Improving Quality Of Life With Age In Place Upgrades

The first visions that goes through your head when I mention a terms such as home renovation or home remodel is probably of a room addition or kitchen renovation.  However, the one major home renovation on the rise here in Michigan has nothing to do with either of them yet all to do with the aging demographic.   Modernizing a home for age in place living is easier than ever with contractors specializing in handicap construction popping up everywhere.


An age in place remodeling project begins when a family brings in an older relative to live with them and their mobility needs have to be met.  Also, some aging individuals choose to remain in their own home and need accommodations set in place to ensure maximum safety as well as functionality.  The questions still remain the same in either circumstance; how do you achieve maximum functionality in the home, keeping your loved one safe in the most cost effective manner.


Beginning any age in place remodeling one thing to keep in mind is the future of the home.  At some point the house will need to be sold.  With this in mind all upgrades and changes should be consistent with the style of the home, add safety and allow for an individual to function independently.  Some general suggestions to accommodate physical changes that occur to the body as we age are as follows:


  • When initially remodeling your home make it so everything you need is accessible on one floor or accommodate a chair lift in the design.  Ranch level homes are most adequate for maneuverability of individuals throughout.  With a few simple modifications to allow for easier access, multi-level homes can function quite nicely as well for aging individuals or for those with handicaps that limit them in terms of mobility.
  • Doorways can be easily widened when upgrading old doors throughout the home.  Wider doorways ease access for wheelchair users, walkers and canes.  This type of modification will blend into the home and not pop out as an age in place renovation.  This type of renovation is best for resale.
  • Plan for entry into the home using a porch that includes a wheelchair access ramp.  As we age this is helpful for individuals whose knees don’t function like they used to or those using a device to help with their mobility.  Most wheelchair ramps can be built as a permanent structure onto the home or as a temporary structure depending on the desired need.
  • Think ahead as much as possible.  If an individual is in their late forties, early fifties and in the midst of having a bathroom remodel or kitchen renovation it is time to begin thinking about adding in place features to help for aging. Items such as bathroom grab bars, barrier free showers or storage in a kitchen within an optimal reach zone or drawers instead of cupboards.  These are all easy adjustments to make when planning for major room renovation.
  • Another easy transformation is adding levers or pulls instead of knobs.  This is an easy addition to any door or cupboard.  This is also a way to add style to a home.  The variety of colors, textures and styles of levers and pulls available add to the style of any home.
  • Flooring renovations are another area that help with age in place movement and increase a home’s attractiveness.  Carpet is often difficult for walkers and wheelchairs to maneuver. The installation of hardwood flooring or flooring renovations that include smooth surfaces will greatly improve the quality of movement and decrease the risk of falls.


A few easy age in place renovations can add up to a safe place for individuals to age in place.  If you are making accommodations in your home for a loved one it is possible to add safety without taking away the style of your home.  Renovations are no longer bulky and out in the open.  Handicap construction in 2012 leaves individuals unable to recognize anything other than stylish updates to a home.


Prevent Accidents By Creating A Secure Barrier Free Home

Handicap construction including barrier free living is becoming the latest trend in senior care.  Creating a space that allows individuals with special needs to live independently and in a safe environment is the goal for many of us with aging seniors and loved ones who have any sort of handicap.  One of the biggest problem areas in any home for accidents is the bathroom.

Planning for a handicap accessible bathroom is incredibly important in age in place bathroom remodeling.  When considering the next step don’t overlook how important ease of access is when considering the shower or bath tub unit.  It is easy to overlook but when dealing in handicap construction is an important piece of the puzzle to consider in the overall bathroom design.

Individuals met with mobility challenges require tweaking in construction design however still want the same things people without a challenge want; independence and privacy.  The goal in using bathroom safety aides is to create this private, independent space for their use.  Thankfully technology today gives us access to bathroom aides that are designed with the use of a walker, wheelchair or scooter device in mind.

Think about when individuals are in need of using a wheelchair on a regular basis.  In handling the details involved in handicap construction you must make sure each room is easy to access.  This means that doorways need to be wider than a standard door.  The ADA standard requires a thirty six inch door opening as a minimum requirement for doorway access.  Hallways should easily accommodate with a minimum width of forth eight inches.   When measuring for handicap constructions take into consideration the turn radius of a wheelchair as well.  A wheelchair should easily be able to turn out of the bathroom.

Showers that are handicap accessible offer an environment that is comfortable and secure making the showering experience an independent experience.  When constructing a bathroom to accommodate handicap mobility need there are certain key features to remember.  One of these is adding seating to the shower area.  The idea is to create a barrier free shower with easy access for the wheelchair to be moved in and out.  Adding a built in seat will ensure safety and ease of transfer.  It is also important to consider adding multiple grab bars and convenient shelving for bath care items.  Keeping items in reach allow individuals to accommodate their own showering needs without requiring assistance.  This is something we all value but are especially grateful for when it is easy.

The toilet is another item to consider in a handicap construction bathroom remodel.  This is something many of us take for granted: the ease of getting up from the toilet.  In handicap construction it is important not to miss this element.  Install a toilet that is meant specifically for individuals with mobility needs.  The ADA recommends the use of toilets that are higher or the installation of a chair to be used over the toilet.  Also mount grab bars close to individuals to use to transfer on and off the commode.   Consider the level of the sink, soap and hand towels too.

When considering a handicap construction bathroom remodel to help your aging senior or handicap loved one involve them in the process.  The individual will be the best source of information as far as what will ease their life and create an independent environment.


Simple Tips On How To Slow Down Aging

Aging is something that is unavoidable and many people do not look forward to it. There are many stereotypes about aging that are incorrect. Aging can be an enjoyable process if you learn how to embrace it.  By making simple changes to the life you are already living you can even stay in your home and age in place.  This article will give you some tips to help you enjoy the aging process, instead of dreading it.


A way to slow the aging process is to find meaning in your life. Having the feeling that someone expects you to be somewhere on a weekly basis, that you have friends that count on your or that you have a teen that looks to you for guidance can be the inspiration you need to want to live longer. Get involved in groups that travel or senior center activities.  Invite friends over for dinner and cards.  It is best to keep a balance between bringing life into your environment and getting out.


If you want to live longer and lead a healthy life, get out and walk. The guide to walking is to walk five thousand to ten thousand steps on a daily basis. Get an inexpensive pedometer to keep track of your steps and get out and walk. You don’t have to be an experienced marathon runner to enjoy the benefits of good health. Add a friend into the mix and walking becomes a great social outlet.  The main objective is to keep your mobility.  Having the ability to get around helps seniors to live independently longer.  If aging in place is important to you because an assisted living facility is not your idea of fun then make sure you are leading an active lifestyle.


A tip to keep your skin on top of its game is to lather sunscreen to help prevent the aging of your skin. The sun is spreading hazardous UV radiation, which can dramatically damage your skin and cause lines, wrinkles, and even skin cancer. To prevent this radiation from getting to your skin, wear sunscreen protection or wear enough clothing to protect yourself. Even on cloudy days, the rays can penetrate the clouds.


Each night, sleep a minimum of 7 to 9 hours. Insufficient sleep can lead to diseases from depression to heart disease, and has been linked to cancer. Exercise helps. Some doctors recommend melatonin (a hormone produced in humans by the pineal gland) or L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea. See an age management physician for advice on leading and maintaining a healthy lifestyle as your needs change.  It is hard to face the facts but your needs medicinally will need to be revamped and geared toward aging to prevent small issue leading into something more.


Keeping mentally active will help one to age gracefully. Mental activities take longer as we grow older, but just like a muscle, the brain can be kept fit with activity. Some popular pastimes which encourage mental activity are suduko and crossword puzzles. Doing a puzzle a day can keep brain fog away.  Another activity that is fun and keeps your mind working is games on the computer or even games with the grand kids on their wii systems or x-boxes. Not only is this a great way to keep your mind sharp but to have fun as well.


Make sure to spend your days with things that you love and that make you happy. Maybe it’s a pet that keeps you going, or colors and music. Whatever it is, make your home your refuge, a place to get away from the stressors of the world you are living in.  If surrounding yourself with people is what keeps you going than you will want to make sure you are involved in social events.  If you are a person who adores your pet get involved in volunteer activities that surround working with animals.  Shelters are always in need of people to help.  You could answer phones or play with the kittens.  Hospitals also have programs for seniors to volunteer time.  Whatever you interests revolve around is where you need to look.


Simple handicap construction modifications can be added around your home to make it a safe environment to continue to age in.  Make your home easier to get around in by removing rugs and other things you can easily slip on. Place things that you use on a daily basis within reach. By making your home easier to live in, you can relax instead of struggling to do things you once did. Adapt, and growing older will be easier.  This can be easily accomplished by having a barrier free specialist to come in and access your age in place needs.  Keep in mind your needs will change as you age further so it is important to make renovations in the home with this in mind.


As stated at the beginning of the article, many people do not look forward to aging but unfortunately, it is unavoidable. Hopefully, this article has helped you to let go of some of the stereotypes out there and has given you some great tips to help you enjoy your golden years. Making the most out of your life and living it in the way you design it is the most important tip anyone can give you.

Age In Place Remodeling Improves Upon The Quality Of Life For Seniors

As we age our bodies and the things we are able to do on our own change.  This is a natural part of aging.  It does often require some upfront planning to ensure the transition into our later years easier.  Age in place remodeling is one way to help retain confidence aging within one’s home environment.  Allowing barrier free living renovations to take place keeps you in control of the changing environment, your quality of life and the independence you desire.

Aging in place is a fairly new concept to remodeling.  It takes into consideration aging adults that are interested in maintaining their lifestyle and independence later in life.  Barrier free consultants can ensure a transition into the later years that is smooth and non-invasive.  Small tweaks and home improvements can keep you living on your own longer.  Even once support services are needed for certain tasks in life if you are still able to maintain the independence of living in your own home you are sure to feel better about the aging process.

Age in place remodeling is often less expensive than moving loved ones into retirement communities and care centers.  Many home health care services are offered with the convenience that having nursing on site brings but from the comfort of your own home.  These are things to look at when considering the future.  It is inevitable that we all get older.  How we handle moving forward with the process is what will keep us growing independently.

Waiting until the inevitable happens is not the best way to approach age in place living.  As we age our balance becomes a bit more unstable and our mobility a bit wobbly.  This requires changes to be made before we take a fall that can result in permanent damage to our aging bodies.  One important addition to a home has to do with the ability to enter and exit the home environment. Installation of a handicap ramp to ease the transition in and out can greatly benefit aging bodies.  Even if you are in a wheelchair or using a walker to help with mobility, wheelchair accessible ramps can alleviate the joint pain felt from stairs.

As your home is in need of repairs and renovations your should talk with an age in place specialist to figure out exactly what changes will make life easier on aging joints and slower abilities.  Kitchens and bathrooms are two areas that it is incredibly important to be able to navigate easily and without hindering knobs, levers, draw pulls and faucets.   The tub area is another place that needs to be able to freely gotten into and out of.  Ask for recommendations as to where to begin so that your home is not transformed into something unrecognizable.  You want to stay in your home because it is familiar.  Changes should be made that help make life easier not completely transform the home.

Your home age in place remodeling focus will center on entering, exiting and moving about the home.  Your everyday life will be made simpler and adding safety features will take on new level of priority.  You will find a variety of items that look and feel like ordinary home items but improved to ease the aging process.  Toilets are a few inches higher, tubs a bit wider and lights a bit brighter but all in and all it is still the comfort of home.


Easing Mobility Challenges With Age In Place Remodeling

As expected the trend for seniors continuing to live in their own homes as they age is on the rise.  Seniors are not willing to sacrifice their independent living so easily these days.  The option of managed care, assisted living and moving in with adult children is not appealing to the aging generation in 2012.  With all of the available options within the home improvement industry to help create safe, barrier free living environments who can blame them.

Many adult children are also seeing the benefits of allowing their aging parents to remain within their own homes.  Fostering independence keeps seniors active, mobile and excited about living life, things that often become stagnate when venturing into a care facility.  It also allows a more manageable approach to caring for aging parents.  It does not become a burden to any one sibling and their family.

Age in place remodeling starts with small tweaks that can be made as rooms are naturally remodeled in the course of home remodeling. This makes the transition into barrier free living simpler.  Simple steps such as updating faucet handles as well as door pulls and levers can make accessing rooms and cupboards easy for aging hands.  Plus this type of renovation is non-invasive and really can be done slowly as home updates are being made.

It is really beneficial for homeowners of all ages to start incorporating universal designs into their home improvements, creating a unique stylish home that is safe and comfortable for years to come.  Below are some items to consider when planning home renovations.

  • One issue to consider is the width of doorways and the homes hallways.  In new construction you will often see hallways that are substantially wider than homes built earlier.  This helps to give homes a more open feel.  Wider hallways keep the home from feeling tight and closed in.  Another benefit for barrier free living is that mobility devices such as walkers, wheelchairs and canes are able to be used without worry.  The same is true with doorways that are widened.  It allows for easy turns to be made in and out of rooms.
  • Ramps are another update being made to homes today.  I know you instantly imagine hospital ramps when I say that but today ramps are incredibly stylish and versatile.  Not at all like the aluminum hospital style ramps, ramps today are made of a variety of materials including aluminum, wood and mixed metals.  Stairs can also be designed along side of handicap ramp systems as not to hinder those wanting the use of stairs as well.  It is best to make the actual step a bit wider and about seven inches high for ease of use and safety.
  • The bathroom is one of the most important areas of the home for privacy and independence.  Special care should be sought out when designing the space.  Consider adding a shower that does not involve stepping in.  Barrier free surrounds are available or for a more sophisticated approach you can use textured tiles to surround the shower areas, add a built in bench and soap dishes left at a lower height.
  • Another issue in the bathroom area is often the actual toilet itself.  It is best to replace the toilet with a toilet that is taller than an average commode.  This is a great way not to single out the user.  Many aides for the bathroom are invasive and really public as they are used over the actual toilet.  This is often embarrassing for the user.  Higher toilets with added grab bars give a more attractive, less institutional feel to a bathroom area.

There are many stylish updates to the home that you can make to improve your home to help create an independent, barrier free living environment.  As your parents start to age and you see them remodeling hint to them that some of the above can be put into place keeping the home stylish yet upgrading the safety for them.  Seniors and those losing their mobility will benefit from the unsterile look and feel of their home.

Preparations For The Home When Caring For Aging Parents

With the costs associated with various assisted living communities and retirement facilities it is becoming infeasible to consider this option for many seniors.  There is a rise of seniors aging in place, continuing to live within their homes with modifications, and moving in with their adult children to care for them.  With this rise in at home care there are certain adjustments to the home that need to be made to ensure the safety of elderly parents.

Whether you are moving your parents in to your home or they are staying in theirs things to consider change as they grow even older.  At first it might not be apparent that an adjustment in how they enter and exit the home is needed.  However as they age and their needs change it is possible that the entrance will need to be equipped with a handicap accessible ramp.  These ramps can be temporary or permanent and come in a variety of materials. You can purchase custom aluminum wheelchair ramps or have a custom built wooden handicap ramp installed.  Handicap ramps allow seniors ease of access whether on foot, using a walker, cane or in a wheelchair.

Another area of great concern for aging parents is the bathroom area.  Privacy is still a large concern for them and this space should allow for independent ease of access.  There are several ways to update accessibility in a bathroom wither permanent or temporary.  If you are looking to make permanent changes a barrier free shower with a seating area is a wonderful upgrade.  Another upgrade that needs to be made is the use of grab bars and safety rails.  It is also important to install a raised toilet or raised seat over the toilet.  Getting up from a seated position is difficult as we age. Remember space around the sink needs to be easily accessed as well.

If an aging parent is moving into your home consider it is imperative to set up a space for them to escape to.  Remember aging does not come easily for them either.  They have become set in their ways and adjusted to quiet and personal space; moving in with an adult child was not what they had planned either.  Turn a larger room in the home into a bedroom area with seating, a television, phone and possibly a small refrigerator.  This way when they are ready to retreat they are able to.

It is important to make sure the home is as free of hazards as possible.  Mobility issues become ever more visible as we age.  Throw rugs and rough transitions can all turn into tripping dangers. This is even truer if a walker is in use within the home.

Aging in place is an incredibly common option in elder care nowadays.  If you know this is what you are hoping for when it comes to your loved ones consider guiding their home renovations in this direction as they begin to age within their own homes.  The same will be true within your own space. If you know a parent living with you is in the cards eventually it is best to make the small changes and upgrade gradually as you are renovation currently.

Barrier free home renovations are a valuable when it comes to the resale value of a home as well. The accommodations that can be made within the space are incredible and can be done without bring attention to the fact they are being done for elder care.  Age in place modifications can be done in a sleek, custom manner that prevents the home from looking as if it is a care facility.  It is amazing what a licensed professional in barrier free remodeling can do to transform your accommodations for elder care.



Reason To Hire A Handicap Accessible Ramp Installation Professional

Adding a handicap accessible ramp to your home is a project best left to the pros.  This is true whether you are looking to put in place a custom wood ramp designed with a current porch space in mind or a more temporary aluminum ramp solution.  Handicap ramp installation is a job for the professionals.  It is difficult to properly install and build a handicap accessible ramp without complete knowledge of what needs to done.  This helps to maximize the ramps usability and safety for the user.

When a handicap ramp contractor first meets with you to talk about what your need is in regards to adding a ramp onto the entrance they will already be well aware of the ADA requirements.  This can be tricky for an amateur ramp designer.  The other thing that professionals bring to the table is that they are well versed in the laws surrounding the addition of a ramp to the home.  They have experience working with the city and will be able to determine right away if the site is compatible with certain designs and if not will be able to suggest what will work.

Professional ramp contractors come to the home with the necessary skills to start planning for the ramp.  Many do it yourself type people rely on the “wing it” method.  This will not work in regards to a handicap ramps and the safety of your loved one.  Ramps installers come prepared to put a drawing together of what is needed.  They also take into account when digging is required and are able to notify the proper authorities to get the property surveyed for gas lines, power lines and other electrical wires.

Handicap ramps are a bit tricky to design and implement.  When they are being designed around an existing dwelling it is especially difficult.  Professionals are able to look at the details in regards to the wheelchair accessible ramp and design it with the ADA guidelines for the maximum run length, landing space, leveling, hand rail requirements and minimum and maximum widths of openings and landings. This is a lot of information for a novice to perfect for inspectors who will be ensuring the viability of the ramp.

Budgeting is also something to consider when looking at having a ramp installed.  Professional ramp installation companies will give you multiple quotes to consider before settling in on a particular type.  Remember, certain materials will need more care to maintain.  If you are considering a wooden handicap ramp to be installed it will need to be treated and cared for after the initial installation.  Also consider if your area is wet or snowy you will have to accommodate with traction at key points throughout the ramp.

Having a ramp installed on your home is a new adventure for most homeowners.  If you are unsure of exactly what you are looking for as the installers for pictures of work that has previously been done by him for inspiration.  Homeowners can also seek ideas from neighbors who have had ramps built.  Ramps are a project often too complicate for the average homeowner.  Seriously consider hiring a professional in for this age in place renovation.


Helping Seniors Age With Grace

The key to aging is an old age mystery to many including how to go about it gracefully without becoming needy upon others.  Many people fail to do this for one reason or another.  Sometimes illness strikes, often times an injury happens and frequently aging just becomes overly strenuous for individuals.  The secret is to manage aging with grace and dignity all while keeping yourself happy, healthy and living independently.  In the article below you will find some tidbits to help you along the way.

The first tip is to start with your home.  I know this is a weird aging tip however this is one that will truly pay off in the long run saving you on accidental falls and independent living.  This process should start when as you remodel the home you are in as your children start leaving the nest.

When you begin to start remodeling spaces throughout the home start putting in place age in place solutions such as barrier free showers and increase doorways widths.  This will benefit you as it becomes necessary to use devices to help your mobility such as walkers and wheel chairs.  Simple steps such as removing throw rugs can help prevent tripping. All these steps help with aging mobility and keeping you safe as you age. Age in place remodeling is my number one tip to staying youthful and preventing aging disabilities.

Another thing you can do to help slow down aging or make it more bearable is to keep fit and remain active.  Not only will remaining fit and active help with the challenges in mobility as we age but also will help keep your mind focused.  Exercise also helps to keep you feeling well and looking your best at any age but is especially important in the aging process.   Pick one activity you love, maybe it is hiking or playing tennis and get out there and enjoy it with friends.

Eating right is another huge step in the right direction to help individuals age well.  Choose foods with increased vitamins and substantial quality staying away from sugar and foods with a high fat content.  Think about possibly growing your own garden.  Organic food is incredibly healthy and gardening is a terrific way to stay youthful and active.

One part often overlooked when it comes to aging is mental stability.  This is so important when it comes to aging.  Mobility is needed but without your mind being healthy life becomes increasingly difficult.  This can be accomplished in a variety of ways.  Many people start doing puzzles and playing games that involve strategy.  Starting hanging out with the grandkids as they play the wii.  The wii is a terrific console that combines the mind and body.  Keeping your mind sharp will help you through the aging process as well.

The last thing we want as we age is to become a burden to ourselves, our family or our friends.  It is important to age with dignity and to keep independent for as long as one possible can.  This presents a variety of challenges, some of which I addressed above, that can be conquered with the motivation to age gracefully.


Barrier Free Living Tips For All Seniors

What is the number one rule seniors give when asked why they want to stay living within their own home?  Would you be surprised if I told you the main reason is so that they do not want to live with anyone or anywhere that they aren’t living by their own rules. If you or your loved one is in that group of seniors looking to stay independent and continue to live by their own rules this article will give you some insight on changes to consider in the home.

It is important to consider all aspects that will affect the quality of life individuals lead in regards to their safety, comfort and accessibility given that their mobility will become limited and may need to accommodate a walker or wheelchair in the future.

Entryways and thresholds are an important aspect in getting around and in and out of the house.  First consider the entrance to the home.  Are there steps that present an obstacle?  If so how many steps are there?  A fair amount of aging adults add a wheelchair ramps on to existing porches to ease the entry and exiting of the home.  Aluminum handicap ramp installers can add ramps on to most an existing space to add safety to coming and going once mobility is limited to wheelchairs, walkers or just to ease the wear knees take using steps.

Look at the entry to the garage and the amount of room for exiting the vehicle.  An automatic garage door opener should be put into place for ease of use and security.  Having a garage that is accessed via remote allows for the senior to enter the garage without exiting the car and then close the garage before exiting the car.  This offers security and convenience to aging adults.

Another space to consider is the bathroom.  So many age in place modifications can take place to make the bathroom a safer place for individuals loosing mobility and muscle control.  Grab bars are an essential in the shower and around the toilet area.  If possible a barrier free shower should be installed that allows access without having to step over a barrier.  Also increased toilet height makes it easier to get on and off of the toilet for individuals with weaker muscles.

Bedrooms are a place where extra space and a minimalistic approach to furniture should be taken.  A bed with ample space on either side and of the bed to get in and out easily and have room for walkers and wheelchairs once they are needed, if they are needed.  Make sure lighting is well within arm’s reach and that the closet and drawers have pulls which allow them to be easily opened.

Check the outside of the house as well.  Make sure lawn care is easily maintained or hire a company that can come in and take care of these jobs when it becomes too much to handle and take care of properly.  In a recent study taken by the AARP, eighty two percent of individuals want to remain within the comfort of their own homes for as long as they possibly can.  If you or someone you love wants to stay living in their home these tips and more can make the home the safest possible place for aging.


Important Issues To Face With Aging In Place Safety

When it comes to the aging population and the issues they face many come to mind that are worthy of upgrading but two in particular that are important to consider immediately.  The installation of bathroom safety features such as a barrier free shower and grab bars as stabilizers as well as having an aluminum handicap ramp installation service company to install a ramp designed for your home and porch.

The most important matter in ageing in place is to create the safest environment possible for loved ones. A barrier free shower allows for an individual’s privacy and safety needs to be met.  Often barrier free showers accommodate walking aides such as wheelchairs & walkers and offer seating to accommodate legs that cannot stand long.  The shower head is one that can be removed and held by hand to reach those hard to get spots and be within reach of the individual.

Aluminum handicap ramp installation to the homes porch and entrances is important to allow the freedom of entering and exiting the home without barriers even when assisted with walking aides such as a walker, cane or wheel chair.  Aging in place is all about creating a space that allows for freedom and safety.  Consider these two options when looking at ways to upgrade the space in which you or your loved one with age within.