Contributed by: Louie Delaware, MBA, BSME, CLIPP, ACPC, CAPS
Our nation is just starting to recognize our national crises in home safety. Safety in homes has been traditionally directed towards building systems and most recently, energy. Now consumers and industry and are moving towards home safety and the housing and related industries are accepting this critical responsibility.
CURRENT – The Silver Tsunami
It’s all over the news, the “Silver Tsunami.” Over 300,000 Americans turn 65 each month. One-in-three seniors fall each year and the direct medical costs of those falls are expected to reach over $60B by 2018. But it is not just seniors who have daily challenges. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that almost 20% of all Americans have trouble each day with their basic activities of daily living (walking, bathing, dressing, toileting, brushing teeth, eating, meal preparation and cleaning).
The truth is, all our clients, families and even ourselves will one day experience a challenge and through better design, product selection and installation all our lives will benefit.
The AARP tells us that nearly 90% of people over age 65 want to stay in their home (now known as Living In Place) as long as possible, and four of five of them believe their current home is where they will always live. The Administration on Aging tell us that, from 2007 to 2008, only 3.7% of older people moved, as opposed to 13.1% of those under age 65. Americans spend over $325B per year for home renovations. The average family moves every 13 years and remodels every 7 years. The Delta Faucet Company last year announced that 70% of seniors remodel their home for safety. This all adds up to opportunities for your business to embrace home safety while you grow your business and make the world safer.
PAST – Aging-in-Place and Universal-Design
For more than a decade, the aging-in-place and universal-design efforts and programs have been focused on needs of the elderly and individuals with disabilities. While both admirable and well intentioned, those movements just never caught on. Those efforts alienated older adults and confused businesses who strive to do “the right thing.” This confusion has resulted in most businesses ignoring those programs and going back to designs and products that unfortunately do not solve the long-term problem of home accessibility and safety. Now, with a renewed understanding, we realize that every project is an opportunity to improve home safety for now and the future.
FUTURE – Living in Place™
There is a new, positive and industry-focused direction towards home safety. Created through years of study and diligence, headed by nationally recognized industry leaders and experts in home safety, medical therapy, kitchen and bath design and construction, this business-oriented approach is embraced and promoted by numerous trade associations and product manufacturers. While the immediate benefits are for those who may now be experiencing challenges, the long-term effect is that all homes are renovated and built with designs and products focused on accessibility, comfort and safety. This is the long-term solution to our national home safety crises.
This new direction starts with a comprehensive two-day education, the nationally recognized Certified Living In Place Professional™ training program. This is just the start of how professionals are now working together to solve problems. Creating collaborative teams of remodelers, designers, builders, medical and non-medical specialists, realtors, home inspectors and other aligned professionals is the next step and discussed extensively in the training. Next is access to an electronic checklist to inspect any room(s) or entire home for accessibility, comfort and safety. Seminars, such as “Safe Homes for Everyone – Living In Place™ are available to graduates to take this message directly to your community.
Becoming a Certified Living In Place Professional™ will help you understand needs through statistics and trends, medical, pharmaceutical, physical and cognitive issues, plus which products, designs and marketing knowledge and skills you need to continue your business in the responsible direction you have always dreamed of. The training even includes an Experiential Lunch; you will be assigned temporary mobility and vision challenges as you prepare and eat lunch. Collaborative groups of professionals, like yourself, are now being trained all over the country to make all homes better, now and for the future.
The acceptance and promotion of this national effort include: The National Association of the Remodeling Industry, the National Kitchen & Bath Association, the American Society of Interior Designers, the International Association of Interior Design, the American Occupational Therapy Association, the American Society of Home Inspectors and more are joining in. Product manufacturers are also joining in this effort and their representatives are becoming certified, the list is too long for this blog but includes TOTO, Moen, Miele, Sub-Zero Wolf, Hafele, HEWI, Garaventa Lifts, just to mention a few.
NOW – Learn More
Learn how you can guide your business into the future. Join the “Safe Home Tsunami” through becoming a Certified Living In Place Professional™ in Orlando, Florida on January 8-9, 2017. (NARI members receive a $100 discount) But remember that space is limited. More information at www.LivingInPlace.Institute or call the Co-Founders at 888-467-3220. Louie Delaware and Erik Listou are here to help you.
About the Author: Louie Delaware, MBA, BSME, CLIPP, ACPC, CAPS
Louie is passionate about helping people make their homes as safe as possible. His knack for being able to describe home safety issues in easy-to-understand terms comes after 22 years in the field of advanced research and development for medical and analytical devices. He has been awarded many different patents and received the prestigious international R&D 100 award for Advanced Technologies. In 2004, he founded US Safety Pros, LLC, which specializes in childproofing, radon testing and mitigation, home accessibility and many other home safety services.
 Aging in Place: A State Survey of Livability Policies and Practices – http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/ppi/liv-com/aging-in-place-2011-full.pdf