Guest Opinion: Dear Susi Q


Keeping your parents’ home safe as they age

Dear Susi Q,

How can I help my aging parents be safer in their home?

Rickie Redman, Susi Q’s Director of Aging in Place Services, responds:

Rickie Redman, Susi Q’s Director of Aging in Place Services. Photo/Susi Q

That’s a great question! Fortunately, Susi Q’s primary goal is to enhance the lives of seniors through services, programs and advocacy that promote independence, wellness and community. Our aging-in-place program, Lifelong Laguna, provides residents with services and volunteer support to remain safe and independent in their homes. We take the time to get to know those we serve. Then we create a personalized plan for residents to age in Laguna.  

Contacting the Susi Q for a home modification assessment is a great way to start. You might want to let your parents know that this would help ease your anxiety rather than suggest they are in any way incapable of handling challenges themselves. I find that most residents who participate in the assessment feel empowered. It is a tool that can help them remain in their home as they age – and 90% of seniors in Laguna want to stay in this community as they get older.

This is how it works: Staff or trained volunteers come to your parents’ home to learn about their lifestyle and assess potential safety concerns. The goal is to think big-picture about current and future needs. Then we write up a customized report with suggestions for age-friendly modifications. These may be as simple as removing throw rugs, improving lighting, cleaning up electrical cords, decluttering, or installing handrails or grab bars – not only in bathrooms but perhaps as a way to enable access to an outdoor area or step down into a garage. 

If they’re pinching every penny, they may qualify for LBS HOME, our home repair assistance program in partnership with Habitat for Humanity OC and the City of Laguna Beach.

We can discuss with your parents the need for earthquake kits and evacuation plans, as well as low-cost transportation through Sally’s Fund or Laguna Beach Local vans.

Staying safe as one ages isn’t just a physical issue. It’s important that your parents don’t feel isolated from the larger community or become depressed or lonely. The Susi Q can also arrange volunteer visits and grocery delivery and inform them about a wide range of resources that can help them with legal, financial or medical issues.

You can also let them know about the wide range of fun programs and activities available in person at the Susi Q Center on Third Street, or, in many cases, via Zoom. They’re a great way to stay connected with the larger community. Our website has a wealth of information – or reach out to me, Rickie Redman, at (949) 715-8107 or [email protected].

“Dear Susi Q,” brought to you by the nonprofit Laguna Beach Seniors, is intended to provide helpful advice for readers on matters including relationships, retirement, home safety, transportation, mental/physical health, and local entertainment and educational resources. It’s “Dear Abby” for the Laguna Beach crowd.

Qualified staff, support group leaders, and volunteers stand ready to answer your questions, so please send them to [email protected]. We can’t wait to help.

No identifying names will ever be used. Some questions, such as today’s, may be a composite of several submitted. 

For more information about Susi Q and Laguna Beach Seniors, visit

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