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Your Life, Your Way – the AiP2.0 Genome

by Louis on February 1, 2013

All this is new. No one getting old right now has ever done it before. Not in our home, our family, our body, our life. Weather may be an analogy. We know how predictable that is.

If you think buying a home or car is tough, think about the decisions you need to make as you age. In each pursuit we have a guide..the salesperson, the doctor, even your hairstylist helps you decide based on photos and not just their skill with the scissors but their talent helping imagine what works with your hair, face and head.

Aging in Place is similar. Nothing compares to the number of factors, especially the constant unknown changes in health. Picking clothes may be close- your body, your coloring, your style. The style, the materials, the weather, the cost. You can read up on the weather for your destination but it is not guaranteed. Sometimes it doesn’t rain in London.

We have no guide for aging. There is data but it is not organized or actionable.

  • our diagnoses- multiple and chronic
  • our condition- ever changing- every day
  • our homes- no two are the same
  • services available in our community
  • family- who, capability, availability
  • financial resources- private and third party payers
  • health system capabilities and availability

Aging in Place requires a constant flow to add/change the right assistance. Practically, that means knowing what is needed, what is available, how it is organized, scheduled and paid for. Even ‘one stop shop’ information and referral, concierge services and geriatric care managers don’t make the decisions. They expect us to make them. Do we make decisions from the heart, family discussion, data or experience. We don’t have experience. We don’t feel well, may have our judgment clouded by medications and are probably distraught. We don’t have data about our diagnoses in relation to our condition right now let alone tomorrow.  We don’t know the prognosis. We don’t know how long our money will hold out.

I looked on line: “What are the factors involved in decision making?” From an article, Decision Making: Factors that Influence Decision Making, Heuristics Used, and Decision Outcomes by Cindy Dietrich in Student Pulse online journal:

There are several important factors that influence decision making. Significant factors include past experiences, a variety of cognitive biases, an escalation of commitment and sunk outcomes, individual differences, including age and socioeconomic status, and a belief in personal relevance. These things all impact the decision making process and the decisions made.

We need a guide system for aging in place decisions. Daily changes in individual condition require adjustment to services in different and individual homes throughout the community. We need a data driven process to manage the flow of resources to people aging in place. Technical capabilities are not a problem. The scale of the task is huge. But so is the scale of the problem we face housing and caring for our coming hordes with dignity. The first step is to map the data points. The Aging in Place2.0 Genome.



{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick Millard February 1, 2013 at 9:29 am


Your “thinker” is getting better with age. Very refreshing! You have captured the human reflection of ourselves as a culture and how we behave and respond to life.


Lyndl Joseph February 1, 2013 at 9:41 am

Louis, I believe you stated the problem well.
Aging in Place with Dignity is the goal we all seek.
Collecting and analyzing resources, processes, requirements, which are ever changing is the biggest challenge of all.
If anyone can come up a Guide, I believe you can.
Keep up the Good Work!


Jason Popko February 1, 2013 at 11:21 am

Louis, another thoughtful read from your blog that captures the complexity of aging. We can’t predict the future but knowing the gaps of our knowledge we can work to close them or monitor them as necessary. What is the next step in the Aging in Place2.0 Genome project?


Chuck February 1, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Louis, what you are saying is true. There is no set formula for dealing with our aging population. Although all the studies state; seniors 65 and old (85%) want to “age in place” in their own homes; I talk to many people that say they would just as soon go to assisted living facilities and not try to put the family “caregivers” in a hard position, by staying in their own homes or moving in with their children. I find it really hard to market my company to this aging population. Do you have any ideas?


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