The stories behind the members of the National Aging-in-Place Council
Why did I get involved in Aging-in-Place?
Friendship, Service, Family, Purpose
FRIENDSHIP First, I thought - it’s a chance to start a meaningful business with my best friend, Heather Brooks.
Heather was already a Senior Real Estate Specialist when she mentioned she was also going to pursue a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist designation. Helping older adults and their families make sure the homes they were living in – or the homes they were moving to – would be safe for them to Age-in-Place.
SERVICE I’m a service-oriented person, driven by finding meaning, and this rang true to me. All of a sudden I wanted to be an Aging-in-Place Specialist! I could really help people, plus help my future self. To have knowledge of what it will take to support your changing needs as you age is more than relevant, growing, and endlessly interesting. FAMILY - My Grandmother
I also think my grandmother had something to do with my interest, She had always been a strong and independent woman, but ALS took away her ability to walk and she refused to go out of the house in a wheelchair - she didn’t want to be “seen” in one. A victim of perceived social stigma. As a kid, that really got to me.
The Aging-in-Place field more than takes on these cultural issues – Ageism and what we can do about it. - and there is an entire program called "Reframing Aging," which trains you how to recognize ageism and call it out. So I thought it was because of that - about how important it is to work against these stereotypes – because I certainly want to get old – and I certainly don’t want to be prey to those stigmas – I want to be able to recognize them and refute them.
"Then 2022 hit and I realized one of the reasons I got involved hadn’t even happened yet. "
- My Father
But then 2022 hit and I realized one of the reasons I got involved hadn’t even happened yet. My father’s health declined rapidly and he needed care on so many levels. I rushed into caregiver duty for a short time until we found home health care. We are never prepared for this, but at least by then I had my CAPS education. I had done the research, and I had not just love for my father, but knowledge I could use to help him. I knew what to look for in a caregiving agency. I knew how his home would have to be set up before he came home from the hospital. And if I didn’t know the answer, at least I knew how to find it.
It was an emotional education. I learned about the importance of planning. What caregivers will and won’t do. About mobile services and stairlifts. And it wasn’t until last year that I realized the reason my father didn’t use his ensuite bathroom – He had told me it was because there was a plumbing problem, but the reality was the doorway to that bathroom was too narrow for his walker! The reason he had to go all the way down the hallway was because that’s where his walker would fit through the door - and he kept that to himself for quite some time.
I’m floored by the things we live with – whether it’s because of social stigma or the insensitive practice of standard home design. I see how much better it can be, and I see a groundswell of effort to make it happen – and I want to be a part of it.
Why am I dedicated to the Aging-in-Place field?
It’s about Service, Purpose, Family and Friendship. I don’t think it gets any better than that.
- Eve Hill
Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist
Co-Founder, Customized Aging