Tuesday, June 16, 2015
The baby boomer generation is reaching the age of retirement. They are starting to take into consideration the options that they have on where to live. Seniors have more options than ever before because of the advancements in the technology that makes living within their own homes possible. In the past a retirement home or assisted living facility was the only option older adults had. This has been forever changed with the improvements found with age in place modification.
Professional contractors that specialize in handicap construction, ADA building codes and age in place modifications are a new breed of home improvement specialists. They are able to take an ordinary home environment and make small renovations to greatly increase the quality of life for this older generation. One of the biggest worries for most of us is the safety of our parents as they go about the daily task of caring for themselves. The number one room in the house for life altering accidents for seniors is the bathroom. Specific bathroom age in place renovations will help decrease the likelihood of this occurring to someone you love.
The first thing that should be installed is high quality grab bars. When installing grab bars, professional age in place contractors will use special anchors to ensure that no matter how much weight is put on the bar that it will not fail. The anchor used is as important as the grab bar. Grab bars should be placed in the shower as well as on the wall used for support exiting the shower area. It is preferable at this point in life that a stand up shower without an entry lip is installed over the ordinary bath tub shower combinations that have been present in the past.
A seat should also be installed within the shower area, preferably a seat that is built in and permanently placed. A temporary shower seat is an okay substitution when necessary but if the bathroom is being completely renovated work to build in a convenient seat for users. A shower seat is extremely helpful to help older adults clean in areas unreachable from a standing position. Your age in place specialist will also recommend a removable shower head. This too adds convenience in accessing and thoroughly cleaning spots that water is unable to reach well from a standing position.
Cabinet hardware and shelving should be upgrades to options that make access simpler. Seniors often lose mobility in their hands making cabinet hardware difficult to grasp. Cabinet hardware should be changed to the type that allows them to be pulled open. The same is true for shelving. Install shelving that slides in and out. This makes the entire cabinet accessible without having to dip down or bend over. Both tasks become more difficult with aging.
As far as the electrical changes in the bathroom it is important to add extra lighting lower electrical outlets. If a wheelchair is needed the lower electrical outlets will allow seniors to avoid reaching out of their chairs to plug appliances in or turn lights on. Extra lighting is important as well. It is important to enhance existing lighting with florescent bulbs and add direct lighting where needed.
Being independent leaves seniors living higher quality longer lives. Age in place remodeling can ensure this gift is one that you can be bestow upon your loved ones.