Is Home Still the Right Place?

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At Support For Home In-Home Care, our mission is to help people live at home just as long as they want to and safely can. We, along with the courts and gerontologists, believe that home is normally the place where quality of life is the highest. However, we believe that every individual and every family should, in advance, determine the criteria which establishes home as a viable living space.

In this article and future ones, we will talk about what we consider some of those criteria. There are very few solid lines ("if I'm on this side of the line, all is OK; on that side, I need assisted living or ..."). However, there are a number of factors we feel individuals and their families need to bake into a fairly formal plan.

Many of us have or are developing living wills or Advance Health Care Directives (AHCDs) -- whatever we may call them. These AHCDs specify when we want treatment and when we don't, to prolong life, for example. They don't usually cover, however, the decisions about where we should live, under what circumstances.


What we're talking about, then, is a sort of "Advance Living Directive" -- under these circumstances, I should / must be allowed to live at home; under other circumstances, I should / must be placed in (a) assisted living or in (b) a skilled nursing facility. Identifying the "circumstances" as clearly and precisely as possible is the key to making sure the right decisions will be made (by me, a trustee, or the courts), when the time comes.

What we want to do is to eliminate as much "gray area" or "overlap" of conditions as possible, to reduce ambiguity or confusion for whomever is making the actual decision about where we live. The cleaner the lines, the happier we are all going to be -- and that includes our families.

What are the factors that need to be considered in making that Advance Living Directive real? Some are obvious -- state of health, finances, etc. Others are less so. So, sit down with your loved ones and brainstorm what your Advance Living Directive should say. You -- and they -- will feel a whole lot more comfortable after you have.

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Occupation: Owner, Support For Home In-Home Care
After an academic career focused on Economic History and History of Science, I managed an educational corporation that designed and administered international programs.

From that, I served as a management analyst with the City of Portland, Oregon, before moving on to high technology, with Intel Corporation.

After 18 years at Intel, I retired as an IT Director to start a new career with my colleague and wife, providing high quality, high integrity home care for seniors. This move was driven by our parents' experience, as they aged, and the need for home care.

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