SCLO’s “Aging in Place” project was implemented to keep New Mexico seniors in their homes and communities throughout the aging process, including the latter stages when health care issues often force seniors into institutions against their wishes.
Allowing seniors to age in their own homes is associated with significant improvements in their physical and mental health. SCLO’s Aging in Place Project advocates for people to remain in their residence, independently, comfortably and safely. A clear majority of New Mexicans want to remain in their homes for as long as possible, but there is still a lack of awareness of the services in the community that promote longevity and independence in the home.
What Does the Project Do?
Through education and outreach, SCLO’s objective is to jumpstart the conversation and garner support for a continued effort to promote education on the importance of aging in place, address legal and service barriers and promote livable communities for seniors. Our efforts are paying off – the Mayor of Albuquerque has even proclaimed June 11 “Aging In Place Day”.
The project addresses issues related to both health care and housing, which are among the top barriers to aging in place.
- We work to ensure access to health care, addressing problems of lack of insurance or underinsurance, and advocate for increased funding of programs that allow elders to receive in-home health care.
- Some landlords may refuse to make accommodations to a rental unit that would enable a senior to remain at home.
- In other cases seniors face foreclosure of their homes due to predatory lending practices or even financial exploitation by family members that result in a loss of their home.
SCLO attorneys are able to address these and many of the other issues that present barriers to aging in place. SCLO has developed institutional expertise in this area of law and is often called upon by judges, attorneys, advocacy groups, federal and state legislators and interest groups, to offer counsel related to aging in place.