Aging in Place
Aging in Place is an initiative that seeks to promote “livable” communities for all ages including our older community members. Recent AARP surveys have shown that the vast majority—nearly 90% of all seniors want to age in place, to grow old as vital members of their communities living in their own homes.
Rural Aging in Place Projects
Knowing that fact has guided the work of Steuben Senior Services Fund, Inc.(SSSF), the partner of the Office for the Aging whose mission it is to build a resource for aging in place in Steuben County. SSSF has developed several rural aging in place projects in Steuben County serving the townships of Pulteney, Urbana, Wayne, and Cameron/Jasper/Troupseburg and Woodhull. These projects have been funded by various grantors to SSSF, including the Community Foundation of Elmira -Corning and the Figre Lakes Keuka Area Fund, the J.M. McDonald Foundation, the Southern Finger Lakes Fund of the Health Foundation of Western and Central NY, and a very generous anonymous donor.
These projects have brought services to the underserved rural areas of the county, including home delivered meals, transportation, Bone Builder's exercise, senior dinner clubs, grocery and prescription delivery, as well as several newsletters including the Pulteney Grapevine, Hammondsport Happenings, and the ELDERberry News so that elders in these townships are aware of the services available to them.
Many agencies, businesses, churches and other organizations have worked with SSSF to build a solid network of services fr the elders in their area. In addition, the SAGE Commission of the Finger Lakes Health System Agency in its 2012 NORC Workgroup Report noted the Pulteney Aging in Place project as a best practice model for the rural areas of NY State.
Full Circle America
The latest project of SSSF is the implementation of Full Circle America(FCA) as an option to assist Steuben County elders to remain in their own homes, to age in place. FCA is the utilization of technology in combination with other elder supports such as those provided by families, agencies, churches, and neighbors, to provide as complete a package of services as possible, at a fraction of the cost of nursing and adult homes.
The project started with a day-long conference "No Place Like Home" on September 15, 2015 and has continued on with a Planning & Implementation Committee working in various subcommittees including volunteer recruitment, marketing and education, local technology and funding/advocacy. Implementation is expected by the second quarter of 2016. Go to www.steubenseniorservicesfund.org for more information on aging in place.
"Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design." Ron L. Mace
Universal Design(UD) is an approach to design that can enable successful aging in place. But the essence of UD is that it works for as many types of people as possible on both the age- and ability-continua, without specialization..
Some examples would include zero step entrances, wider doorways and hallways, a bathroom or half-bath of the ground floor, and a room on the ground floor that can easily be converted into a bedroom.