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Frequently Asked Questions About I'On At Home

What is I'On At Home?
The mission of I'On At Home (IAH) is to provide services and support to enable I’On residents to have healthy, active, and independent lifestyle and remain in their homes as long as possible.

What is Aging in Place?

Aging in Place is the concept that you can (and are entitled to) remain in your current residence and in your community for the remainder of your life — or as long as you wish — regardless of changes to your body and abilities that may occur with age. Aging in Place is a choice. It gives you control over your independence, quality of life and dignity.

Deciding to age in place means you are choosing how you want to spend your retirement years, how you want your home to be set up, what your health care choices will be, which types of assistance are right for you, and what your wishes are regarding finances and major life events.

Aging in place does not mean you have to do everything yourself. It means you get to plan how your needs are met, who meets them and when.

These choices, plans, and flexible assistance are at the heart of I’On At Home.

How does I’On At Home operate? Who does what?
We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is guided by a Board of Directors. There are also several Board committees with community volunteers that advise the Board in developing ideas, programs, policies, and procedures. Those committees include: Membership; Programs; Volunteer Services; Finance; and Marketing and Communications.

While at launch, we will be an all-volunteer group, the plan is that day-to-day operations of I’On At Home will someday be managed by paid staff. 

Volunteers from the community will be recruited, their backgrounds checked, and trained, to provide the services requested by members. By signing up for specific tasks such as driving, providing computer assistance, helping with home maintenance and simple repairs, and providing administrative assistance for I'On At Home itself, volunteers can choose how and when they want to help. Our organization has liability insurance that protects Board members and other volunteers.
 

Why should I become a member?
Here are just a few of the reasons to become an IAH member:

  • You want to age in place in your own home and the I'On community you love.

  • Even if family and friends can help with transportation and chores, they may not always be available or you may prefer not to call on them regularly.

  • You want to enjoy a wide range of educational programs and social events. I'On At Home will keep you from feeling isolated in your home as you interact with and enjoy the company of your neighbors.

  • You may suddenly find that you need help getting to medical appointments or even shopping, due to surgery, a hospital stay, or other personal circumstance.

  • I’On At Home membership can make the difference between your being able to remain safely in your home or having to leave because you need assistance. When you are no longer comfortable climbing up on a ladder to change a lightbulb, our volunteers will gladly take care of that and many other tasks. Companionship visits, daily check-in contacts, assistance with technology, meals, transportation, and other services can provide critical support.

  • You will have access to a list of preferred providers, such as plumbers, handymen, home health services companies, etc. Some vendors offer discounts to I'On At Home members. With I'On At Home behind you, you can feel more secure about the trustworthiness of your service providers. These vendors have been recommended by your neighbors. They know that if they over-charge or provide poor service, they won’t just lose you as a customer, they will lose your neighbors, too.

  • I’On At Home allows you to get help and give help.

Why should I join if I am in good health and don’t believe I will need IAH services in the near future?
Members join for many reasons. Many like the social and educational occasions - programs, museum tours, cultural events, informal gatherings - and the opportunity to be with friends as well as to meet new people. Others like the convenience of having a place to call for all types of services, such as recommended electricians, rides to medical appointments, or help installing a new printer.

You may be capable of climbing up to change your smoke alarm battery, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea for you to do it. I’On At Home membership means that you can choose to request this service to protect yourself from the risk of injury

A few members may need referrals to home health services. Many members (and their families) find it reassuring that I'On At Home can provide access to such resources when needed. Membership is a kind of insurance policy knowing that we are here for you whenever the need arises.

Many join I'On At Home to help their older friends and neighbors continue to live safely and happily in their homes. By becoming a member now, you ensure that our services will continue and be there in the future, when you do need them. In reality, you will be supporting the development and operation of IAH as a valuable community resource which may be important to you personally in the future regardless of your current health and ability to live independently. 

Why is there a fee to join?
Annual membership fees help I'On At Home pay for expenses, such as liability insurance for volunteers, our website and software packages, printing, required filing fees, the cost to confirm credentials for service providers and volunteers, legal and accounting services, and compensation for paid staff, once we get to that stage in our development.

For 2017, there are two levels of membership:

  • Full Memberships are $350 for an individual or $500 for a household. Full members may attend most IAH programs at no charge (except for some events that include extensive food and beverages or paid entertainment or off-site events that charge admission), have access to the preferred provider list, and receive volunteer-provided services. Since the value of these services equals the full amount of the membership fee, the fee may not be eligible for a tax deduction.

  • Supporting Memberships fees include all social, cultural, and educational events and access to the Preferred Provider Directory. These memberships do not include volunteer services. The fair market value of a Supporting Membership is $100. Any amount over $100 may be tax deductible. A Supporting Membership fee is $350 for an individual and $500 for a household.

Full members can more than recoup the cost of membership in the savings from using our services such as transportation, help with electronics, social activities, and assistance with unexpected needs.

How does membership in I'On At Home work?
I'On At Home is a membership organization, and you must be a member to utilize volunteer services, have access to our list of preferred providers and attend most of our programs.  We welcome as members any I’On resident ages 55 and up and will consider others as requested.  We have both an individual membership and a household membership.

What types of programs does I’On At Home provide?
I'On At Home offers a real value to members through a variety of programs and activities. Most are free unless they involve an outside event such as a concert, movie, or meal. For example, we have events for members, guests, and potential members to socialize, share information, and learn more about I'On At Home. We will continue to expand these programs, offering members additional programs and activities as desires and needs become evident. In addition, we will bring members and the community at large the latest information and guidance on issues related to aging in place.

What services do volunteers provide to I'On At Home members?
Volunteers can change members’ hard-to-reach light bulbs; do basic setup for a new computer or an e-mail account; offer a ride to the store or to a medical appointment; help them organize their files, bills and monthly payments; chop some weeds in their garden, or help with pets in emergencies. The I'On At Home office puts out via e-mail regular requests for volunteer assistance. Volunteers are generally expected to participate monthly in at least one or two requests for assistance. Members are eligible to receive up to six services per month, which can be a combination of rides or other volunteer services. Exceptions are made and are handled on a case-by-case basis.

What are preferred providers and how does this program work? 
We have a list of preferred providers who have been recommended by neighbors and whose credentials have been confirmed by our volunteers. We continue to monitor these service providers on a regular basis and follow-up with any complaints or bad reviews from IAH members. Included in this list are electricians, plumbers, home health-care companies, painters, landscapers, housewashers, etc. We are continually recruiting more.

Some of these preferred providers may offer a discount to I'On At Home members. If you elect to go with a vendor, you will contact them (based on information provided by the IAH office), mention your membership and contract with them individually for payment.

I’On At Home has a unique collaborative partnership with with Franke at Seaside that will offer multiple benefits to IAH members. Located in Mt. Pleasant, Franke at Seaside is a part of the nonprofit Lutheran Homes of South Carolina, which offers a continuum of choices for successful aging. Included is their program to provide fee-based services for those who wish to remain in their homes as they age. Discounts will be available to our members for non-medical assistance such as home safety assessments. In addition, our members will be invited to join the Franke “Be Well” education series presentations. 

Who can be an I'On At Home Volunteer?
Our volunteers are a talented group with widely-varied backgrounds. Each person is motivated by a desire to serve others and make a positive difference in our community. A number of I'On At Home members act as volunteers, while non-member volunteers are also recruited from the community. Requirements include screening by I'On At Home and participation in an orientation class.

We’re always looking for volunteers to provide new services and recreational activities. Are you a computer whiz or database manager? Perhaps an excellent gardener? Or maybe you’re a person with a knack for repairing bicycles or other mechanisms that break. Or one who helps folks get organized. We would love to give you the opportunity to share your skills with your neighbors through I'On At Home!

How do I request a service or Preferred Provider referral?
We ask you to provide at least three days’ notice for every request, especially for transportation. Use our website ionathome.org to submit your request. You can also call us at 843-284-3590. We will gather all the relevant information in order to match the volunteer to you, so have addresses, times, and any relevant logistical details ready before you call.

What if I need something that is not on the list of services?
Call or e-mail I'On At Home to see what we can do for you! We will work with you to find a solution to meet your needs.

How are member requests handled?
Members go to our website, e-mail, or call our office with all personal requests and preferred provider needs or to sign up to participate in an event. When we receive a member request for service, IAH will assign a volunteer to help with that request and coordinate details between the member and volunteer. If the member requests a preferred provider referral, we will make several suggestions 

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