Do you have “Stay at Home” Insurance?

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There’s insurance for everything else.  Have you considered “stay at home” insurance?

You have Insurances for: Home.  Auto.  Life.  Disability. Maybe even Long Term Care.

But what about “Aging In Place” Insurance?  Let me re-define this, as “ensure” vs. “insure”, as how to ensure (or greatly increase the likelihood) that you can stay in your own home, HAPPIER, HEALTHIER, and LONGER.

Your happiness, health, and longevity in your own home are directly related to how you FEEL in your home, about your home, and the life you have there. Therefore, the “psychology of the built environment” has a lot more to do with how you feel than most people realize or would be willing to admit.  They may not actually realize it.  It’s their own home.  It’s “fine” – It works fine for me, the decor is fine, the layout is fine, the original appliances are fine.  Psychology at work.

We don’t like to look critically at our own lives, or our own spaces that we’ve created for ourselves.  It’s just human nature, I get it.  This is one of the “uphill battles” in sharing the Aging-In-Place message and education with the public, and something I run across regularly when I get feedback on the regular speaking engagements I do in Washington state around the Seattle area on this topic.  I’m passionate about the topic, and I enjoy educating the public, but there are challenges in trying to “get the word out” for sure.  They are based on psychology.  Psychology we feel and experience first-hand related to our fears.  We fear aging, we fear changing, we fear a lessening of our ability to be independent, care for ourselves, and not be a burden on others.  Facing and accepting the inevitable changes that WILL occur in our lives is the beginning of a much needed paradigm shift as we enter into the “Silver Tsunami” of 10,000 people turning 65 years old EVERY DAY starting in January, 2011.

The next step in a successful solution to staying in our own homes longer is PLANNING.  Once you can accept that it WILL HAPPEN (you, getting older, and that will involve changes in your physical and mental faculties), then you can actually PREPARE.  We preach consistently that we’d much prefer to hear from you in “planning mode”, not in “panic mode”.  This isn’t typically the case, hence the request for a massive paradigm shift.  Typically the request for home modifications comes when mom (or dad) ALREADY FELL.  They are in the hospital, having a surgery, and going to a live-in rehab facility for 2-8 weeks, with the hope that they can return home after the rehabilitation is complete.  BUT, when they come home they are going to have different (and individually specific) needs than when they left!  HELP is the inbound call now, not “we’d like to help prevent this with a pro-active solution ahead of the changes that are coming”.  It would sure be nice if we could get THIS inbound call, vs. the prior scenario.  In the 8-12 weeks that your parent is out of the house, we can’t pull off a MIRACLE.  Trust me, I wish we could… but we CAN’T.  We may be able to get a G.C. (General Contractor) to put a few “band aids” in place, but we can’t actually design, permit, and construct a project that is the BEST solution for the specific client in this amount of time.

PLANNING for aging is what’s required for the BEST solution.  A solution that can quite realistically:

1) Add years to your LIFE.  There are statistics from AARP that suggest that being able to stay home can literally extend your life expectancy.  Again, psychology is at play here.  Remodeling your home to feel safer is going to allow you to focus on the things you ENJOY, not the things you FEAR.  Keeping your SMILE starts with keeping your OWN LIFE.  When you can stay in your home you get to keep making our own decisions, your own schedule, your own choices in your daily life.  You get to keep your garden, your yard, and your pet.  You get to stay in a place where you want people to come visit you, and they enjoy coming there and spending time there.  These are all things that are inherently a part of your happiness in the second half of life.

2) Add years to your SAVINGS acccount.  We are writing a white paper right now for the financial planning & retirement asset management industry, letting your “trusted advisor” know that there are literally HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of DOLLARS hiding in your own home.  We explain the math, and how much you can save each year with an Aging In Place remodeling solution coupled with part time professional in-home care, when compared to the national average costs for the different “move out” facilities in the continuum of care (independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, nursing home, etc.)  — See also our article “Don’t Slip… One fall could land you in BANKRUPTCY”.

3) Make your home work better for EVERYONE.  Good Universal Design (“Inclusive” design) for Aging In Place isn’t a process of adding “hospital parts” to your home.  Far from it.  The products that are available nowadays are a wonderful and extensive departure from the stigma of the 80’s “retirement facility” or “nursing home”.  Good professional design implementation with these products can literally make the products “disappear”.  People don’t realize what they are using in these new and better products, they simply notice that it works well / better.  This is true for all users – the client, and the caregiver.  It will work better for a child, a parent, or a grandparent.  It will work better for someone with a short term injury, someone with genetic height differences (“little people”), for someone that had their abilities altered by a car accident… the list goes on.  EVERYONE is who will benefit.  It will be true for the next buyer or occupant of the home as well, especially considering the demographic bulge of older Americans we’ll experience over the next 30-40 years.

That’s the kind of “Ensure-ance” (Insurance) we’d like you to consider.  When you are ready to help make the paradigm shift, starting with your own realistic and pro-active view of the years ahead, get in touch with us.  We’ll be excited to help!

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