As we get older and look around our homes, we may realize there are some items that are either becoming difficult or will become difficult as we age. It is never too early to start planning or making small changes to start to accommodate aging in place.
Here are some ideas of items you can change to aid with aging in place, from small projects to more involved projects.
- Bathroom Grab Bars:
One of the easiest things to do is to install some bathroom grab bars. Install in bath units and/or by toilets for safety. Please note, grab bars are designed to take one’s weight and do need to be properly installed. Just screwing into drywall would do no good.
- Counter Height Seating (also known as Bar Height Tables):
As we get older, getting in and out of chairs can start to become difficult. Consider replacing your traditional kitchen table with a counter top height table and chairs. If designing a new kitchen, then adding a counter top breakfast bar would also fit the bill.
- Separate Cook Top Range and Wall Oven:
Do you have a slide in range-oven unit and is it hard on you when you bend to get items out of your oven? Then consider changing to a cook top range and wall oven units. You can then place your wall oven at counter top height or any height that works best for you.
- Front Load Washer & Dryer Risers:
The newer energy efficient front load washers and dryers can save you a lot on your energy bills. But just as with the oven, constant bending to load and unload them can become a problem. Consider putting you front load washer and dryers on some risers. Most pre-made risers are around 15″ tall, which will make loading and unloading your front loaders easier on your back.
- Relocate Laundry Room:
Is your washer and dryer in your basement? Tired of hauling laundry up and down flights of stairs? Consider relocating your laundry room. Move it to the first floor, or if you have a two story home and can find the room, create your laundry room on the second floor near the bedrooms.
- Stair Chair Lifts:
It’s not such a new idea, but more and more companies are making stair chair lifts. They easily attach to your existing stairs and most fold up for easy access. Stair lifts are a great way to keep being mobile regardless of where your stairs may be located in your home (basement, second floor or even outside).
- Wet Room Bathroom or Low Entry Shower:
A wet room bathroom is where the shower is integrated in to the bathroom instead of being a boxed off space in the corner. The big difference of course is the level of the flooring. A wet room has no step or tray for the shower area. The floor being a suitable gradient so water drains away and doesn’t flow out right across the entire bathroom floor. Or as an alternative to redesigning your entire bath would be to replace your bathing area with a low entry shower.
- Area Rugs Beware:
Rugs that slip can be a problem for anyone, regardless of age or ability. If you use area rugs, then be certain to use something to keep them in place. You can use rug grippers, double stick tape, non slip mats underneath to name just a few, to keep them in place.The Center for Disease Control defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” for more information, see their web site: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/healthtopics/healthyaging.htm
Thinking about updating a portion of your home, then give us a call, Adams Design Construction, Ltd 608-241-9009, we’d love to help you make your dreams come true!