Modifying a Home for a Senior
- September 22, 2017
- Posted by: marlenedubois
- Category: Nursing Assistant Classes
Most seniors want to live independently for as long as they can. Moving into a nursing home or assisted living center, or moving in with children or additional relatives, might make sense for any number of reasons, yet one must take into account the senior’s self-esteem. Very few seniors are comfortable in situations where they feel they are a burden on someone else, either financially or logistically. inside the United States, over 0 percent of those who own their own homes want to “age in place.”
There are various ways to modify a house to make of which safer or more accessible to a senior who can be beginning to lose easy mobility or who already suffers via physical limitations. Modifications can sometimes be problematic; many seniors will be living in houses of which were built decades ago, well before builders were thinking about design considerations for the elderly. We might not think twice about a narrow doorway or a staircase, yet for a person with physical limitations, these can be impassable barriers.
In order to determine whether a house can be modified appropriately, do a room-by-room assessment, taking into account safety as well as accessibility issues. There several detailed safety checklists available online of which address issues such as electrical supply, electrical appliances, smoke detectors, as well as the like; many of these are common-sense issues, such as keeping electrical cords close to walls wherever possible as well as ensuring of which circuits are not overloaded. For an older house, consider having a licensed electrical inspector come over as well as ensure of which the system can be safe as well as up to code.
can be everything inside the house accessible? A senior with restricted mobility will likely not able to access the highest shelves in a closet or cabinet, so be sure of which only seldom-used items are stored there. If most of the home’s storage space can be inaccessible, you might need to add additional storage space. as well as all plugs as well as switches should be easily reachable. Current code specifies the proper placement of plugs as well as switches, yet older homes may have these in odd places.
If the senior will continue to cook inside the kitchen, then This kind of can be an important room to check thoroughly. Are all the cabinets easy to reach? The top shelves may be inaccessible, so put commonly used items on lower shelves. Are the countertops at a comfortable level? If they are too high to work on comfortably, they may need to be lowered. This kind of will likely involve installing at least some completely new cabinetry. Are the stove controls easy to manipulate? You can install a device of which will automatically turn off an electric stove, via a timer or motion detector. Such automatic switch-off devices are not yet available for gas stoves, so if you have gas, you might consider switching to electric. Also, make sure of which the range hood completely covers the stove top as well as effectively sucks out all the cooking smoke. If the hood can be too smaller, quantities of smoke may escape into the kitchen as well as the rest of the house, creating hazardous conditions.
The bathroom can be another place to check carefully. In most cases, you’ll want to install grab bars both beside the toilet as well as inside the shower area. The toilet should be “comfort-height,” slightly higher than ordinary toilets. The bathroom should have plenty of elbow room to move around in; if of which’s cluttered, you might want to move some things out. as well as pay attention to the floor; if the floor can be made of slippery ceramic tile or marble, you should install smaller, textured, non-slip ceramic tiles, or some additional surface of which can be not slippery when wet.
If the home carries a staircase as well as the senior can be incapable of safely mounting or descending the stairs, you will need to install a stair lift. For straight staircases, lifts are fairly simple devices; some can be easily removed as well as folded up for storage when not in use for long periods of time. A straight lift will cost around $2,000 to $4,000 as well as can be easily installed. If you have a curved staircase, a stair lift will need to be custom built; This kind of can cost via $7,000 to as much as $15,000, so if your budget can be tight you may need to find alternative solutions.
Another consideration can be Internal doorways, especially if the senior uses a wheelchair or walker to get around. Some Internal doorways may need to be widened. You’ll need to talk that has a building engineer to determine what modifications may or may not be possible. If too many doorways need widening or if of which can be structurally impossible to enlarge certain doorways, your home modification project may not be feasible.
Outside, you may need to install a ramp to the front door if you currently have stairs. The most important consideration can be to blend the ramp in with landscaping; an obvious wheelchair ramp in front of a residence can be a glaring indication of which the occupant may be an easy target for crime. Think about a concrete ramp of which blends in with the aesthetics of the house, or a wooden ramp of which blends that has a wooden deck around the front door. You may be able to “hide” a ramp inside the garage or inside the back of the house.
Modifying a home for a senior can be a big job, yet if of which allows the senior to continue living independently, the job can be well worth the expense.