Continue Reading How is Aging in Place like Carry-Out?" />

How is Aging in Place like Carry-Out?

by Louis on March 16, 2016

What? Think of it this way. Restaurant sales seem limited by the number of seats in the dining room. Some take reservations or ask people to stand in line. But any good restaurant turns people away every day. The seat limit is often far below kitchen capacity. Carry out gets more from the kitchen without investing in more table space. The clients use their own dining room, eat on a nearby bench or in their car. Aging in Place is similar because healthcare and other providers deliver and get paid for services while the clients pay for the bedrooms, bathrooms and dining rooms where they receive care.

Who benefits? General aging in place benefits hold. People want to stay in the homes they own and choose. And families and informal caregivers often find it easier to fulfill caregiving duties in homes in the community rather than go to the hospital, rehab or assisted living.

Service providers also benefit. The hospital, especially in light of the accountable care act, is a beneficiary. Health care reform requires them to keep people out of the hospital, especially in terms of re-admissions. If the client owns a good care site, the hospital can fulfill its mandate better without making those investments. Can the hospitals encourage people to invest? Many already help with repairs, assuring heat and air conditioning as we learn how the social cost of poor housing conditions impacts health. So far we have not seen hospital systems or payers encourage private investment. But they should.

Housing and care for older citizens is not only  individual, family or personal responsibility. It is civic responsibility. It’s about policy, private investment, market-based solutions, jobs and infrastructure revitalization. Aging in Place can be understood like carry out. As we see so many iterations of carry out –  like Blue Apron, etc. it is clear the possibilities for aging in place are also nearly unlimited.

How can we assure more good care sites to maximize the ‘carry-out’ benefits of aging in place? Update our homes. Though we own our housing as individuals, we can also think of it as OUR national housing assets. Policy and investment to update these homes is needed to reap the ‘carry out’ advantages. See Homes Renewed for strategy and discussion.

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