Frequently Asked Questions About I'On At Home
What is I'On At Home?
The mission of I'On At Home (IAH) is to enable I’On residents to have a healthy, active, and independent lifestyle and remain in their homes for 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 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 core of I’On At Home.
How does I’On At Home operate? Who does what?
- We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, guided by a Board of Directors. There are also several Board committees, with I’On community volunteers, that implement Board policies and provide suggestions and information. Those committees include: Membership, Programs, Volunteer Services, Finance, and Marketing and Communications. Executive management is provided by a paid, part-time Administrative Manager.
- Volunteers from the community complete background checks and are trained to provide services requested by IAH members, including transportation and helping with home maintenance and simple repairs. Volunteers choose which services they want to provide and receive e-mails when a member’s request is submitted in one of their designated helping categories. They may then choose whether or not to fulfill that particular request.
- I’On At Home has general liability and accident insurance that protects Board members and other volunteers.
Why should I become a member?
- You want to enjoy a wide range of social events and educational programs.
- You want to feel part of an active and caring community.
- You want to age in place in your own home in 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.
- I'On At Home will keep you from feeling isolated in your home, because you will be interacting with and enjoying the company of your neighbors.
- At some point, you may find that you need help getting to medical appointments or even shopping, due to illness, 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.
- 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 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 with benefits. You will feel secure, knowing that we are here for you whenever the need arises. Meanwhile, you may enjoy all of the social, cultural, educational, and other activities while forming bonds in a community of neighbors and friends.
- 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.
How does membership in I'On At Home work?
- I'On At Home is a membership organization, and you must be a member to attend most of our programs and utilize volunteer-provided services. 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. In addition, we have a special membership category, “Friends of I’On,” that is open to former IAH members who have left the neighborhood but wish to remain involved, as well as people who have close I’On connections and want to participate in IAH. Friends of I’On are eligible only for Supporting Memberships (do not include services).
Why is there a fee to join?
- Annual membership fees help I'On At Home pay for operating expenses, such as liability insurance for volunteers, website and software packages, membership in the Village to Village Network, accounting services, and compensation for paid staff.
Membership Categories and Fees:
Resident - Full Membership: This membership includes access to ALL programs and services offered including all cultural, educational, and social programs as well as all services available from volunteers.
- Full Household ($500/year): Two residents living full time or part time at the same residential address, in which at least one member is 55 years of age. An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is considered a separate residence.
- Full Individual ($350/year): One resident, living alone, who is 55 years of age or older.
Resident - Supporting Membership: This membership includes all cultural, educational, and social programs and events. It DOES NOT include access to volunteer services. The fair market value of a Supporting Membership is $100. Since there are no services provided any amount over $100 may be tax deductible.
- Supporting Household ($500/year): Two residents living full time or part time at the same residential address, at which at least one member is 55 years of age. An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is considered a separate residence.
- Supporting Individual ($350/year): One resident who is at least 55 years of age. While we hope most couples will choose to join as a household, in some cases, only one member of a couple may wish to become a supporting member.
Non-Resident - Membership: The number of memberships is limited to 10% of total IAH memberships. This membership includes access to all cultural, educational and social programs and events. It DOES NOT include access to volunteer services. The fair market value of Non-Resident Membership is $100. Since there are no services provided, any amount over $100 may be tax deductible.
- Non-Resident Household ($500/year): Two residents living full time or part time at the same residential address in which at least one resident is 55 years of age. An accessory dwelling (ADU) is considered a separate address.
- Non-Resident Individual ($350/year): An individual resident who is at least 55 years of age.
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, an average of 10 or more events per month. Most are free unless they involve an outside event such as a concert, movie, or meal.
- Event examples include wine tastings, behind-the-scenes tours of museums and other local attractions, history tours, documentary viewings followed by discussions, group hikes, educational lectures on issues related to successful aging and other useful topics, watch parties for occasions such as the Super Bowl, cooking and other demonstrations, and holiday celebrations.
- We have events for members, guests, and potential members to socialize, share information, and learn more about I'On At Home.
- Using their logins, IAH members may register online for events (ionathome.org) or call 843-284-3590 for assistance. Messages may be left at this number, and calls will be returned within 24 hours.
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 and/or from the airport, to the store, or to a medical appointment; help organize files, bills and monthly payments; pull weeds in their garden; or help with pets in emergencies.
- Individual members are eligible to receive up to six services per month; household members can receive 10, which can be a combination of rides or other volunteer services. Exceptions will be made and handled on a case-by-case basis.
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 a background check and participation in a training 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 volunteer service?
- IAH Members are provided with a login to our website (ionathome.org) and submit their requests for services there. We are also available by phone at 843-284-3590. Messages may be left at this number, and calls will be returned within 24 hours.
- We ask you to provide at least three days’ notice for every volunteer request, especially for transportation.
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. Our service list is continually growing based on the needs of our members.
How are member requests handled, and how are volunteers matched with a service?
- Members complete a service request on our website, send an e-mail, or call our office with all personal needs for assistance. Our website then automatically sends e-mails to all volunteers who have signed up for the type of service requested (such as transportation or handyman help), with information about the member, details of the request, and the time. Each volunteer may choose whether to respond to that particular request.
- Our Administrative Manager closely monitors these service requests and the volunteer responses to be sure that each request can be met satisfactorily, and that our volunteers have a good experience as well. Occasionally a request may be beyond the capabilities of our volunteers. In that case, our staff person will assist the member in identifying a professional service provider to meet the need.