Aging In Place
The Human Component
Manufacturers, writers, thought leaders, and influencers are trying to tell me in a nice way that I am not getting old. They think there should be a soft and marketable way of denying the obvious. The truth is, 60 is not the new 30. It’s totally up to me what and who I am, and if I have to, I will reinvent myself once more.
As I get older, I choose not to leave my home. My home is familiar, full of memories, my children grew up here, I just paid it off, and there is no place like home. I will only leave on a gurney. With all this love for the 1600 block of Main Street where I live, I will need to put some things into motion to keep my freedom, independence, and self-reliance. I am very independent and don’t want to ask people for help.
The first strategy in your war for freedom and independence should be making your home work for you as you age. We do change, so as you start your remodeling project today you should make your house more accessible and ergonomic. Nobody has to know you have accessibility products. They can be integrated into the design without being obvious.
The Contractor and Other Experts
You should always seek an Occupational Therapist for a home modification consultation; they are experts in aging, disabilities, and understand the ergonomics inside a home. Equally important is a contractor with experience. A licensed contractor in aging in place construction is certified as CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) or UDCP (Universal Design Certified Professional). Contractors should have a portfolio of jobs and referrals for aging in place and those home modifications. This is a new construction field so it is important that you work with an educated contractor. It is also important that the contractor knows all the newest product trends beyond what home centers have to offer. Most home centers sell mass market products, not lifestyles solutions for aging.
Healthcare Will Let Us Be Active
Aging has changed. There have been great strides in healthcare and gerontology (study of aging). We take better care of ourselves; we exercise and eat healthier. We are extremely active and are not victims. We live in a world that values youth and discounts the baby boomer. Aging will continue to evolve and it won’t carry the negative connotation it once did, because we are all in it together. We have lots of experience and wisdom, so there is no need to take the back seat to anyone. We will stay active.
Basic Home Modifications
- Entrance and Exit to the Home: Entrance into the home is a key factor which includes a no step entry, gently sloping walkway, well lighted entry, widened door frame, and maybe an electronic keyless lock.
- Stairs: If you cannot afford an in-house elevator a chair lift may be a viable option. If stairs are a reality, sturdy handrails on both sides and contrasting color strips on the risers and steps should be used.
- Bathroom Safety: The bathroom is a focal point for safety since falls are one of the most common forms of injury in this environment. Home modifications include curbless showers, handrails in the shower and around the toilet, a fold down seat in the shower, and slip-resistant flooring.
- The Kitchen: It is still one of the most popular places in the home. Popular projects are storage on the first level, pull down cabinets, hydraulic sinks, easy access appliances, wheelchair friendly access, etc.
What Bathroom Product Solutions We Offer You
Since most accidents happen in the bathroom area, one of the more popular remodeling projects is the tub to shower conversion. We are offering a European Wet Room, a curbless shower for tile that eliminates the largest and most dangerous obstacle in the bathroom, the bathtub. The curbless shower expands the usable floor space and makes a seamless transition into the shower.
Barrier Free Modular Showers
Another marquee product line is the barrier free modular surround, a quick tub to shower conversion. Our shower walls are supported 100% by plywood walls that allow you to place accessories anywhere; shower seats, hand rails, grab bars. It is a customizable system to meet your needs. Grab bars and seats can be added later as your needs change.
Centers for Independent Living
Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are located in most counties and can help you stay independent and in your home. They have access to any and all services that would improve your quality of your life.
More than 10,000 people turn 65 years of age every day. There are 50 million people over the age of 65 and that number will be 100 million in the next 15 years, making this one of the largest demographic shifts in our history. At least 90% of us will choose to stay in our homes. You will require changes in your home to adapt to your ever changing lifestyle.