Home modification for safe aging in place are being driven by Baby Boomers wanting to remain in their own home in retirement years.
If you’re a part of this generation, you’ve helped redefine every life stage you’ve entered. Now you’re redefining what aging, or being an older adult, means.
You may be concerned about:
- coping with acute or chronic health conditions,
- medicare eligibility for special needs modifications,
- the rising costs of long-term care, or
- remaining close to loved ones.
Whatever the reason, you want to live in your home as long as possible. And that will mean making some renovations to your kitchen, bathroom, or entire home.
Some Boomers also consider multi-generational housing. And this may also require modifications to your home or that of a family member.
Fortunately, new technology and universal design products make aging in the home easier and safer for senior citizens and Boomers alike. Nowadays, you can make your living spaces stylish, easily accessible, and comfortable for everyone.
Our Approach Is Unique…
We have hands-on experience in long-term care and planning patient care around possible progression of chronic conditions. So we understand patient safety and can provide solutions for care at home including modifying the home.
Live in Place Designs is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) contractor. When you hire us, you’re buying a professional service PLUS the actual construction.
Our expertise is in knowing what home modifications for elderly and disabled need to get done and how best to do it, not just in doing the adaptation.
Common Fixes / accessibility remodeling contractor
Empowering Individuals to Live in Place
Before returning home after a hospital stay, home modification for elderly and disabled are among the major considerations to make a house safer and more accessible. We begin with an in-home assessment. It includes a recommendation for short-term improvements and a cost estimate.
Here are a few of the common modifications for older adults that homeowners can do to improve their home for the future. They’ll help provide a safer space for the elderly or disabled:
Bathtubs, Showers, and Toilets
Replace a tub with a walk-in shower that’s wheelchair accessible. Installing grab bars at the entryway and back wall. Install flooring to avoid slips. Install fixtures such as a grab bar next to the toilet to get on and off the toilet without strain. Higher toilets can also increase safety. Faucets that turn off hot water upon release of a lever type handle are an added safety feature. A handicap bathroom remodel improves safety and is a sound investment.
Uneven floor surfaces may increase the risk of slip and fall accidents. This includes thresholds and sudden changes of flooring (carpet to hardwood floor, for example). Even six inches can feel like a mountain to some older adults with limited mobility or adults with a disability.
Even out flooring or install consistent flooring throughout the home for easy access. Removable ramps can offer smooth transitions in and out of the home. If a ramp would be too steep, a lift may be a better option. These are typical home improvements for older adults.
Stairs & Mobility in the Home
Even with a railing, stairs pose a huge risk for serious falls. They are often a hurdle for seniors with limited mobility or balance. Carpeting on stairs makes this worse. Additionally, lighting in this area often fails to properly illuminate steps and transition areas.
Stair lifts, glides, or additional handrails can make steps easier. Consider replacing or installing new lighting for seniors who have limited vision. When making home modifications for elderly and disabled individuals consider mobility declines over time.
Tile flooring quickly becomes slippery when wet. Rugs or other flooring can cause uneven walkways, which continue to pose problems for seniors with limited mobility.
Add rubber backing to rugs for a more solid floor. Look into floor treatments or peel-and-stick traction strips that permanently remove the risk of slips and falling.
Poor lighting is all too common in many areas of older houses. Since many seniors experience declining vision, poor lighting can increase the risk of trip hazards on rugs and other obstacles in darkened hallways. As well light switches and electrical outlets that are out of reach for someone in a wheelchair can be a problem.
Look for opportunities to install more lighting in corners and throughout walkways. LED bulbs are brighter than traditional bulbs. And they don’t require constant replacement. In addition, making light switches and outlets more accessible can be considered.
Over half of all seniors require a wheelchair to assist with mobility. Not many homes are built to accommodate those requiring wider doorways, ramps or even a chair lifts for second floor bedrooms.
Look out for lips and thresholds throughout the house that limit wheelchair access. Measure doorways and other entries. Increase the width when needed. Also assure that cabinets and closets are reachable.
Living in Place Designs / Home Modification for Elderly and Disabled
Live a better quality of life in your home with Universal Design.
As we get older, our mobility and physical strength decrease, we become prone to develop chronic conditions, and many areas of a home that were functional become challenging. Those who are elderly and those who have mobility or sensory disabilities often require modifications to their dwelling that will help them remain there independently.
From coping with the stairs leading to a second-floor master, to ensuring someone with visual issues can safely access all parts of a house, these changes require a physical modification to the house, its structure or the addition of assistive technology
People with disabilities need to adapt their home environment so that occupants can reside safely, perform tasks easier, and live independently, despite their physical limitations. Home access modifications can be as simple as adding grab bars or may entail extensive structural alterations including replacing a stairway, adding stair lifts, having a wheelchair ramp, or removing a bathtub and replacing it with a walk-in-shower.
Some home improvements for disabilities may use standards such a being ADA compliant, in which case they will meet the specifications of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
See “HomeFit for Specific Needs” (AARP, A little planning and these tips can turn disabilities into abilities, February 19, 2015). Simple modifications can make a older people‘s homes more livable.
Before Starting a Disability Remodeling Project
It is important to perform a home assessment to understand how a senior, or people with disabilities, use his or her environment within the home. The types of home modifications for elderly and disabled can differ widely depending on their specific disabilities or situation requirements.
While seniors can weigh the options of a home remodel against going into an assisted living facility or moving into an apartment, disabled individuals of all ages may want to remodel or purchase an older house. The renovation costs for this type of home may prove less expensive for an individual who intends to remain in the home for years to come.
Your Location matters – If your house is located someplace with a high number of handicapped or older people, such as near a good veteran’s hospital serving disabled veterans or within an area of the country where people want to retire, or even within an existing 55 Plus retirement communities, you might see more resale value from your modifications.
Home Modification for MS
Some of our clients have found the resources provided by The National MS Society an excellent booklet on Adapting Your Environment, when they were considering home remodeling. This booklet lists many practical modifications for MS and in so doing demonstrates the specific physical handicaps of the chronic condition, and how specific modifications can improve a disabled persons quality of life while remaining in their home.
Home Modification for Stroke Patients
When a stroke survivor is discharged from an acute care clinic or hospital often the home needs some retro fits to provide the additional accessibility and safety features needed for the individual to remain in their home.
What is the first room where improvements should be considered?
The bathroom. Since most accidents happen in the bathroom, getting in and out of the bathtub, we recommend bathroom modifications that include installing a walk-in shower.
In addition, toilets must often be raised to get on and off if you’re using a wheelchair. Toilet seat risers are available for this. Grab bars are also required in several areas in the bathroom remodel to provide safety More suggestions can be found in this article Adapting the Home after a Stroke, written by The Internet Stroke center.
What Our Clients Say / Testimonials
Best contractors you will ever have. The addition they did for us was so perfect, it surpassed our expectations. Imagine that?
We have had plenty of contractors work for us over the years. Some good. Some not. Only Jim and Glenn sat with us at the beginning, analyzed what we wanted to do, and made suggestions on how the project would be better with their expert recommended changes.
Everything they did came out exactly as they told us it would. All their materials were of high quality and their work was flawless.
Very competent and reliable. Hiring them for another job for the 2019 season.
Dependable, caring, experienced craftsmen. A rare find these days.
No surprises or the usual excuses. Respectful and trustworthy. Enough said.
Lori was a great help to me…. through this very difficult time and decision making she was kind, considerate, knowledgeable, and instrumental.
I trust Lori 100% with my care, so much that I have listed her as an advocate for me in my will! She cares for people at a deep level and is one of the few that puts peoples’ well-being before profit.
At a very difficult, dark time…. with little help or hope for a successful outcome… I came upon Lori. She helped me not only professionally but emotionally… with knowledge and compassion. I will always be grateful. Thank you for you!
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