At this time of year more than any other, “home” carries a poignant meaning. Even the humming sound of the word itself can wrap you in a sense symphony of soft cookies baking, an enveloping hug, the familiar squish of a favorite chair, and an overall sense of peace. However, for older adults who may be struggling with a disability or recovery from an illness or injury, the holidays may make “home” something to be tenaciously clung to out of fear that it will be taken away. “Could this be the last holiday I’ll get to spend in my home?”
A wife begs her husband to let their son carve the ham this year, so the children won’t notice how his hand trembles. A man who broke his hip tripping over his beloved dog plans to board him over the holidays in the hope that when his adult children visit, they will not pressure him to get rid of the dog and move to an assisted living facility. A couple plans to forego the family’s traditional holiday light viewing in fear that their daughter will notice how difficult it is for Mom to navigate the front stairs.
Thankfully for these people who wish to remain living at home, the aging-in-place movement is on the rise. Every day, new ideas and services are surfacing as companies innovate so that older adults can remain living safely and comfortably at home if they choose. More than 70% of Area Agencies on Aging have taken steps to develop livable communities for all ages. They have been meeting with other public entities to address transportation, land use and other key development issues that will make it easier to age in place. Home care agencies and geriatric care managers are providing supportive decision making, connecting older adults to the services and resources they need. “Virtual” retirement communities such as Beacon Hill Village, where neighbors pool resources to cover everything from housekeeping and home care to wellness activities and dog walking have been springing up all over the country.
At corecubed, we are so thankful to be a part of the aging-in-place movement, as we work with home care, home health care and hospice agencies as well as others in the aging care industry to improve their marketing and grow their businesses through innovative and strategic approaches. Helping these agencies succeed is an honor. As we work together to help people find the businesses that can help them age safely and comfortably at home, we spread the knowledge that aging in place is possible and help to eradicate the fear of a move this holiday season.