Aging on Your Own Terms

Over the course of recent time, more and more elderly are deciding to age in place rather than spending the remainder of their lives in an assisted living facility. The reasonings behind both pathways are vast, and each person sees it differently, but what are some advantages of aging in place? How can you prepare for a loved one to spend the rest of their life at home, on their own terms?

                Aging in place is simply the act of living out your elderly life at home and forgoing the conveniences and relative safety of living at a retirement home or senior care center. By doing so you elect to remove certain peace of mind elements including 24/7 care and making sure you get enough exercise, but different people may find those elements negligible if it means keeping your total autonomy. This of course varies for different people, but it is possible to make your home safer for an elderly person who made need adjustments but still wants the autonomy.

                Keeping your autonomy is a great idea for somebody who still retains a sound mind, but a sound mind does not always mean the body is equally sound. Making sure your bathroom is equipped with the proper tools for safety is a large step in making sure somebody aging in place can do so without finding danger in simple tasks. Having a step-in tub that enables the user to remain stable is a no-brainer, but having a stool installed is a great way for somebody to rest without having to leave the tub or shower itself. Grab bars are also crucial to prevent falling. None of these options will be optimal if the user has to ascend or descend stairs to get to the bathroom, so having the primary bathroom on the main floor is exceedingly important.    

                If the elderly is wheelchair bound, having enough space in the home is something nobody should overlook. A person cannot retain his or her autonomy if they are unable to turn around in a hallway while in a wheelchair. Similarly, not having a proper ramp to get into the home itself defeats the purpose of having any safety measures in the home. Having plenty of pull bars around the house and in bedrooms can help the user transport themselves onto a bed.

                Ultimately, deciding to age in place is not always the decision of the elderly person. With different mental aging issues like Alzheimer’s and its accompanying side effects affecting most mental capabilities, living at a senior care center would be the best and only option for those affected. Having somebody with limited mental capacities aging in place would diminish the effect of any safety-increasing modifications simply because that person cannot take advantage of them properly. It can be frustrating when a person first experiencing these side effects does not agree with the decision to keep them under watch, but until a cure is found the best course of action for these people is a care center. No amount of home modifications can help in every case.

                Aging in place is an admirable and understandable decision but making sure the correct safety protocols are in place is crucial in order to make that autonomy is consistent. If you have a loved one at that stage of life, make sure you properly go over all options and requirements before deciding that aging in place is the correct path to take. Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plansage in place remodelingkitchen and bathroom remodelingfinished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/

Home Remodels for Aging In Place to Avoid Retirement Homes

Let’s be completely honest, no senior in their retirement years are ready to leave the home that they have lived in for most of their lives to move to a nursing home or other assisted living option. Your home no matter your age is the place you put roots down and have many memories that are hard for anyone to let go of just because their physical abilities change over the years. For this reason, aging in place modifications has increased tremendously to allow these elders to do just that. Staying home can come with many obstacles that an experienced licensed contractor can provide plans for a simpler way of living as a person continues to grow older no matter if you’re in your 60s or want to remain in your home till over 100.

Installation of Grab Bars

One of the most dangerous rooms in your home is the bathroom for many reasons. The floor can be slippery at times causing many falls to occur no matter your age. Installation of a grab bar could make the difference of breaking bones from an accident or being able to live happily and safely in your home for the elder years in your life. Grab bars are typically made of stainless steel and prices can range anywhere from $100 to a couple hundred depending on size and location. It is recommended to install these pieces of safety hardware in a place that is accessible before and one inside the shower or tub as well. The bathroom is an ideal area to install a grab bar by your aging in place home remodeler, but there are other areas that would be very beneficial as well in your home. Common uses for these tools can also be utilized where any type of balance is needed such as railing in the garage to help someone get in and out of the house. It would also be a great idea to install grab bars for support going up or down any number of stairs.

Widening Doors and Wheel Chair Ramps

It is common in older homes to have doorways that can be very narrow compared to the newer homes that have a standard size of at least 32 inches in width. This smaller size prohibits handicap accessibility and makes it difficult for those that use wheelchairs or walkers to get from room to room easily. Hiring a licensed contractor to increase the size of the door ways is another great aging in place home renovation. Prices can range depending on the door sizes and how many throughout the house that must be widened but can expect $400 – $800 in cost per door.

Another ease of accessibility for seniors to have installed is a wheel chair ramp. Replace indoor or outdoor steps with a ramp will make transportation much easier for older adults with less risk of falling. Installation of a wheelchair ramp can be on the expensive side depending on factors such as the type of ramp installed. Temporary ramps can range in price from $5,000 to $6,000 or if looking to have a permanent structure attached to the home prices can be more towards $12,000 to $14,000. Before deciding on a ramp, it is always best to decide on each person’s unique needs and also think of what the future may hold whether you may start with just a walker and need to switch to a wheel chair or perhaps the use of a wheelchair may be more temporary so spending your investment on aging in place tools should be thoroughly thought out to maximize your independence through out your house to continue to live a happy and healthy life inside your home.

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plansage in place remodelingkitchen and bathroom remodelingfinished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.

Allow Your Family To Age In Place At Home

This may come as a surprise to many of you, the senior population is the fastest growing population according to the last government census results.  What does this mean?  For us as children, it means preparing to take care of our parents and possibly even grandparents for longer than generations before us. It means preparing their homes for them to live independently longer and preparing ours for when the time comes that this is no longer possible.

When the aging population is allowed to continue living on their own without the need to move from their homes it tends to increase their mental and physical health.  In order to keep seniors safely in their homes as they age there are a number of home modifications that can be done throughout the home.

As our parents age we will start to slowly see the everyday tasks that we still take for granted become more and more difficult for them.  Mobility starts to decline.  In an effort to address this, simple updates around the home can be put into place such as:

  • Replacing doorknobs with levels
  • Updating standard light fixtures to rocker style switches
  • Automatic lighting throughout the house
  • Shelving that slide in and out

It is pretty common knowledge that falling is the number one accident for senior citizens.  In order to prevent accidental falls, remove all throw rugs.  If flooring updates are an option choose materials that are smooth and soft like cork, rubber, and even linoleum.  Although soft, plush carpet may seem like the best option it is often a hazard to seniors, especially when using mobility assistance like a walker or cane. 

Aging in the Kitchen

If remodeling the kitchen is in the plan take time to meet with an age in place specialty contractor to ensure you get the best layout possible for your parents needs as well as for resale value.  Standing can be an issue for seniors and therefore a space that can be used in a seated position to prepare meals is best. Kitchen islands are often used in age in place remodeling because of their versatility.  If your loved one uses a wheelchair they can easily be accommodated.  It is important that all cabinetry is in reach.  The last thing that you want is an older member of the family using a step stool to reach in high cupboards.  Add drawer’s vs cabinetry when possible.  Many kitchens are incorporating deep drawers for pots, pans, dishes, and even food storage.

Aging in the Bathroom

The bathroom is another area of particular concern for the aging population.  Take the time to install a taller toilet to ease getting up.  Replace standard shower heads with handheld wands.  Remove bathtubs and install stand up showers that doesn’t need to be stepped into.  The bathroom is one space to use special care when making modifications.  Bathing and selfcare is a very private process and is one of the last places seniors want to be requiring assistance.  Make the space as efficient as possible to preserve your loved one’s dignity.

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plansage in place remodelingkitchen and bathroom remodelingfinished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.

Home Remodeling for Aging in Place

There is an upward trend occurring where seniors and retirees no longer seek a life of leisure within a retirement community instead opting to age in place. There are many reasons that seniors are looking to stay in their homes longer including the fact that they are in better health and physical condition than past generations. Even though seniors are at the top of their game in 2019 there are still precautions to take in creating safe spaces within their homes.  Even though their health is better, aging still takes a toll and changes the way in which their bodies operate. 

One of the first areas that we like to focus on is the bathroom.  There are a number of hurdles that can make the bathroom the most danger room in the house for aging seniors.  Getting in and out of a tub, standing from the toilet, dim lighting, and inefficient cabinets.  Simple renovations can include:

  • Installation of a comfort-height toilet
  • Putting in place grab bars
  • Replacing standard tubs with step-through tubs or showers without a curb
  • Add sliding shelves under bathroom sinks for easy access to products kept under the sink

Stairs also create a challenge for aging family member inside and outside of the home.  Chair lifts make two story homes doable for seniors that have trouble navigating the stairs.  Exterior ramps can be installed to make entering and exiting the home safer.  Handicap ramps can be installed either permanently or temporarily and can be made from a number of materials from wood to aluminum. 

Another major issue that is present for seniors that choose to stay in their homes as they age is the issue of lighting.  Aging causes changes in vision and make it hard to see when the natural light is not present such as in the evening.  With the installation of light switches that light up at night and motion-activated lights, it is easier for seniors to move about even when it is dark out.

Age in place remodeling, otherwise known as universal design, is making it possible for seniors to stay in their homes longer.   Universal design creates an environment using products that offer safety and comfort to people of all abilities without further need for adaptation.  Glen Miller the Home Doctor has been installing wheelchair accessible ramps, renovating bathrooms, adding additional lighting, and creating safe homes for seniors and those with mobility issues. 

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plansage in place remodelingkitchen and bathroom remodelingfinished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.