I was lucky. My mother was able to age in place. Unfortunately, this is less common than one might think.
I didn’t have a lot of help or a detailed plan when my daughter and I started caring for my mom, Margaret. It was difficult. I was working; my daughter was in college. My mother was a businesswoman; she wanted control, which meant living on her own in her own home. And that’s what she did. She moved in with my daughter and lived across the street from me. She had the independence of her own home and was helping her granddaughter. She had purpose.
For those of us in the elder care field, aging in place should be a top priority for those we serve. At InnovAge, our goal is to help older adults live their lives how they prefer, and, more often than not, that’s in the homes and communities they love, not an institution. A recent Merrill Lynch/Age Wave study reinforces this:
- 56 percent of those 65-74 years old and 63 percent of those 75 years old and better say their homes’ “emotional” value is more important than its monetary value.
This topic was presented today at the 2015 Aging in America Conference by InnovAge’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mary Tuuk and Dr. Lisa Price, chief quality officer. Their presentation—“Finding Their Way Home: The Importance of Aging in Place for Older Adults”—is personal. It’s not only something I believe in as an individual, it’s also critical in my professional life as president and CEO at InnovAge.
At InnovAge we successfully address aging in place with something we call “wrapping.” Just as one would wrap up in a warm coat in winter to stave off the cold, we endeavor to wrap older adults with a layer of healthcare services through care coordination, home care, and community-based health services, such as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for Elderly).
Maureen Hewitt is President and CEO of InnovAge
This blog is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your health or medical needs.