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—over 85%--of all seniors want to age in place, to grow old as vital members of their communities living in their own homes. In 2009, Steuben County Office for the Aging received a special grant from the NY State Office for the Aging for a Community Empowerment Planning Project. The purpose of the project was to assess the elder-friendly status of our county. OFA, working in conjunction with the Steuben Senior Services Fund (SSSF), surveyed senior citizens and their families to determine the services that are and will be needed to promote the livability of the communities in our county.
In the spring of 2009, OFA also collaborated with the Steuben Senior Services Fund to begin the Pulteney Aging in Place Project. A grant to SSSF from the Community Foundation of Corning-Elmira and the Finger Lakes; Keuka Area Fund enabled the study of seniors and their needs for successful aging in place in the Town of Pulteney. Upon completion of that study, grants to SSSF from the Keuka Fund and the Southern Finger Lakes Fund of the Community Health Foundation of Western and Central NY were received. What followed was a two-year implementation project that has brought services to this underserved, rural area of the county. A new senior dinner club has been started, a quarterly newsletter, the “Pulteney Grapevine”, has begun, and among other services transportation is being provided and meals are being delivered to the homebound of the township.
In early 2012, a replication of the Pulteney project was begun in the Town of Urbana. Information will be posted as it becomes available.
For a complete look at our Aging in Place surveys and the final Pulteney report, click on the links below:
- Feasibility Study of Services Needed for Aging in Place in Steuben County
- Pulteney Feasibility Study - Final Report
- Pulteney Final Report
Universal Design is a set of building principles that accommodates the changing needs of a person with health issues or one who has chosen to age in place. When constructing new buildings or renovating old ones, builders need to take these principles into consideration.
Some examples of Universal Design would include zero step entrances, doorways and passageways wide enough for wheelchair access, a bathroom or half bath on the ground floor, and for adaptability, a room on the ground floor that can be easily converted into a bedroom to meet future needs. Other examples include reinforcements in bathrooms around the tub/shower and the toilet area so that grab bars can be installed for safety.
Some communities have already adopted legislation to require that Universal Design be considered during construction to ensure that future elders will be able to age in place.