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HomeFit Guide Available To Help People Live Safely And Comfortably

Home is where our heart is. A safe place that is comforting and familiar. We plan to live out our lives in our homes. There may be situations where we may need to spend time or move into places that provide care. Nevertheless, home is where you are. It is your place, your space, with your things that are important to you and important for you.

Chautauqua County NY Connects program is here for all kinds of information.

It is an aging and disability resource center right here and available to you. NY Connects has information and assistance and can help you in connecting to services; programs, and benefits that help you live in your community. There are many services that are called long-term community-based services and supports. They may be a physical need of help, benefits you may be eligible for, a financial need, or even a home planning need. When you think about your largest asset, it is usually your home. If you live in a facility like an assisted living or a nursing home, this space is now your home and the space must meet your needs.

Most homes were built with general standardizations. However, a standard height sink is great if you are 5 foot 6 inches tall — this can be too short if you are 6 foot 3 inches tall or too high if you depend on a wheelchair for your mobility. The housing industry has a necessary cookie-cutter approach to building for the masses. For those that didn’t build their own home or customize the original building of their home- this can be a problem.

AARP has a great guide called “HomeFit Guide” this is a free publication and you can request one by going to www.aarp.org/livable-communities/housing/info-2020/homefit-guide.html. The guide has practical tips and checklists to help you see what you can change in your home space that will help you. AARP notes, “The guide was created to help people live safely and comfortably by enabling where they live to be a “lifelong home,” suitable for themselves and others in their household, no matter a person’s age or life stage.” Start by looking at areas of your home room-by-room, feature-by-feature thinking of what you may need. The booklet looks at three concepts: Home sweet home, home safe home, and home smart home. It has great pictures and lists to check on each room and entrances/exits and outdoor space. There is an important safety section looking at water, electrical, fire safety, and even pets.

The Chautauqua County NY Connects program can provide Information and Assistance on home safety devices like personal emergency alarm systems (PERS) you wear in your home, house numbering programs, and even utility help and repair programs. NY Connects can tell you about help in the home and programs and services. There are NY Connects programs located with the Office for Aging Services (OFAS) and the Southwestern Independent Living Center (SILC). You can reach NY Connects by phone: at 716-753-4582 or 800-342-9871 email: ccnyc@chqgov.com Southwestern Independent Living NY Connects at 716-661-3010 or 716-490-7561. There is an online resource tool called the NY Connects Resource directory as well at www.nyconnects.ny.gov. Nationwide the ElderCare Locator that can assist you in finding the aging and disability resource center in any part of the United States. You can call the ElderCare Locator at 1-800-677-116 or on the internet at www.eldercare.acl.gov.

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