Each week on “Caring for Seniors,” our hosts sit down with those who are hard at work in the community, making sure our elders are properly cared for. This week, David Stieglitz and Adrienne Houghton talk to Carol Chiang from Evolving Homes.
Evolving Homes teaches people how to Age-in-Place successfully through home safety assessments and promoting a positive aging lifestyle.
To learn more, visit https://evolvinghomes.com.
Short Company Description: Many people want to be able to stay at home as they age but have no idea how to do it. We teach people how to Age-in-Place successfully through home safety assessments and promoting a positive aging lifestyle. We design optimal environments to make spaces that maximize our potential to function at home.We project manage the ordering of products and installations so that everything goes smoothly and is hassle free. We also help caregivers understand options for support and help them choose what makes the most financial sense.
Give a brief description on what you would like to discuss on the show.:
1. Recognizing that if older adults plan ahead, they will have a lot more options for the future.
2. Recognizing the importance of exercise as medicine to promote positive aging.
3. Recognizing the value of having expert guidance when remodeling a space. Eg) It can be very frustrating for people to put $25,000 into a bathroom only to realize that they will need to put more money into it because they had not considered the need for accessibility options beforehand.
4. Discussing how to talk about the necessary adjustments in the home with your loved ones in an uplifting and positive way. (Avoiding fear-based discussions)
What makes your company unique?: There are lots of handyman companies who can put up grab bars quickly and inexpensively. That is a much needed service for families trying to take care of the situation ASAP. I’m focused on the long-term investment of safety and security in the home so clients can Age-in-Place and increase the value of their homes. I specialize in creating beautiful spaces where the grab bars blend into the environment. I use clinical reasoning to determine the ideal placement of grab bars for that particular person. The more customized we can get, the better the outcome.
How did you get your start in the industry?: Worked at Brooks Rehab with traumatic injuries. My passion has always been how they can be independent at home so when bought a home health company, moved to that. Medicare started to cut reimbursements about 5 years ago and I no longer had the time to really work on home modifications that they really needed help with. Patients were also coming home with nothing set up yet because there is no one to come to the house to assess the space before discharge. I started EvolvingHomes to give families options
How is your business handling the COVID situation?: I do as much intake of information over the phone including reviewing pictures and video families send me prior to the visit. I am vaccinated, wear a mask during the consultation and maintain a 6foot distance when possible.
What advice would you give to someone just getting their start in the industry?: Talk to manufacturers and constantly research new ideas and solutions that can help your clients. Find out if they have had problems with installation or issues w use so you can problem solve around it. Think outside the box as much as you can. Trying solutions out on yourself is a great way to really understand how a product works and if it does what it says it should.
What’s your favorite way to get involved in the community?: I have so many community projects that were put on hold because of covid that I would love to bring back. I don’t believe in just living your life. I want people to thrive in life and a big part of aging well is having meaningful interaction with your community and having shared experiences to bond over. I was approved to run a local chapter of Cycling without age which pairs volunteers with rickshaws to get wind in the hair. I would love to start a chapter of Repair cafe where you bring old appliances to be fixed instead of tossed in a landfill.