By Debbie Gardner
Greater Springfield Rising nursing home costs. Falling home prices. An economic downturn. A growing 60-plus population.
It seemed an idea whose time had come.
In late April, the Longmeadow-based Glenmeadow Retirement Community announced that its fee-for-service, broad-spectrum in-home retirement program, called Glenmeadow At Home, would now be available to residents throughout the Greater Springfield area.
"It's what we've been doing for 125 years, providing every service a person could need as they age," Glenmeadow Executive Director Timothy Cotz told Reminder Publications.
According to Cotz, the Glenmeadow at Home a la carte suite of services, which encompasses everything from housekeeping, handymen, errand and personal care aid to companionship, personal training, wellness and entertainment appointments and complete care coordination, has been available to residents in Glenmeadow's independent and assisted living facilities for several years. Recently the organization reached out locally to offer the same services to a limited number of elders in the community.
The move to open the services up to the Greater Springfield area was, Conz said, a natural extension of Glenmeadow's current services and mission.
He said the management team at Glenmeadow recognized that there were "many people who wanted to stay in their homes, but needed services" to be able to age in place.
"The aging consumer is a different person than [he or she] was 20 years ago," noted Conz. "They are taking steps to remain healthy [and] age in place."
But, as Richard Cabral, director of community services for Glenmeadow, pointed out, "it just takes one little thing, such as not being able to drive," to make aging in place a challenge.
"We can talk with them, find out what has changed and what they need," he said. "Our goal is to provide only what services a client really needs."
Those services, he said, might be as simple as transportation to a weekly doctor's appointment or arranging for a housekeeper once a month, as individual as scheduling an in-home physical therapist or personal trainer to help with rehabilitation from an accident or surgery, or as comprehensive as coordinating care for a major illness.
Right now, the hourly cost for services provided by Glenmeadow at Home starts at $21.
"We're a non-profit organization. Our goal is to connect the right service to the right person," Cabral said. "We will let [a client] know the cost up front, and if we agree, we will provide the service."
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