Incorporate Barrier Free Construction for Aging in Place
Repair and Remodel for a Longer Stay in Your Home
Sometimes the thought of moving out of a beloved home just seems inconceivable. It has been the place where happy memories have been made, the mortgage is paid off, and it’s close to friends and family. But as the years have gone by, it’s harder to get up the front door steps, It’s harder to reach those upper cabinets, and it’s harder to navigate the step-in tub/shower combination.
Before considering a big move, perhaps some home remodel will help make staying a little easier. It’s hard to admit, but aging is a part of life we can’t avoid. Let’s do it gracefully! Implement some basic barrier free construction for aging in place so that you can stay in the home you love.
Start at the Front Door
… or the back door, or both! Safety first, right? First, consider how you get around and what needs you might have in the near future. Use of a cane, walker, wheel chair, or hover chair should dictate what needs to be improved.
- RAMPS provide the best way to enter a home. The ADA requires a 4.8 degree maximum slope for ultimate ease. Non slip is a must!
- HAND RAILS are needed for balance and guidance.
- STEP REPAIRS may be necessary if wood or cement has decayed or they are too steep. Make sure there are no tripping hazards!
- WIDEN SIDEWALKS and paths so that there is plenty of room for two people.
- PRUNE FOLIAGE or remove overgrown plants that cover hidden dangers.
Next, Step Into The Kitchen
Easy access to kitchen appliances and supplies make a significant difference. A total kitchen makeover would be ideal but may not be necessary. Consider some of these updates:
- Install full extension, pull-out shelves in lower cabinets
- Create a lower cabinet nook for the microwave
- Replace a standard faucet with a touch faucet
- Add energy efficient LED lighting under cabinets or baseboards
- Add a pot filler at your stove
- Add lazy susans to corner cabinets
Here’s some other great kitchen ideas from Better Homes & Gardens:
Walk Across the Whole Home
In general, the whole house should be free of things that could cause a fall. According to the CDC, one out of four people 65 and older fall each year. You can improve home safety by addressing these possible dangers:
- Repair or replace carpets that have stretched out.
- Repair or replace flooring transitions
- Add more electrical outlets to reduce cord exposure
- Increase light with larger windows and/or more fixtures
- Level flooring in rooms that step down
- Add or repair hand rails on stairs
Finish with a Bathroom That Shines
Bathrooms can be a dangerous place. The “slip factor” increases because of the added moisture and stepping over enclosed spaces. Add to that, the close quarters and things to bump your head on and it becomes a recipe for disaster. Return the bathroom to a safe and practical spa with these aging in place features:
- Walk in Showers or tubs
- Showers with seating
- Hand-held shower spray option
- Temperature control faucets
- Lever style sink faucet
- Grab bars at the toilet and bath areas
- Tall toilets
- Easy reach storage
- Updated exhaust fan
Check out these bathroom ideas at the Age In Place web site:
Guide to Bedroom Fall Prevention - Here's an extensive list of safety tips and tools to help seniors feel comfortable getting in and out of bed, whether at home or in long-term care:
Depending on your own personal needs, aging in place can come in many forms. The great thing about home remodel is that you can personalize any space to satisfy unique needs. A home remodel contractor like 3Rs Construction has the experience to incorporate the latest methods and materials to update your cherished home.
Put off that big move by remodeling your home for aging in place with barrier free concepts. You can enjoy your estate a little longer and add a few more memories to the ones you’ve already collected! To schedule an appointment for a free quote, call the 3Rs Construction office at 503-363-1059. Have a question? Try using our handy website contact page and we can get back to you.
Here’s to aging gracefully!
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