If you've done a lot of cooking, you might know the French phrase mise en place, defined by the Culinary Institute as "everything in place." It means to have everything you need to prepare a meal -- utensils, main ingredients, spices -- lined up precisely so that there's no searching or fumbling around once the actual cooking starts.
For some reason, I thought of the term earlier this week when I first heard the phrase "age in place." It was used by representatives of Parkview Hospital, who dropped by to talk to us about their plans for the old Randallia campus and the new Regional Medical Center. More operations might stay at Randallia than previously envisioned, they said. One of the reasons was hospital officials' growing awareness of the need for elder care in the area because of the "age in place" phenomenon. More people want to stay and grow old in the houses -- or at least in the neighborhoods -- they raised families in. Notice all the new assisted-living and skilled-nursing facilities along State Boulevard, for example.
I'd not encountered the term before, but our social-services reporter Jennifer Boen had, so I googled it. It's not just an identifiable and quantifiable phenomenon. There are even government funds and grants aimed at making the process possible. And of course there are specialists:
According to the Journal of Housing for the Elderly, aging in place is not having to move from one's present residence in order to secure necessary support services in response to changing needs. Aging in Place has grown in popularity and celebrated by the National Aging in Place Week and the National Aging in Place Council that promotes the positive outcomes of seniors having a choice in their care and living arrangements.
There are now Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) specialists to fill the growing need in this service model for seniors. Communities are now fully engaged and committed to exploring ways to better serve seniors by developing action plans that address the future needs and ensure that the services are in place for seniors.
This is all very enlightened and caring, I know, but as I get ever closer to advanced years myself, it's a little depressing, too. My house is OK, but I'm not that attached to it. As long as somebody else is paying for it, the French Riveria would suit me just fine.