Have you given thought about what types of needs you will have as you age? Do you plan on staying in your own home, often referred to as aging in place, or do you plan on living the good life in a senior living complex? Many people want to keep their independence for as long as possible. This gets trickier if you live in a home with any type of obstacle. Age in place remodeling helps conquer many of those problems that creep up on us as our bodies start to not respond the way they did in the past. We will look into several items that will help you or your loved ones age in place helping to keep independence in the lives of loved ones as long as possible.
First, a huge obstacle many older people or people with knee issues face, getting up and down the stairs. Many homes have basements nowadays. Washers and dryers are often kept on this level. I know in my Uncles case he has both his wood working area and his hunting workshop set up in the basement. It is important to still access these areas even if our knees and hips don’t allow for it anymore. Stair lifts have been invented for this purpose. A lift is practical and can be installed on any type of stairs. Search out a local contractor in your area that is licensed and works with companies to meet the physical challenges of their clients.
Next people are often concerned with ease of access into and out of the home. It is becoming very common to install ramps for handicapped access. Handicap ramps can really help seniors who wish to age in place by eliminating the strain that stairs often bring getting in and out of the home. Ramps can be made to blend naturally into the design of the home and can often be made for temporary or permanent use. Materials for ramps vary also. It is common to use metal or wood for ramps. Make sure when hiring an age in place remodeler to build a wheel chair ramp that you make sure they are following ADA guidelines. The Americans with Disabilities Act clearly lays out guidelines and specifications for handicap ramps.
Smaller home renovations such as bathroom grab bars, changing out door knobs for handles and tub modifications are all items to think about when preparing for those later years. As my dad aged we found it necessary to begin making the minor changes around the home for him. As he grumbled we started to rearrange things in his home to make it safer and more convenient for him to access those things he used on a daily basis. Even though he is only in his late sixties it was necessary to install grab bars in his shower and by the toilet more for convenience right now than necessity. With aging knees it is often difficult for him to raise himself up without extra support.
If you begin as you see the need arise it can make that transition of aging in place less of a strain then if all of a sudden one day the realization hits that self sufficiency is deteriorating. Age in place remodeling is a common practice these days. Even with the beautiful senior living facilities people want to stay in the comfort of their own homes for as long as possible. Aging in place doesn’t just affect seniors think about the middle aged who suffer from MS or other diseases that disable one’s body. A little remodeling to make the home safer and more maneuverable is all that is needed to keep individuals living the independent lives they crave.