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A checklist for living independently, a framework for AIP technologies and services?

I just saw a checklist on caring.com for helping adult children who worried about aging parents and whether they should stay in their own homes. For those thinking about these issues, there is plenty of advice on the site that can deepen thinking and identify ways to help.

But I see this list and I start to think about it as a framework for identifying home design, tech devices, online services and directories of services to mitigate issues in each of these areas. Let's take a look at it in that context. Rather than jump into vendor names, let's thinkabout categories of capability that are useful prior to circumstances becoming dire (like a fall and hospitalization, like significant dementia, like stroke, and so on). Links are for illustration, not an endorsement. And this is a start. I would love some feedback as to whether this is the right framework and whether the idea structuring a view of the market in fact, linking these to online sources of tools and information is the right approach.  It's not all filled in but you can get the idea. Perhaps there is a simpler framework that would be this comprehensive.

1. Have the housing talk. Consider retrofit of the house to make it manageable.   Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) home modifications, universal design standards, home automation.

2. Look for telltale signs they may not be able to keep up with home maintenance.  Build a directory of service providers, vetting them with online service ratings.

3. Watch how they move, climb stairs, and get up from chairs.  Identify mobility aids, looking at lift chairs, scooters, stairlifts.

4. Check in on their mood, memory, and overall mental state. First evaluate whether depression is a factor, think about the ways to boost brain fitness,

5. Cook and eat with them.

6. Go for a drive.  First help them become a better driver, maybe with a video game designed to help,  get the right car, hope for the MIT development of a smarter car, or evaluate whether it's time to stop driving.

7. Look for alternative transportation options.  There are many -- in fact this is the mission of councils on aging, and there's even an organization dedicated to offering rides.

8. Get up to speed on their medications and healthcare needs.  Establishing a medication reminder process.

9. Observe their ability to perform the five basic activities of daily living.

10. Pay attention to their personal hygiene.

11. Do a safety walk-through.

12. Check in with their friends and neighbors.

13.Get a professional opinion.

14. Check in on yourself.

 

Comments

I just wanted to thank you for sharing our to-do lists at http://www.caring.com with your readers. Our staff has been working hard on this portion of the site and we are thrilled to know that it has been inspiring to you. It is great to see how you have also added on the the list with additional components to create a more fitting list for each family.

Laurie,

The caring.com site is comprehensive. I like your idea of being proactive rather than reactive, which seems to be the general way most of our systems operate. For Alzheimer's there is a local non-profit group in St. Louis called Memory Care Home Solutions that evaluates the home and makes quarterly follow-ups after the initial visit to mitigate problems before they happen. That's not to say they solve all problems.

Have you seen the website Decision Street? Would there be applications with this structure to look at the aging issues from a proactive and technological point of view with the example categories you used?

Russ Hitzemann
50PlusStLouis.com

Hi Laurie - -

AIP@Home's online business resource directory -- http://www.aipathome.com/directory/ -- is for people who are searching for products, services and information that will help them, as well as, the people they care for and about, live confidently at home for as long as possible. Our Directory includes Certified Age in Place Specialists, Certified Active Adult Specialists in Housing, as well as many other service providers and product info related to aging in place. Consumers can provide feedback and ratings.

Besr Regards,
Lysa McCarroll
AIP@Home - It's where you want to be.
http://www.aipathome.com

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