Planning for the Golden years!
There’s nothing worse than seeing older or disabled person unable to enjoy their home or worse, forced to move because the existing conditions are not user friendly. Elderly friendly remodeling is on the rise.
Elderly Friendly Remodeling
A home that is user-friendly for the elderly and the disabled can be aesthetically pleasing. More and more products today are designed for disabled or elderly applications and have broken the “utilitarian” design mold and are now quite attractive.
If your building a house or performing a large remodeling project I recommend having an architect on the project to think about and plan the entire space so that it not only “works” but looks right!
Elderly Friendly Remodeling Thoughts:
1. Make Things Safer
2. Make things easier to use
One of the most important factors in the design of comfortable housing for the elderly and physically disabled is the proper consideration of safety.
- Take the opportunity to incorporate such conveniences as handrails where needed and slip-prevention mats in the bathtub and on the stairs.
- Install grab bars and railings near the toilet and in the bathtub or shower.
- Install chair lifts, ramps or elevators if necessary to provide access to other levels of the house.
Make Things Easier To Use:
- Raise electrical outlets and phone jacks from 12 to 18 inches above the floor; people in wheelchairs will find this height more accessible.
- Lower electrical switches and thermostats from 48 to 42 inches from the floor; again, this provides easier access for people seated in wheelchairs.
- Lower racks, shelves, and poles in closets to make them more accessible. Make Moving Around Easier
- Widen doors from the standard 30 inches to 36 inches to accommodate a wheelchair.
- Bring laundry machines up from basements to the living areas.
- Make sure the flooring in the kitchen and bath is made of a non-slip finish
- Replace standard doorknobs with levers that are easier to maneuver with arthritic or disabled hands.
- Consider replacing double-hung or slider windows with crank-style casement windows.
- Use single-lever faucets with balled tips for the sink. These allow people to control the temperature with one lever.
- Install kitchen cabinets that feature roll out drawers and easy-to grip handles.
- Consider using modern technology like bathroom and hallway motion lights, built in stair lighting, etc.