Article written by Larry Abbott “Aging-in-Place Solutions require home modifications” published in Sunday, February 19th issue of the Houston Chronicle.
As parents age it is likely they will want to stay in their home as long as possible. Often one or both can no longer get upstairs or have loss of mobility and they may need to make significant changes to their beloved home to remain independent and safe.
According to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies only a third of occupied homes in the U.S. have basic accessibility features. Of the over 25 million households ages 65 and over, 44 percent have a need for home accessibility features. There are many modifications that your remodeler can make to a home to help with accessibility issues. If your contractor is a designated Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) he or she has been trained to be aware of these unique needs and can assist in aging-in-place home modifications, whole house remodeling projects and solutions to common barriers.
Modifications may range from the installation of bathroom grab bars and adjusting countertop heights to the creation of first floor bedrooms and bathrooms or the installation of a stair lift or elevator. There are home elevators which can fit nicely into any home without taking up a lot of space. They can be attractive, safe and very dependable.
Other modifications to consider when planning an aging-in-place project are:
- A covered no step entry
- Exterior motion light sensors
- Non slip flooring
- Wider hallways and doorways
- Lever door hardware and plumbing fixtures
- Cabinets with pull out
- Higher toilets
- Shower bench
- Handheld adjustable showerheads
- Step in bathtubs
- Additional/sturdy handrails
- Faucets with thermostatic or anti-scald controls
- LED lighting to brighten up any area
Today’s marketplace offers so many functional and aesthetically pleasing choices when it comes to aging-in-place products. With careful home remodeling homeowners can remain independent, comfortable and safe in their homes for years. When looking for a professional remodeler, choose one who has experience with your type of project. Seek out those trained in Universal Design such as an Aging -in-Place Specialist