Our home is where our heart is. It’s where we’ve raised our children, have memories of the holidays with our friends and family and for some, owning a home can be one of our greatest accomplishment.
In-home adaptability can be overwhelming or challenging to consider.
Sometimes it can also be where our biggest worries are.
According to a report published by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, Washington, DC 20233
“Between 2010 and 2050, the United States is projected to experience rapid growth in its older population.2 In 2050, the number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to be 88.5 million, more than double its projected population of 40.2 million in 2010.”
To read more, click here for the report.
According to an article in the New York Post, “Residents of the Empire State are aging so rapidly that the state has the fourth-oldest population in the nation, with 3.7 million people age 60 and over, behind California, Florida, and Texas.
And by 2030, 5.2 million people in the state will be 60 and older, the state Office for the Aging says. Of that group, 1.81 million New Yorkers will be 75 or older.
That means the number of older New Yorkers will increase from one in five residents to one in four.”
For over 16 years I’ve met several individuals who have considered giving up their home due to a physical ailment or a medical condition. They are suddenly faced with the lack of mobility or fear of falling. They shared with me their fears and the obstacles they’re faced with living in their home day-to-day.
My biggest reward in my career has been to be able to empathize and help them prioritize their goals to assist them in preparing for the future.
I, at a very young age I was exposed to those who faced physically mobility challenges. Being raised by my great-grandparents from the time I was born until I was 9 years old, I saw firsthand how tough it was to get around in a home which has stairs. My great-grandfather had a bad hip and my great-grandmother suffered from arthritis in her legs and arms. They both struggled to get up and down the stair and sometimes even walking was a challenge for them. Our home had stairs everywhere; both the front and back porch, as well as a steep set of stairs down to the basement where our washer and dryer were located.
Today, much of the nation’s housing inventory lacks basic accessibility features, preventing older adults with disabilities from living safely and comfortably in their homes, was noted in an article written by the Joint Center for House Studies of Harvard University.
In August of 2001, when I was hired by the Whitaker Company, located on Everett Rd in Albany, NY I realized I found my calling.
They were a mobility dealer, focusing on keeping people in their home for as long as they choose to provide in-home solutions with stairway chairlifts, accessible wheelchair lifts, home elevators, motorized beds and limited-use-limited access elevators for small commercial buildings.
I started out answering the telephone, performing administrative responsibilities.
Later, I had the opportunity to work with clients, listening to their situation and learning about the challenges they faced day-to-day.
After a while, it wasn’t just a job to me. I started to enjoy coming to work and wholeheartedly felt I had a purpose every time the phone would ring.
I look back and think about how much I learned in such a short period of time. In the 6 years, I went from being an office coordinator, then promoted to product sales, to project manager, then branch manager. When I left my final position was operations manager of the Northeast Region, ensuring quality service for the company’s installation and service department. What an amazing experience!
Still today, the best part of the business is being able to sit down and getting to know others and listen to their situation, learning about the challenges they faced day-to-day! However, the most rewarding part is being able to offer solutions in which improve their quality of life.
After working the Whitaker Company, I provided my knowledge and experiences, as a consultant, project manager, and sales rep to local most of all the other mobility dealers, like Albany Lift, formally known as EazyLift Albany and Barrier Free systems.
My goal, still today, I enjoy listening to others and helping them find affordable solutions to their mobility challenges to help maintain their quality of life.
My mission is to provide education and the resources required to give people in my community options to help break the barriers we are faced with in our day-to-day lives.
It’s an honor to still be in the business today and continue to help others maintain their independence!
All the best,
Carolyn M. Scofield, CAPS, QEI