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American Voices: Lynn Reichgott

LYNN REICHGOTT: After my father died, my mother had a series of accidents. And she was becoming somewhat isolated in the house. At a certain age, isolation becomes more of an issue. Friends who you have had for years either move away or pass on.

And what ended up happening with my mother she went into an assisted living program. And it turned out to be for her a good experience but she never had the option of doing what it was she preferred. The name of our aging in place organization is called at Home on the Sound.

Being able to age in place is being able to stay in your home in the community where you live or where you choose to live. It means that you can continue to have control over your life, to do what you want to do when you want to do it. And there are supports out there to ensure that the quality of your life is as good as it can be, and you can maintain your independence for as long as possible. While we don’t provide any medical services, we do provide ways for people to stay healthy.

We as a group, first of all, prevent hospitalization because we call people and remind them about doctors’ appointments, and then pick them up and take them.

And we also have trained patient advocates who are volunteers, and they’ll talk about the doctor’s appointment and what questions the patient might have. And will go with that patient to the doctor’s visit, take notes, and ask whatever questions the patient would want asked.

We need more aging in place organizations that have strong partnerships with government and with the health care system. Because we’re not gonna be able to do it on our own.