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Aging in Place and Dominoes

by Louis on June 24, 2010

Aging in Place is not a game. It is serious business about dignity, independence, home, national budget and cultural responsibility. Some people think dominoes is a game or a toy but dominoes are also an important and familiar metaphor that works for Aging in Place. You stand dominoes up, and poking one knocks them all down.

The dominoes refer to all the elements that make or allow Aging in Place to occur. These include (but are not limited to): transportation, home health, home mods, wellness, reverse mortgages and other finance and planning, monitoring and distribution technologies, senior centers, adult day care, clergy and spiritual community, care managers, etc. The dominoes metaphor helps us see that without all these parts working together very well the dream of Aging in Place cannot be realized.

The dominoes are arranged in a circle, each representing a service provider, design element or technology that plays a role in Aging in Place.
I got this visualization from google images:

The circle is important because the assistance needed for Aging in Place keep moving and changing, day to day, week to week, with providers playing consistently varying roles. That is why the system must be dynamic -to meet the flow of changing circumstances.

Only if you are aware how difficult it is to coordinate the flow of services now can you begin to think how high a mountain it is to imagine the system needed to make it real. If you are not aware you might expect it to be simple. You would imagine the system of services interlocking easily, like the bits of a puzzle. You would expect this because it makes so much sense.

Aging in Place does make sense, it is what people want, it will save money and reduce misery. It is a challenge, but we must go for it!

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