We’ve all heard the saying before: “Home is where the heart is.” While this may be true, many Floridians 50+ also have felt the heartache of our homes’ limitations: difficulties navigating a wheelchair up a walkway, slipping or tripping on an obstructed entrance, or stretching for those out-of-reach shelves. As in any other relationship, it’s important that you and your home make a good “fit.” That’s where AARP’s Home Fit program comes in.
AARP’s Home Fit workshop is designed to educate people 50+ and their family members on how to make their homes more “livable” by incorporating a universal design concept.
Having a livable home allows individuals to age in place – that is, avoiding the need to leave your home for an assisted-care facility or secondary living arrangement. Previous AARP surveys have concluded that nearly 90 percent of those age 45 and up want to remain in their current home and community for as long as possible. A home designed to accommodate the needs of residents of all ages and abilities will allow individuals to do just that.
According to Carolyn Sithong, Occupational Therapist and Lead Home Fit Volunteer for AARP Florida, “Healthcare is moving more and more into the home and community. In an effort to support this transition, homes and communities need to be appropriately designed to support older adult lifestyles. Home Fit is a self-help tool that enables you to know what the potential barriers in your home could be and provides the solutions to make it more livable based on your desired occupations. Remaining independent in occupations like bathing, meal preparation and community mobility must be supported by an accessible and safe home environment.”
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