Newsletter  /  September 27, 2016

Remodeling Ideas for Aging in Place

National Aging in Place Week is October 10-19. Aging in place means having the health and social supports and services you need to live safely and independently in your home or your community for as long as you wish and are able. The National Aging in Place Council uses this week to highlight available programs and services to help increase independent living. As homeowners age, accessibility and mobility around the home can increasingly become a burden. Using the following home remodeling ideas, and the assistance of Handyman Connection, you can plan to live a long, secure and safe life, in your own home.

As we grow older, getting in and out of our homes can become more difficult. Making the proper preparations now will help alleviate many common problems, such as not being able to climb stairs, or allowing access by a wheelchair or walker. It will also help prevent accidents caused by improper access, such as slippery walking surfaces or tripping. Making these types of changes to the ways you enter your home can make your life a little easier, as well.

Entrance foyers, mudrooms and the hallways that connect the living spaces within a house are important elements in the creation of a universally accessible home. Hallways should provide space for approach and use. Hallways are preferably at least 48″. wide, but should never be less than 36”. Ideally, all doors along hallways should be at least 36″. wide, although narrower doors may be acceptable if the hallway is at least 48″. wide. If you can’t change the size of the opening, another approach is the use of offset door hinges. Using these hinges can increase the clearance of a narrow door.

Low/Zero Entries
Older people or those with limited range of motion may have a hard time lifting their legs up and over a traditional threshold. So, modifying the threshold (step up) at the main doorway so it is 1/2″ or less is very important. There are several ways this can be done, such as replacing the existing sill or raising your porch. An experienced remodeler could offer suggestions appropriate for your home and needs.

As we said previously, removing steps by adding a low or zero entry will reduce the risk of falling and make the transition easier from outside to inside. Depending on the elevation of the ground at this entrance you may need to look at alternative doors for entry or exit in order to avoid the step. Also, any steps should have a texture surface applied to them to prevent slipping. If you have multiple steps, consider installing a ramp for easier access. Another good way to prevent falls if you have multiple steps into your home is installing a handrail on both sides of the steps. Ensuring that your sidewalk is wide enough, slip resistant and free of tripping hazards will help keep occupants safe. If the sidewalk is prone to be slippery or is uneven in places, you should consider having a textured surface applied to it. Also, cracked and/or uneven sidewalks can be major tripping hazards. Have a contractor look at issues like these to enhance your ability to safely enter your home.

Space doesn’t get more personal than the bathroom. You use it countless times every day. It should be comfortable, attractive and safe:

  • Building a roll-in shower with multiple shower heads (height adjustable handheld shower head and fixed)
  • Lowering the bathroom sink and making sure there’s proper knee clearance
  • Installing an elevated toilet
  • Installing grab bars

To increase safety and accessibility in your master bedroom, you should consider making the following home modifications:

  • Ensuring there’s ample maneuvering clearance
  • Building a walk-in closet with storage at differing heights
  • Installing rocker light switches that are easier to turn on compared to a more common flip switch

If you love to cook, but find it difficult to bend over, or if you have a height limitation, there are numerous steps you can take to modify your kitchen to make it more “user-friendly,” such as:

  • Varying the height of countertops
  • Installing a sink with knee clearance
  • Installing a raised dishwasher
  • Lowering cooking surfaces
  • Mounting a wall oven or microwave at reachable heights
  • Making sure there’s an abundance of storage space within reach
  • Providing a desk/work area with knee clearance

Owning a home can present many challenges that can be overwhelming for today’s aging homeowners. If you’re looking for an affordable and experienced company to turn to for your home remodeling and maintenance tasks, call Handyman Connection. We offer quality service that’s done right the first time. Call us today for a free, no-obligation project estimate.

FREE Project Consultations & Estimates!

Get a Free Estimate

Our craftsmen are here for you.
Get started today