On October 13, the first day of National Aging in Place Week, the National Aging in Place Council will publish Act III: Your Plan for Aging in Place, a unique organizational tool designed with input from experts to enable American retirees and seniors to assess their needs for successful and fulfilling aging.
Act III allows a senior, either alone or with family assistance, to answer a set of questions about each critical area of life: home, health and wellness, personal finance, transportation, and community involvement/social interaction. The information accumulated remains private to the senior to help him or her evaluate needs for the kind of aging lifestyle desired.
If they choose, users can enter their specific needs on a two-page template available on the ageinplace.org website. If they submit the Act III “Needs Assessment” to NAIPC, the National Council or a local chapter will respond to the user with recommendations for services that are available to help fulfill their needs and guidance on how to obtain those services.
“We hope that Act III will launch a deeper national discussion about Aging in Place, what it means, what it includes,” says Marty Bell, Executive Director of NAIPC. “To this point in time, Aging in Place has meant simply remaining at home for as long as you like or can. But we view it as a comprehensive lifestyle. In addition to simply remaining at home, you need the services that provide a good, safe, secure life in that home.”
During Aging in Place Week, and in the weeks after, local chapters of NAIPC will hold Planning Day sessions. Local seniors will be invited to chapter locations to fill out the Act III template with the assistance of local members.
“We have tested this process with clients,” says Alissa Boroff of Access Solutions in Minneapolis and the Chair of the NAIPC Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter. “And we find it is a real eye opener. Historically, seniors do not take action until they have a problem. This permits them to have prepared solutions for such problems as downsizing their home, paying for a healthcare emergency, or facing that they are no longer safe when driving.”
Act III was created over the past 18 months with thought leaders in all areas of senior service from all across the country. The plan was reviewed and edited by these leaders at two annual NAIPC meetings and an Aging in Place Summit in Washington, DC.
The creators view Act I as childhood and education, Act II as family raising and core career, and Act III as retirement and later life. “Or, as writers are taught,” explains Bell, “Act I is getting up the tree, Act II is rattling the tree, and Act III is getting down from the tree. Our intent is to help seniors down from the tree to safety and security.”
National Aging in Place Week will be celebrated this year from October 13 through 19 with events scheduled all across the country. The Greater Sacramento Chapter is holding a health fair. Boston will introduce Act III at an event that will also include a “Virtual Dementia Tour.” Long Island will hold a seminar on free services for seniors. Greater Pittsburgh will host local representative Keith Rothfus at their event. Planning days will be held in Western/Central Virginia, Atlanta, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Charleston, South Carolina. Orange County will also participate, holding not only the Aging in Place planning session, but hosting a full expo including raffles, free flu shots, and complimentary blood pressure testing. A full list of events can be found here.