Why We Help Adults with Disabilities to Age in Place

More than 8 in 10 Mainers prefer to grow old in our own homes, according to AARP. That's true of our adult clients as well -- adults who add the challenges of an intellectual disability or autism to the ordinary challenges of growing old. The question we face as a service provider is: Do we move clients to a residence with a higher level of care or do we make it possible for them to stay in what they know as home?

Like other older Mainers, our older clients are reaching the point where their homes must have wide doorways to accommodate walkers. Some now need level-entry showers with seats instead of stepping into a tub. Some may even need enough support that we want to install lifts to help them move from their bedroom to the bathroom quickly and safely.

You know how emotionally difficult it is for your parents or friends to make a move to an assisted living facility. Imagine how difficult it would be if they had an intellectual disability, as well as the ordinary challenges of aging. How could they understand why they are being uprooted? How would they adjust to new surroundings … learn a different route to the new bathroom … keep track of where their essentials and their most precious things are stored in new furnishings?

Some of the people who live in our fully supported residences have been with our organization for decades. Many have lived with the same housemates for years, making their household group a functional "family home" for them.

We want to allow our clients to age in place, remaining in their homes, just as you have helped your family and friends to stay in their homes.

To do this, we will need to upgrade some of our one-story residences with ramps, lifts, and wide doors. We will need to replace two-story residences with single-level homes. Most of these will need to be constructed, since Maine's housing stock doesn't include many one-story houses.

You can help us support our clients as they age in place. Donate today, donate monthly, or join our Legacy Society by adding Independence Association to your estate plan.

Thank you for your generous support of Maine's adults with intellectual disabilities.

And BTW, the exact percentage of Mainers who want to “age in place” is 85%.

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