other product specific safety concerns.
Comfort promotes use!
We love the idea of discussing comfort with clients and patients.
For a bath chair purchase, we wrote a blog entitled “Comfort Promotes Use“.
Perhaps this is an example a worry that you hear in your profession from family members:
Mother (or Father, Grandmother, Grandfather) isn’t using a grab bar because they don’t like the “feel of it”.
Our solution: Check out our pointers for comfort in a grab bar.
Product manufacturers directly and indirectly are constantly marketing to us about “Easy to Use”. But we found it wasn’t very easy to figure out what was true and what was hype regarding “Easy to Use”.
A useful reference at Sage in Home for “ease of use” issues are the Sage Icons for Home Health. These icons cover mobility, arms & hands, vision, hearing and memory challenges relating to daily living.
We have eliminated jargon and hype. You can learn and make product selections based on everyday terms, activities and goals.
We didn’t realize it at the time, but we were introduced to Aging in Place when we asked ourselves whether we were making the right suggestions when we helped Senior family members renovate (See About Us- Helping our Senior Parents).
Stated plainly, the renovation decisions for a Senior parent were different than our own. And for someone moving into their Senior years, renovation plans should likely differ from their last home renovation.
One of the things that we are most proud of at Sage in Home is that a quick review of a Sage Guide integrates both Health and Lifestyle through Icons as well as the need for Safety, Comfort and Ease of Use in our Sage Tips. And, if that purchase is associated with a Renovation, we know you have a lot to think about already!
Are you are a grab bar installer? Or performing a safety check and recommending a grab bar? In addition to reading specific manufacturers’ instructions, you might find our feature by feature discussion of grab bars helpful.
Looking for a contractor, builder or designer to incorporate grab bars in a home safety or renovation project? Look to our directory.
Depending on the product, COMFORT can easily be misunderstood or disregarded when it shouldn’t.
Example: Did you know that the “comfort benefit” of a walk in bath might be completely lost if the walk-in bathtub doesn’t drain quickly? (Follow the link to learn about drain speeds for walk in bathtubs.)
The term “EASE OF USE” has different meaning for different people depending on their daily living challenges. See our Sage Health Icon tips for installed shower benches.
Example: Some installed shower benches fold up against the wall. Our Ease of Use tip asks you to consider whether the primary user will be able to unfold the bench to use it.
Our Multi-Gen/Use safety tip, suggests considering a fold-up bench when multiple people are sharing the shower – provided the primary user is able to unfold the bench.
Often, an unexpected fall or even a planned surgery causes an emotionally charged family to make rash decisions about important products and services, possibly on the way home from hospital.
Many of these families are given little guidance or instruction on how to buy the best products to help with the basic activities of daily living post hospitalization. See the example of the discharge papers that were impossible to read that one of our extended family members received in About Us – Building an Action Oriented Resource.
Using Sage in Home and Sage Tip (for consumers), we believe that:
- Professionals can assist families, without bias to manufacturers and retailers;
- Families can learn quickly what they need to know to make better purchase decisions on their own; or
- Families can access qualified resources for further assistance.
For many families, their first encounter with “Aging in Place” may be the hospital discharge process and we hope that an introduction to Sage in Home will help relieve some of the stress post hospitalization, and help create a safe home environment to reduce hospital readmission.
We hope that you take a moment of your time to read Helping you help others to learn more about how to network to become a caring partner to families and Seniors.