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Remodeling  /  March 21, 2017

Remodeling for Aging-In-Place

The passing of time is something none of us can stop.  No matter how much we try, we all begin to age and certain things around the house become more difficult or dangerous.

The passing of time is something none of us can stop.  No matter how much we try, we all begin to age and certain things around the house become more difficult or dangerous.  Suddenly, those front porch steps are not very easy to maneuver every day, or getting in and out of the shower can feel like a dangerous, slippery balancing act that is only moments away from a frightening tumble.  Nobody looks forward to limited mobility but it is often a component of aging and can make living in your home challenging.  But, just because you are aging it does not mean you have to suddenly move.  If your home has some aspects that make aging-in-place difficult, don’t call the realtor just yet.  Instead, speak to qualified contractor or handyman to explore all of the different ways you can remodel your home to make aging-in-place possible.

If you are nearing retirement or have already retired, you are probably not looking to pack up all of your things and move.  Moving can be expensive and exhausting and you may not want to leave behind your beloved home.  A qualified contractor or handyman can help you make the necessary modifications to your home so that you can easily age-in-place in your home.  One thing that is highly recommended for aging-in-place is to remove any changes in elevation which may include front entry steps, a sunken living room, or any other changes in the height of flooring in your home.  As you age, the exact height can become hard to determine and a misstep may occur and, as you age, that can lead to broken bones or worse!  If your entry has steps you may be able to add a ramp which will help eliminate the problem.  Or, if that is not an option, consider if there is another place in the home where an easy entry without steps could be added.  For other changes of elevation inside the home you can add a ramp or, if it is a sunken living room, you can have it filled it and the flooring replaced.  If you have a two-story home, you cannot do much about that – it won’t suddenly become a single-story home.  But do not worry; you can add a stair glide to your home so that if you have health problems you do not need to navigate precarious stairs.

Additionally, if you live in an older home with narrow doors it may be best to widen the doors.  Narrow doors can be problematic for walkers and wheelchairs and, even if you aren’t using one now, you may need to in the future so it may be best to make the renovation now, particularly if you are replacing flooring because widening doorways may necessitate new flooring.  The next area of the home to look at is the bathroom.  It may be a good idea to add a walk-in tub and/or walk-in shower with seat.  The moisture on the floor of the shower can feel slipper and unstable so a handrail is advisable as well.  If you need an easy way to keep track of all of these tips and know what to ask for from a contractor, the National Association of Home Builders has this handy “Aging-in-Place Remodeling Checklist.”  There are many modifications that can be made and for specific recommendations for your needs speak to Phoenix Handyman Connection and we will be happy to assist you.

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