AGING IN PLACE

The functional limitations that accompany aging can create barriers within a home, making it less accessible and unsafe. However, with the appropriate home modifications these barriers can be removed, improving both independence and safety within the home.

 

Our aging in place services start with an evaluation of the resident to identify their specific functional limitations and adaptive needs. We then perform a thorough home evaluation to identify the modifications that will need to be made to ensure the client can live independently and safely within the home.

Home modifications should be specific to the resident. Most contractors do not offer custom solutions, instead they recommend cookie cutter solutions that will not provide the desired level of accessibility and safety.  This is where HomeAid is different. The home modifications we recommend will be based on more than 40 years of clinical experience as physical therapist and will be based on the resident's unique needs. 

Kitchen Modifications 

Accessibility is extremely important in the kitchen. After all, its often the main gathering place in the home and is at the center of many daily activities. Unfortunately, getting around the kitchen safely and efficiently can be challenging as one ages. From general accessibility of pots and pans, to counter height and distance between appliances, the layout and functionality of the kitchen is paramount in independent living.

 

Fortunately, in recent years there has been many advances in cabinet design, appliances and adaptive equipment that can greatly improve a kitchen's accessibility and safety. With the correct modifications the safety and efficiency your kitchen can be greatly improved, allowing you to enjoy cooking and entertaining as you age. 

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Bathroom Modifications 

The bathroom is where a majority of serious accidents happen within the home, but with the correct modifications the safety of your bathroom can be greatly improved. Modification such as a walk-in-tub, or curbless shower can greatly reduce falls when bathing. Slip resistant tile can minimize the dangers of a wet floor. Decorative grab bars can be added for additional safety. All of this can be accomplished without making your bathroom look institutional. In fact, with the rapidly growing aging-in-place market, products such as grab bars and walk in tubs will actually enhance the beauty of your bathroom.

Additional comforts such as a heated flooring, controlled space heating and a jacuzzi walk-in tub can turn your safe, accessible bathroom into spa like experience. 

 

  

Home Accessibility 

As the home owner ages, they may find certain parts of their home become less accessible. Stairs to a second floor, for example, can become too difficult resulting in the home owner not utilizing the upstairs. Doorways may be too narrow to accommodate a wheelchair, thus closing off a room or portion of the home. 

 

Being confined to certain areas of the home can affect the home owner's since of independence and overall wellbeing. Fortunately, all areas of the home can be made accessible by modifications such as widening doorways, installing a chairlift or elevator, installing ramps, replacing unsafe flooring, and by eliminating troublesome thresholds. 

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Fall Prevention 

Every year over 800,000 people are hospitalized due to falling. Falls can lead to serious injuries such as fractures and head injuries. In fact, 95% of all hip fractures are due to falling. Eliminating hazards that contribute to falling is one of the most important considerations when making aging in place home modifications. There are many modification that can greatly reduced your risk of falls.

 

Here are a few examples: 

  • Minimizing or eliminating thresholds. 

  • Installing mobility aids such as stairlifts and platform lifts. 

  • Utilizing slip resistant flooring in bathrooms and kitchens.

  • Installing grab bars and hand rails where needed. 

  • Installing curbless showers and walk-in tubs. 

  • Ensuring kitchen cookware and appliances are easily accessible. 

  • Improved lighting on stairs and entry ways. 

  • Slip resistant strips and treatments on outdoor surfaces, such as decks and patios. 

Minimizing the risk of falls will allow you can stay in your home safely as you age. It will ensure your entire home remains accessible and will eliminate the anxiety that accompanies the fear of falling. 

Accessible Outdoor Living

Outdoor accessibility is often overlooked when making home modifications for aging in place. However, the reality is being confined to the inside of a home can greatly affect ones overall sense of independence and wellbeing. Therefore, special consideration should be given to all outdoor spaces when remodeling a home to age in place. 

Ensuring easy access to decks and patios, and eliminating barriers and trip hazards is a must. Proper lighting is also necessary to minimize falls, allowing you to safely enjoy the outdoor space after dark.

Additional steps can be taken to turn yards into outdoor living spaces. Larger patios and decks will give ample room for seating. Sun shades can be installed to keep outdoor spaces cooler and protect against unwanted sun exposure. Gardens with seating and water features can provide a relaxing environment. And for those that enjoy gardening, elevated garden beds can be incorporated into the outdoor space for ease and comfort when gardening. 

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