The Benefits Of Aluminum Handicap Ramps

If you or someone you care for using a wheelchair, walker or scooter for mobility than a handicap ramp is an absolute necessity for your home.  The most desirable ramp is not only based upon initial costs but consider the big picture. When installing a ramp consider that it will need to be maintained as well as need to be adjusted from time to time as well as possibly removed at some point.  The ramp may not be a structure that is meant to be permanent.  This will all play a role in the type of accessible ramp you choose for your home.

Aluminum Handicap Ramps

I personally think it is best to look at all the advantage that aluminum handicap ramps posses when determining what style ramp to use for you or your loved one to enter and exit the home environment.

1)      Aluminum handicap ramps can be incredibly versatile.  Any type of landing can be accommodated with an aluminum ramp.  This is also true if the ramp needs to be re-configured later on down the road should you move or need to change the place the ramp is installed at.

2)      Handicap ramps that are aluminum are durable and strong.  This quality exists even though they are lightweight.  Another benefit that comes with this lightweight durable material, aluminum, is that the upkeep and maintenance is non-existent. Wooden handicap ramps, although beautiful, are difficult to maintain.

3)      Aluminum handicap ramp installation is cheaper as the time required to build and install these ramps is half that of wooden ramps.  The other benefit is that often a permit does not need to be pulled to add on an aluminum handicap ramp where as a wooden ramp requires building permits and inspections.  It is best to check with your local government offices to determine if a permit is required.

4)      Whatever your need be it a modular ramp, a folding ramp or a ramp to rent aluminum handicap ramps have an option available for you.   That is another benefit of aluminum handicap ramps is that there is always one to meet your need.

A professional handicap ramp installation expert will evaluate your home to help you determine exactly what you need and the best route to go when purchasing a ramp that meets all of your or your loved ones needs.


Home Safety Modifications For The Physically Limited To Age In Place

It is clear that as individuals age there is a physical limit to things that they can continue doing.  Often they find it hard to give in to the fact that their bodies are aging and along with that their mobility and stability changes.  Simple tasks that they used to take for granted become less tolerable and the difficulties of just daily tasks become overwhelming.  Simple home remodeling can be done in order to keep aging in place seniors safe.

Handyman services are available in almost any area.  It is not necessary to call in a contractor for most home safety modifications for seniors.  It is however important to find an individual who is licensed and able to do handicap construction.  Individuals will want to find an accessible living solutions company that will come in and access the current home environment and suggest possible pitfalls that need attention.  This will help to ensure that no corner is unturned leaving loved ones safe at home.

The first home safety modification for seniors that is important as they start to lose a bit of their mobility is an easier exit and entrance into the home.  Wheelchair ramp installation is amongst the most common modification done today.  Most handyman service professionals will come evaluate the exits and entrances and draw up several plan options.  This is important to many seniors who still wish to have a porch that is accessible with both stairs and the wheelchair ramp.  It is important to remember that not only wheelchairs use this access point.  It will be for individuals using canes, walkers and wheelchairs.  Often is eases access to those individuals with severe aliments to their knee joints as well.

Individuals with special home remodeling needs are a growing population.  Handicap construction is needed for individuals who are aging as well as those with handicap needs or changing needs because of the onset of an illness that limits an individual’s range of motion, stability or mobility.  Major renovations are not always necessary in every home.  Many homes can adapt to the changing needs with a few adjustments.

Flooring renovations can help mobility a ton.  Hardwood floor remodeling eases the use of wheelchairs and walkers.  Were carpet may prove to resist individuals causing them to exert more effort hardwood flooring lets the vehicles move freely.  For this reason it is also suggested to remove floor rugs and other obstacles that could potentially hang up a wheelchair, scooter or a walker.

An area that is important to individual with needs other than the norm is the bathroom area.  Bathroom renovations are important to all individuals for this is an area where we all would like privacy. To maintain this desire for individuals who are handicap in anyway bathroom safety modifications are a must.  This can be done with the installation of bathroom safety aides such as raised toilets, grab bars and accessible showers installed that are easy to enter in and out of.  Another change that can be completed is to add baskets full of the things that are used on a daily basis.  Toothbrushes, deodorant, wash clothes and facial shop kept within a safe reach are all helpful to individuals seeking independence.

Stability And Mobility Through Age In Place Renovations

As loved ones age caregivers need to start putting in place a plan against home accidents.  Aging in place is becoming more common as loved ones are living longer and are more independent than in past decades. Assisted living a popular option also however many senior prefer to maintain their quality of life and independent living for as long as possible.  This leads to aging in place safety procedures being instituted in homes.

One issue that often arises as loved ones ages is the loss of balance and stability.  This often leads to falls that then grow into large issues such as broken hips or fractures.  The best thing we can do as caregivers is to eliminate the possibilities that make our senior higher risk.  It is impossible to offer them more balance on their own so establishing the aid around the house to offer this while removing obstacles is the key element in keeping seniors safe while aging in place.

The main area to begin with is the floors.  This is obvious as it is where mobility happens.  Observe the room.  Look for obstacle as you walk through, in and around the room.  Is there furniture everywhere?  Is it too tight to maneuver with the use of a cane or walker?  Are there rugs scattered about or loose carpets?  How about magazines, papers, dog beds and extra debris that is not necessary cluttering the floor area?  Also examine any cords for lamps, phones and other miscellaneous items often around the home stored on the floor.  Even fan and humidifier cords are hazards in moving about one’s home in a safe manner.

Now that you have narrowed down what needs to be taken care of it is imperative to proceed with a plan that with alleviate the issues permanently.  Picking up newspapers and magazines is terrific however in itself inefficient.  A place to store future items safely is also needed.  Furniture that is over abundant should be scaled down to make room to maneuver safely about.  Throw rugs should not be placed on the floors of homes in which aging seniors are living.  They are just too easy to trip over when balance is already compromised.  Some safety experts allow for double sided sticky tape to be used but it is honestly a better option to rid the home of them.  Cords should be eliminated all together if they are in the path of a walk way.  You can either remove the element that needs electricity or add outlets so that cords can be secured against a wall.

Steps and stairs are tricky enough for older adults.  Make sure that there is plenty of lighting, sturdy handrails and carpets that are secured to the stairs.  Check to ensure there are light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs.  Also make sure that nothing is on the stairs that could act as an obstacle such as books, shoes or laundry baskets.

Kitchen safety, bathroom safety and bedroom safety are also major concerns as caregivers to those who are aging in place.  It is important to make sure everything is in reach and stools are not necessary to reach higher items.  Lighting is also important.  It is hard to maneuver around a room when the light is low.  Install extra lighting and multiple nightlights around the house for easy visibility for loved ones.  The bathroom is the number one spot in the home for an accident to occur.  Ensure safety with the use of grab bars, transfer chairs in the tub and non-slip mats installed.

Preventing falls is the main objective.  Make sure your loved one is getting plenty of exercise and keeping mobility at a premium.  Review medicines prescribed to make sure the side effects do not include dizziness or loss of balance. Have a loved one wear shoes while inside is also beneficial as they offer general support and extra grip to the floor.  If a fall does happen ensure that your loved one knows what to do.  It is important to have phones on every floor and emergency numbers programmed into them encase a fall does occur.  Aging in place does not have to be scary as long as precautions are taken and extra care is given to areas taken for granted by most of us.

Affordable Handyman Help For Homeowners

Many people think the services of a handyman, for the small repairs around the house, are going to be too expensive.  Instead of calling and checking homeowners just let the jobs go and allow them to continue to pile up causing bigger more expensive issues to be dealt with later on.  Hiring a handyman is a simple, cost effective way to manage issues that arise around your house that can easily be handled for you.

Think about the repairs needed around your home right now.  I bet somewhere there is a hole in the drywall that needs to be patched or perhaps a corner that has been abused and needs repair.  This job is pretty straightforward for a handyman.  Most are able to even tackle larger drywall issues.  Drywall is a tricky issue for homeowners to handle alone.  The average cost of handyman drywall repairs is around a few hundred dollars.  The costs will incorporate the repair of the drywall, the sanding, patching and painting.

Carpet repairs need to be done frequently.  Many homeowners don’t think to call a handyman when these issues arise.  You will find that the costs are much lower to have a handyman out to repair or stretch carpet that is in need over having carpet companies come in.  Many jobs people don’t associate with typical handyman jobs are.  They are more cost effective and can handle a variety of situations within the home.

Appliance repair, painting, staining, repair of windows, screens, stair railings, tile repairs, faucets, garage door issues, elderly and handicap safety aide installation are able to be handled by hiring a handyman instead of a specialty company.  The day of same day repairs are not gone and can still be taken care of by hiring a handyman to fix the issues.

Of course, if the issues are small and can wait it will be more cost effective when hiring a handyman to come and fix the issues.  When grouping jobs together most handymen will work out a deal for the homeowners.  The typical handyman that comes out to your home and provides services for the day will run you around four to five hundred dollars.  Having a specialty contractor out will run you well over a hundred dollars an hour when a handyman can do the exact same job for less.

There are some jobs it is better to inquire labor by a licensed contractor.  Things such as electrical and plumbing issues are best resolved by someone trained in the field.  Understand when hiring a handyman that they are not all created equally.  It is up to the homeowner to find an individual that is trustworthy and that has several references to back the work up that they have done in the past.  Once you find this individual it is best to keep their number close.  A referral from someone you trust is a great place to find a handyman you are comfortable letting in your home. When interviewing a handyman don’t base your decision solely on price alone.  Make sure it is someone you can work with and that understands your wants and needs.  Also, find someone who will help small issues as well as the big catastrophes that happen as homeowners.


Building A Handicap Ramp

Building a handicap ramp may look like a weekend project but for those inexperienced in building them the process soon becomes more than they bargained for.  There are many things that do it yourself handicap ramp installers aren’t thinking of when beginning a huge project such as this.  There are things to consider before even the planning process begins.

Before a licensed wheelchair accessible ramp contractor begins the project they will come in and evaluate who the primary user is?  They will also determine what device they will need to assist them while using the ramp will be used for: a cane, a wheelchair, a walker or crutches.  The contractor will want to know if there is a chance the mobility of the person using the ramp will change.  This will determine if the ramp being installed needs to be a permanent structure or if a temporary device will work.  All while determining what permits and codes need to be met through your local municipalities.

Before trying to build a handicap ramp look into the costs of a local builder who is ADA certified verse the materials, your time and the headaches you will have once you have learned that you have done something incorrect.


Home Safety For Aging In Place

The concept of aging makes many of us think about losing independence and moving to reliance on others.  This is no longer the case with increased age in place modifications to provide home safety for seniors and limited mobility, disabled, individuals.  Although nursing homes still exist it is not the idea that first flashes into the mind of aging seniors.  Independence, freedom and safety are all visions sought out and ideally funded on the principal of living in one’s home.  As caregivers it is important to grant independence to the loved ones we cherish while peace of mind is kept that the environment is safe and accessible for them.

Home modifications are best complete in progression with the age and needs of the clients.  We can all agree that the needs of a sixty-five year old senior are different from those of a one that is eighty-five.  It is also important to recognize limitations within each individual in response to mobility and ones abilities.  Home safety modifications are just the start to aging in place.  It is also important to ensure that basic independent living skills are still properly being administered for your loved ones to not only stay safe but healthy.

One major issue that comes to mind is self-care.  If an individual wishes to remain living independently they must be able to take care of their basic health needs.  Hygiene, restroom usage and bathing all become a bigger effort for aging individuals but one that is of utmost importance.  It is crucial to be able to care for one s self.

Another important matter is to discuss and deal with money matters.  They must still be empowered financially as it does take money to run a household.  Utilities will need to be paid and it is important that they are able to independently take care of this task to age in place.  It is important that they understand their banking statements, how to write a check and manage expenses.

Home skills are important as well.  Independent living entails one to be able to cook, clean and do laundry tasks.  Basic home management skills are critical to independent living.  Functions such as turning the stove off after a meal is prepared become a matter of safety and needs to still be able to be taken care of by the individuals.

Health care issues should be able to be met as well.  To independently live on one’s own they should be able to properly take medication, make and keep doctor’s appointments, even with the use of public transportation if needed, and be knowledgeable of their medical needs.  It is important that individuals know their insurance coverage and are able to retain the information making educated decisions about treatment needs.

Another area in home safety is not necessarily the modifications but the same as with young children; strangers and the need for secure information.   Independent living means knowing the dangers of telemarketing, home shopping channels and people coming to the door.  It is also important that they are able to get a hold of people in an emergency and that they are clearly able to speak their needs and where they are located.

The desire is for seniors and those facing challenges in the form of a disability to care for them independently and age in a safe, familiar place – home.  Keeping the freedoms that exist within the home environment is important and necessary to many.  As caregivers we like to keep their wants and desires in mind while maintaining safety.



Home Modifications For Future Needs

Home modifications is a fairly new concept that has come along with the incarnation of seniors choosing to stay living in their homes in place of moving to assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Due to limitations that naturally occur as we age changes need to be made in order for needs to be met and safety kept at a premium.  Home modifications can range from replacing the knobs on cabinets to bathroom remodels that include barrier free entry tubs.

Seniors need home modifications in order to age in place.  They promote keeping independence in senior citizens life while keeping them safe. It is important to recognize that eighty-five percent of elderly people wish to stay in their homes and are doing so.  Out of those eighty-five percent only a small percentage are equipped with accommodations that will allow them maximum safety.

Homes without age in place modifications become harder to maintain and live in for seniors.  It is proven that a home that is perfectly safe and allows for independent living at sixty-five does not necessarily accommodate the needs of a seventy year old.  It has been proven that simple modifications done to the home can eliminate up to fifty percent of the accidents that occur to seniors aging in place.

The most common accident to occur within the home to seniors is a fall.  There are many home modifications that can be done to prevent accidental falls.  Many age in place specialists will come into the home and do a free home analysis of problem areas.  With this information homeowners can budget to make arrangements to accommodate their needs as they begin the aging process.  If their goal is to age in their homes and wish to live as independently as possible starting out early in making simple changes will ease both the financial and emotional burdens that can occur.

Below is an example of an inspection of the kitchen and bathroom space within a home.  With this general look it is easy to see how home modifications are necessary to safely age in place.

  • It is important to make cabinet knobs easy to pull open.  As people age they often begin to lose the strength and ability to work door knobs that have to be turned or that are hard to pull open.
  • Stove controls must all be marked with bold lettering and easy to use.  It is important that there are lights that are on the stove that signal when it is on and the stove top is hot.  This is important to prevent the stove from being left on or a hand placed on the stove while it is still on.
  • Faucets should be levered instead of turn knobs. This will ease turning them on and off.
  • Grab bars should be put in place in spaces such as tub and toilet areas.  It is also important to evaluate the area around the toilet and the toilet itself.  Seniors begin to have a harder time lowering and raising themselves. This issue can be resolved with grab bars and high rise toilet aides.
  • Ovens are also another area of concern.  They are often heavy and hard to open.  This is something to look into.  A convection oven can be purchased to help with this issue.
  • A place to sit while working in the kitchen becomes necessary.  The aging process has a strange effect on joints and the ability to stand for long periods of time.  Cutting celery and dicing carrots is made simpler with a seated work area.  The risk of falling or slipping while using a knife decreases significantly.
  • The tub and shower is a large area of concern.  A barrier free shower entrance is an incredibly nice feature to have installed.  Bathroom remodels are a common renovation for homeowners.  A bit of forwarding thinking can save a lot of money later on.
  • Water temperatures should be regulated to prevent burning.  This is something that is simple and does not require any renovations.
  • Items that are used on a regular basis such as shampoo and dish soap should be within reaching distance.  Over reaching can lead to falls.  It is important that everyday use items are well within reach.

Home modifications can improve the lives of those aging in place.  Safety is of course the main concern however a skilled age in place contractor can blend safety and aesthetics while putting in place home modifications.


Bringing A Homeowners Kitchen Into The Twenty First Century

Every homeowner has a preference in how they want their home and space to function and flow.  This is true in every room in a home especially the kitchen and bathroom spaces.  Every year you will notice that there are trends and fads that are incorporated into remodels and new construction that update spaces and give a fresh look and feel to the space.  It also dates your home without trying.

I don’t consider a kitchen and bathroom space having the look and feel of a certain time or era as a bad thing.  To be honest this is what makes a home unique.  Yes, there are times when it looks plain out dated but can easily be updated adding a few minor tweaks to the space and an entire overhaul or room renovation is not needed.

A home I recently went into was very much reminiscent of an older eighties style kitchen.  The yellow coloring, oak cabinets, laminate counters and linoleum flooring.  Dead give a ways to a space that had seen its hay day.  The couple grappled with many decisions.  The cabinets were in great shape, the function of the kitchen layout was perfect and everything was still in incredible shape.  The space needed minor updates however not every aspect of this eighties kitchen needed to be removed.

The solution was to add in some changes from trends that are up and coming this year.  Trends in cabinetry are on two opposite spectrum’s wither bright white or dark finishes.  The couple really liked the idea of a dark finish especially since the linoleum counter top was lighter and was not going to be replaced. We decided to go with a cherry/black finish and add a super glossy glaze.  This is an incredibly up to date look for cabinetry.  We replaced the eighties gold handles with some super sleek dark satin stainless steel cabinet hardware and installed a new touch activated faucet.

Another element that we added to update the cabinetry is to remove the center of the cabinet door and replace it with glass.   Using glass elements in kitchens adds a modern element and really makes the space updated.  The cabinets that had their small middle sections replaced with glass were then filled with pieces that were used often and pretty enough that they needed to be visible.  We also added glass elements in the form of vases filled with stones.  This couple collected rocks from their adventures and they were currently stored away. This gave the couple a place to display their finds while bringing in an element of nature.

The kitchen flooring is where the couple decided to spend their renovation funds.  The linoleum flooring dated the space in an unbelievable way, the material, the pattern and the colors all reminiscent of the eighties.   For this couple ceramic flooring was the look and feel they were interested in.  They choose a rustic slate tile in twelve by twelve squares.  The larger tiles looked great in their space as the dining room and kitchen were blended into one space as many eighties kitchens were designed.

These few upgrades really brought this couples eighties kitchen into the twenty first century.  The space did not need a complete renovation as the space functioned perfectly with the current layout.  Thankfully this space had good bones to begin with making this update a whole lot simpler.