Aging is an inevitable part of life. And while getting older often leaves us feeling powerless, just know it is possible to live many happy years in the one place that gives you the most comfort – your home.
Mosby Building Arts President, Mark McClanahan, is a part of Harvard’s Remodeling Futures Program which has been paying special attention to the aging population. Nationwide statistics point to an increasing concern for homeowners over the age of 65 who want to safely live in their homes. A report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies states that on average, 10,000 baby boomers are retiring each day, and as this generation moves to their next stage in life their need for a suitable home becomes exceptionally important. 74-80% of people over the age of 65 own homes, and of those homes, 90% of them are deficient in helping people with their in-home mobility needs during retirement.
While the statistics may seem overwhelming, the good news is that there are plenty of resources available. McClanahan has joined forces with Ryan Whittington, CEO of Seniors Home Care. Together they plan to make a difference in the community through education and offering their respective services to assist area homeowners in staying in their homes.
McClanahan says, “We want individuals to know that a change in ability and staying in your home, are not mutually exclusive. There are countless ways to make your home work for you.” McClanahan sat down with Ryan Whittington to gain his wisdom on the topic.
Can you share your company’s background?
Seniors Home Care was founded in 1987 by my mother, Kit Whittington, who had to care for her grandmother. That experience made her realize there was a lack of resources to help families care for aging family members. Seniors Home Care has grown over the past 32 years into a company that provides hands-on caregiver support to allow clients to age in their homes.
Who do you serve in the St. Louis community?
We serve families who are struggling through the challenges related to aging. Our clients rely on our dementia expertise and vast connections to resources in the community.
What deficiencies do you see in the homes you serve?
Simple tasks become harder as we age. Doing the laundry in a basement or not having a full bath on the first floor can make aging at home a real challenge. By addressing items such as poor lighting, accessible bathrooms and gradual entries into the home, we reduce the risk of potential falls.
What recommendations do you have for people entering this next stage in their life?
To remain at home, I recommend getting a realistic professional evaluation of your home to consider your needs over the next 5, 10, 15 years. Seek out resources in your community by attending seminars on aging-in-place and care provided in the home.
What recommendations do you have for children of parents trying to stay in their home later in life?
Communicate while there is time. It is never too early to have conversations about home accessibility. Getting financial and medical matters in order will relieve stress and let parents live their best life, the way they want.
Give yourself the peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are safe in the home they’ve made memories in.