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Expanding Living Options for the Elderly: How to Live Safely in Place

In this episode of Help Choose Home, Merrily is joined by Erik Listou, a Certified Living in Place Professional and home and accessibility trade specialist.

Erik is the co-founder of the Living In Place Institute, an organization that provides professional education to individuals involved in the housing industry. He is the former executive director of the Denver Habitat for Humanity and hosted and produced his own 125-episode talk radio show, “Build Responsible, with Erik!”

Topics discussed include:

  • How to prepare your home for safe and comfortable aging in place
  • Which rooms in the home are statistically the most dangerous
  • Why accessible housing is the future of the housing industry, no matter your age

Conversation Highlights:

From contractors to developers to medical experts, the Living in Place Institute provides professional education to everyone involved in the housing industry. The Institute encourages the housing industry to make the safest and most accessible design choices when outfitting a home for long-term living.

Most accidents in the home occur in the bathroom, partly because of slick floors, steps, lack of grab bars and changing temperatures. Erik encourages homeowners to look for a qualified professional to install simple modifications to their home, such as shower bars and doors that slide or swing outward.

Erik also urges homeowners to ask the professionals they’re working with to reach out to the Living in Place Institute. The Institute can provide training and advice for how to make a home safer for people of all ages and abilities.

When it comes to deciding what changes to make to a home, Erik suggests using the concept of “now, soon, and future.” Consider what changes should be made right away, which ones should be prioritized in the near future and what changes should be planned for the future. There aren’t enough resources and workers available to make all possible modifications to a home at once, but you can start small and commit to larger modifications down the road.

After listening to this episode, you’ll walk away with a greater understanding of how you can make your home more welcoming and safe for generations of family and friends. You may even be inspired to make improvements that will make everyone from grandchildren to grandparents feel more at home.

You can listen to this episode here, or on Apple Podcasts, Google, YouTube or wherever you listen to podcasts.

To learn more about meeting the needs of seniors now and in the future, listen to my interview with Andrea Cohen, a social entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of HouseWorks. Learn how home care is prepared to meet a wide variety of needs and promote senior independent living.

If this episode has been helpful, be sure to leave a five-star review and share the podcast with your friends to help us in the national effort to educate about home healthcare options! You can connect with our host Merrily Orsini on Twitter: @MerrilyO.


The Help Choose Home podcast series is a collaborative effort by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, Axxess and corecubed to educate the public about the many benefits of the in-home care industry, which includes non-medical home care, private duty nursing care, medical home health, hospice and other in-home health and wellness services.

Access the full Help Choose Home podcast library here.

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