Saturday, November 30, 2013

Aging In Place With Home Improvements

Age in place remodeling needs are increasing as seniors are demanding to stay independent and in their own homes longer than ever before. With advances in home remodeling, contractors are able to upgrade homes to fit the special needs of the aging population thus making living alone possible. Success in remodeling for aging in place depends on several things including choosing improvements that work with the homes original structure and a certified contractor to complete the remodeling process. 

The first step in senior home improvements should start at the homes entrances and exits. Handicap ramps and increased doorway width are an important place to begin. A wheelchair accessible entrance is beneficial for those confined to wheelchairs, walkers and the use of a cane. Stairs are an incredible burden when it comes to the aging body and a handicap ramp, installed properly whether aluminum or wood will ease the burden of accessing the home.

The next room within the home that needs to be looked at is the bathroom. Over fifty percent of accidents happen in the bathroom mostly from falls. A bathroom is easily modified with proper installation from a certified contractor. Installing grab bars by the toilet and within the shower are a must for home improvements for seniors. The use of special fixtures and door pulls are especially helpful when it comes to the lack in strength in aging hands. You can also increase the height of the toilet to help ease getting on and off as well.

The kitchen is another area prone to senior accidents. When remodeling a kitchen for aging in place fixtures are important as well as accessibility. Keeping items within reach to avoid seniors climbing is important. One way that this can be accomplished is using sliding platforms within cupboards. This allows items to be stacked lower. Keep all appliances and everyday items within reach, increase the lighting within the space and simplify.   

In the bedroom space it is important to have abundant lighting that is easy to get to. A light should be within arms reach from the bed so that when waking in the middle of the night to use the restroom they are not maneuvering about in the dark. Organize closet space so that clothing is within reach without having to over stretch or climb. This will be a reoccurring theme, lighting, ease of reach and maneuverability.  

Include seniors in the changes around their home. This will make them less resentful of the age in place remodeling and make adjusting to the lifestyle of one that is aging less difficult. Help by removing throw rugs and increase lighting throughout the home. Increase fire safety by providing fire alarms with increased volume and flashing lights along with fire extinguishers throughout the home. Remove obstacles and create areas within the home where things can be stored.

When remodeling for aging in place creating a safe, usable space that still feels like home is the most important aspect of the entire project. Find a contractor that listens and offers several different design ideas that fit with creating a safe space to grow old in.