Sunday, July 26, 2009

Aging in Place

Barry's meeting on Saturday got me thinking. He presented a proposal for a room addition to a middle-aged couple who have an older parent living with them. They want to build what traditionally has been called a "mother-in-law" suite. We've been hearing this more and more all the time...multi-generational living is becoming quite common.
Of course, Grandma doesn't always want to come live with the family. She often prefers to stay right at home. In fact in a recent AARP survey, 79% of participants said they wanted to "stay in their current home for as long as possible." I'm thinking that our Senior Safety package might be just what folks need to help retirees "age in place." Some simple, relatively inexpensive renovations can give everyone a little peace of mind.
Consider these remodeling possibilities for the seniors in your life:
  • Add a railing so that stairs have railings on both sides.
  • Add an additional, lower peephole to the front door.
  • Add wood transition strips between rooms that may have changes in floor height to reduce the risk of tripping.
  • Add a small shelf near the exterior door to place packages, groceries, or keys.
  • Consider new appliances that make accessibility easier for someone in a wheelchair or with a walker.
  • Add recessed lights to make reading easier.
  • Add grab bars or a walk-in shower with seat for added safety in the bath.
  • When exterior steps become difficult, replace with a ramp.

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