Aging in Place Services Tips

Sage Tips

Aging in Place Services Tips


Retailers

Retailer

Designer

Designer

Contractor

Contractor

Consultants

Consultant

In Home Care

In Home Care

Intro

Sage in Home lists “Aging in Place” service providers.  

A service provider on Sage in Home can be a business or  helping Seniors or Baby Boomers to Aging in Place directly or with the help of a family caregiver or professional. ,, in Aging in Place providing Professionals are individuals.  The links below will take you to the Aging in Place directories for:

  • Retailers – both local and Internet companies offering Aging in Place products
  • Professionals – Individuals with recognized credentials
  • Services – Businesses (a company or sole proprietorship) and non-profit organizations

To learn more about our standards to be listed as an “Aging in Place” service provider, see the Sage Guide for Services.  

Below read our Sage Tips for selecting an Aging in Place Retailer, Professional or Business. 

For Sage Tips in selecting a program administered by a non-profit organization, see Resources - Sage Tips.

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Retailers

Sage Tip for H2

 Sage Tip: Product Selection

Most local retailers have access to a wide product selection, although not all products will be in their physical store.

You are likely to find a larger selection of brands and product features on the Internet compared to what a local retailer has in stock.  However, many local retailers have a very extensive product selection if you consider what they can order for you.  Note that delivery times varying greatly by product category.

Sage Tip for H2  Sage Tip: Brands

Select products by the features that you require and want.  Then, see if your brand preference is available.  All brands do not offer all product features.

When you select products by feature you are putting needs first. To assist you, Sage in Home shows you all the products in our database that have the features that you select.  Then, if you have a brand preference, select your brand to see if there is a product to meet your needs.

Once you select a particular product on Sage in Home, you will see live prices from recognized retailers for that exact product without mark-up (see Sage Tip: Pricing).

Local retailers are likely to offer a limited number of brands.  Some local retailers will stock a few choices by price point and/or by feature.  Most local retailers can readily order products that they do not stock. See Sage Tip: Selection.

A local retailer should show you the products that they offer to meet your needs and explain their choice of brand.  A good “test” of a local retailer is whether they put your needs first or whether you feel they are pushing you towards the choices that they have in stock.

Sage Tip for H2  Sage Tip: Level of Help

Match your comfort in making decisions on your own with your choice of retailer.  

Generally and there will be exceptions, you are likely to get customized assistance for a purchase decision with – shown highest to lowest level of assistance:

  • Local Medicare Suppliers and product specialists (highest level of help)
  • Internet Medicare Suppliers and product specialists with chat, email or toll-free telephone communication options
  • Local stores of “Big box” retailers
  • Internet retailers without communication options (lowest level of help).

     

Sage Tip for H2  Sage Tip: Retail Services

Consider all of the services that you require from a retailer and take a moment to determine whether a retailer will match those needs.  

The services that you might require from a retailer include:

  • Assistance in product selection;
  • Home visits for product feature selection (e.g. measurements in the home);
  • Delivery at known price;
  • Delivery on specific date and at a specific time;
  • Return of product;
  • Assistance with Medicare and/or insurance claims;
  • Knowledge of any local Aging in Place programs for subsidies, tax incentives or other forms of financial assistance.

Sage Tip for H2 Sage Tip: Pricing

Beware of price gouging by internet retailers that do not have transparent business practices. Local retail pricing should match an internet price from a retailer that includes shipping costs and comparable services, such as returns or buying assistance.

Internet - Many internet websites appear to be retailers but are not true retailers since they do not buy and resell products. Those websites earn affiliate fees from the true retailer who holds the inventory. You are at risk of price gouging if the website adds a mark-up to the price from a true retailer.

Websites that earn affiliate fees and are transparent about the identity of the true retailer should also disclose whether they mark up the price above the cost on the true retailer’s website.

Sage in Home is not a retailer.  We provide guides that assist in product and service selection. Sage in Home earns affiliate fees in addition to other revenues. The identity of retailers on our website is clear and not hidden.  In our marketplace, we provide live price feeds from retailers without mark-ups.

Sage in Home is listed in the business directory.


Local
– We believe that local retailers should be competitive to the internet for comparable service. For a list of services that you may require from a retailer, See Sage Tip: Retail Services (above).

If you believe that a retailer’s price is too high we suggest you search for a price from another retailer that offers comparable service.  Remember that local retailers have paid to have product delivered to their store and need to cover that cost.  Also consider the possibility that you may need to return the item as discussed below in Sage Tip: Returns.

Sage Tip for H2  Sage Tip: Returns

Investigate a retailers’ return policy.  Local retailers should not be expected to accept product returns if you purchased the product from another retailer, internet or local.

Returns are a hassle – both for you and the retailer.  Returns are also expensive for retailers, both internet or local. 

We all hope that when we purchase a product we won’t have to return it.  But taking a moment to understand the return policy may avoid some future cost and frustration.

As suggested in Sage Tip: Pricing, a fair price comparison takes into account all of the retail services that you may need, including product returns.

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Professionals

Sage Tip for H2  Sage Tip: AIP Details

Aging in Place means hundreds, if not thousands, of small details. Without Aging in Place training, many professionals will miss these important details.  

For example, an Aging in Place (AIP) renovation incorporates many small details in home design and construction, such as:

  • Seat height for a shower bench
  • Threshold heights for showers
  • Electrical outlet placement, and
  • Lighting and light switch placement.

Ideally, the professionals that you entrust to build your dream home or renovate your parent’s lifetime home will incorporate Aging in Place details in your renovation project to provide safety, comfort and ease of use to years to come. 

Without Aging in Place training, important details may be missed. And that can decrease your enjoyment of your home and jeopardize your ability to stay in your home.

Sage Tip for H2  Sage Tip: Sub-contracting

Confirm that any individuals or companies sub-contracted by a professional are either qualified Aging in Place professionals or businesses themselves or will be closely managed by one.

Many professionals routinely hire other professionals with complementary skills or training. For example, architects and contractors typically subcontract electricians and plumbers.  

We suggest you ask any professional that you are considering hiring whether they will be subcontracting any work.  If so, you should obtain their assurance that Aging in Place principles are followed in design and construction. 

Experienced Aging in Place architects, remodelers and builders are familiar with this problem and are likely to have already set Aging in Place standards on their projects.

Example: An Aging in Place contractor was working on a high profile new build project for a veteran returning from combat.  He marked the positioning of the electrical outlets and specified that the outlets would be certain height (around counter height) so that the veteran could avoid bending down.  
He left the project site for a day and when he returned found that the electrical work had been subcontracted and the outlets installed below knee height, as is common in North America.  The subcontractor had not followed the Aging in Place Professional’s specifications.

Sage Tip for H2  Sage Tip: References

We recommend a two- step hiring process: First consider qualifications and then check references.  Checking references is one of the best ways to determine the quality of a professional’s work.

Find qualified Aging in Place Professionals at Sage in Home. See Sage Q&A for our explanation of why it is important to hire Aging in Place trained professionals.

Unfortunately, proper training does not ensure quality workmanship.  So, we recommend checking references.  This is particularly important when you are hiring a professional for the first time.

Nearly all professionals understand the need for references.  Some professionals, with good reason, will not provide contact details for references in the early stages of discussions with them.  However, they should agree to allow you to check references before you sign a contract.

Hiring professionals through online review websites has become increasingly popular. See our Sage Tip: Reviews, below in Businesses. 

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Businesses

Sage Tip for H2  Sage Tip: Qualifications

Without Aging in Place trained professionals or experience, businesses involved in home renovation are likely to miss important details that will prolong your ability to stay in your home.

A few examples of Aging in Place details include:

  • Seat height for a shower bench
  • Threshold heights for showers
  • Electrical outlet placement, and
  • Lighting and light switch placement.

Only businesses that are qualified are listed in our Aging in Place Services directory.

Sage Tip for H2  Sage Tip: Sub-trades

Confirm that the sub-trades on a construction project, such as electricians and plumbers, are either qualified Aging in Place professionals or businesses themselves or will be closely managed by one.

Many renovation or new build projects require work by businesses that specialize in one aspect of home construction (referred to as “sub-trades) such as electricians and plumbers.

You must rely on the contractor who hires the sub-trades to ensure that Aging in Place principles are followed in design and construction.

A qualified Aging in Place remodeler or builder is familiar with this problem and is likely to have already set expectations with sub-trades about Aging in Place projects.

Example: An Aging in Place contractor was working on a high profile new build project for a veteran returning from combat.  He marked the positioning of the electrical outlets and specified that the outlets would be certain height (around counter height) so that the veteran could avoid bending down.  

He left the project site for a day and when he returned found that the electrical work had been completed by sub-trades but the outlets installed below knee height, as is common in North America. The sub-trades had not followed the Aging in Place Professional’s specifications. The sub-trades had assumed “regular” height placement. The work was redone as specified.

Sage Tip for H2  Sage Tip: References

We recommend that you 1st look for qualifications.  2nd, check references.  Checking references is one of the best ways to determine the quality of a work for a business.

Find qualified Aging in Place Businesses at Sage in Home. See Sage Q&A for our explanation of why it is important to hire Aging in Place trained businesses.

Unfortunately, proper training does not ensure quality workmanship.  So, we recommend checking references.  This is particularly important when you are hiring a business for the first time.

Most businesses in home renovation know that their potential clients need to check references.  Some professionals, with good reason, will not provide contact details for references in the early stages of discussions with them.  However, they should agree to allow you to check references before you sign a contract. 

Be wary of any business that does not provide references.

Sage Tip for H2  Sage Tip: Reviews

If you have several qualified Aging in Place businesses in your area, checking reviews on a review website can help focus your search. A good internet review site may have revealing reviews – both positive and negative.

Hiring professionals and businesses through online review websites has become increasingly popular. Most of these are free with a few requiring membership. 

Remember few businesses can maintain a perfect rating on an active review website. We suggest that you read reviews for important information that is repeated about quality or work or customer communication.

Incentives for writing reviews and business models (how they make money) vary significantly from one review company to the next.  If you are going to rely on reviews, take a moment to become familiar with their policies.

 If the company managing the reviews is not reputable, it will likely attract disreputable businesses.