Industry Emerges From Helping Seniors Age in Place

imageWhen older people are faced with the question of whether they should stay in their home or move to a senior living community, a recent survey from the Home Safety Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing home-related injuries found most people settle on staying put in their home. 

According to an article from the New York Times, staying in their home is not only more comfortable it also makes economic sense.  Average annual fees at an assisted living facility where seniors can live independently but also receive a host of services like medication monitoring and meals — is $34,000. And in the nation’s most expensive metropolitan areas, including New York, the costs may be closer to $70,000.

The home “environment can be a great support to independent living,” says Jon Pynoos, professor of gerontology at the University of Southern California. “Or it can be a health care hazard.”

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To ensure that staying in their home is safer and easier, an entire service industry is slowly taking shape around the goal of letting people age in place. If you want to make your own home or an older relative or friend’s home a safer, more supportive place to live, here are the NY Times gives you basic guidelines to the most efficient and cost-effective approaches.

Making Home a Safer Place, Affordably

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  • Interestingly, just today (8/7/09), there was an article in either the NYT or the WSJ on certain states Medicaid benefit cutbacks. One lady who had been getting $239 compression stockings, for her cancerous legs, will no longer get them paid for by her state's Medicaid. Another gentleman who had been getting occupational therapy,will also be cut off. The state's are going broke, I hope some of the seniors you get RMs for either have or will consider getting Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI), it is more important than ever with Medicaid cutbacks and potential cutbacks in Medicare ( it's coming. there is no free lunch).

  • It is always interesting to read articles that advise seniors to speak to financial advisors about reverse mortgages. This is certainly a safe course for an author. Few finanical advisors I have met have any extensive experience and most have little knowledge about the financial advantages of HECMs for their clients.

    Isn't it odd how reverse mortgages are usually only recommended when one cannot get a HELOC or another mortgage? It never seems to dawn on these so-called financial authors, it is not just a matter of bank acceptance but also the cash flow position of the seniors that might be relevant.

    This article points out one issue clearly. HECMs are still primarily viewed as THE mortgage of last resort by the media; this article is just another example.

  • The Critic
    You are a persuasive person, surely you could educate some of the advisors you meet to the benefits of an RM. Hopefully, like the ones I talk to, they can see the benefit of this financial planning tool. (However, I have less success with CPAs who are harder to convince -I'm guessing it is their conservative nature/training).
    By the way, most financial planner groups, around here anyway, are looking for approved continuing education (CE) courses. Does the NRMLA have courses and speakers? It is one way, if it isn't already being done, to educate financial planners at the local level.

  • Design is more than beautiful rooms that are pleasing to the eye. It's also about safety, accessibility, and functionality. These are all terms associated with Universal Design — designing for all people without need for adaptation or specialized design.

    If you've helped someone you love adjust to a physical change like a broken bone or illness that effects mobility, then you've probably thought about ways to make space function better. How about living in a space where you didn't have to think about making alterations? That's the goal of “Aging in Place” or as we get older, we like to call it “Aging in Style.”

    Some people are being proactive and taking steps to ready their homes. It might be replacing door knobs with lever handles. Or when renovating a bathroom, building the shower with sloping drains so a curb isn't needed. What about a kitchen built with counters at differing task heights (standing and sitting)?

    Design professionals like me are specializing in this area so we can assist our clients with wise design decisions that allow for “Aging in Style.”

  • Design is more than beautiful rooms that are pleasing to the eye. It’s also about safety, accessibility, and functionality. These are all terms associated with Universal Design — designing for all people without need for adaptation or specialized design.rnrnIf you’ve helped someone you love adjust to a physical change like a broken bone or illness that effects mobility, then you’ve probably thought about ways to make space function better. How about living in a space where you didn’t have to think about making alterations? That’s the goal of “Aging in Place” or as we get older, we like to call it “Aging in Style.”rnrnSome people are being proactive and taking steps to ready their homes. It might be replacing door knobs with lever handles. Or when renovating a bathroom, building the shower with sloping drains so a curb isn’t needed. What about a kitchen built with counters at differing task heights (standing and sitting)?rnrnDesign professionals like me are specializing in this area so we can assist our clients with wise design decisions that allow for “Aging in Style.”

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