Aging in Place is Contextual
Aging in Place
I recently had the pleasure, and may I say the “delight” to hear Chris Downey as a Key Note Speaker at the Environments for Aging Conference
Aging in Place
Universal Design is LifeSpan Design. The late Michel Philibert, a French philosopher and gerontologist, once proposed that we are at the dawn of a new understanding
I have never been one to limit the topic of aging in place, nor the human spirit, to four walls.
The aging in place movement embraces a concept known as “visitability” which is defined by 3 basic features:
1. One zero-step entrance, at the front, side, or back of the home
2. All main floor doors (bathrooms too) have at least 32 inches of clear passage space
3. A half bath, preferably a full bath, on the main floor
These elements will make your house a “visitability” home, allowing wheelchair or other mobility challenges to be accommodated.
The Benefits of Senior-to-Senior Peers
1.Credibility: A 75 year old is more likely to listen to another 75 year old about advice (aging as shared experience)
2.If I Can do it so Can You: Self-efficacy is key in gerontology, just knowing someone not unlike yourself was successful can increase your confidence to take on the task of aging in place
3.On Going Support: Seniors have time to help other seniors = Purpose
4.A Source of Environmental Press: Peer-to-Peer mentoring will keep aging brains engaged
5.Cohort Effect: Seniors have served in wars, raised children, retired, lost friends, nurtured grandchildren, fought through health issues, etc…They share the same life experiences as a group = Trust
6.Senior Peers insights: Seniors know what it’s like to be old and the challenges of living at home, obstacles easily identified on home assessments
7.Sensitivity to Aesthetics: Seniors know what’s important in making a house a home for the older adults
8.Access: Seniors have access to other seniors in church, senior centers, the gym, community centers
9.Tie to Existing Programs serving Seniors: For example, Meals-on-Wheels would be a perfect Trojan Horse to an aging-in-place home assessment
10.Recruitment: Seniors could recruit other seniors to be Peer-to-Peer Aging in Place consultants
The underlying assumption with "aging in place" is that older people are capable of remaining home by choice.
The paradox is that in order to stay the same, that is aging in place, you must embrace change: the aging body and the accompanying modifications to the built environment to accommodate it.
Those of us in the field of aging in place are really in the business of changing human behavior.
The EP model was developed by the country's first environmental gerontologist, M. Powell Lawton and is a monumental contribution to aging and the home environment. The EP model is fundanetally depicting ADAPTAION;