Want To Grow Older In Your Home?
The current trend according to an Survey taken by AARP reveals that more than 85% of those over the age of 65 prefer to remain in their homes as they grow older. This is a comforting image if you can stay in your home without difficulty doing everyday tasks, and the basic activities associated with an independent lifestyle. The New York Times recently ran an article on safety in aging and gave us some alarmimg statistics. The most important one is the incidence of falling among the 65+ age set! Apparently, more than one out of four fall each year and one In five sustain serious injuries! This finding is reported by the Center For Disease Control and Prevention.
How To Deal With An Aging Population Who Want To Age Differently
The best thing you can do is to be proactive. Don’t wait until you or a loved one falls or becomes afflicted with a disease that limits their independence.
Designer, Barbara Roth, of Camille Rossy, a design firm in NYC maintains that “customization” is key. She claims these efforts can range in price from the hundreds up to $2,000. She describes a client in her early 50’s with MS. It was important to think about her future needs when standing would be more difficult. So she created an area for a stool near her stove and counter. Other adjustments Ms. Roth made included extra lighting and painting the kitchen in contrasting colors so the client could see where counters stopped and the stove top started. Blurred or double vision is sometimes a problem with this condition. This client selected ivory and white for her cabinetsand backsplash, and black for the stovetop.
Other adjustments range from moveable islands and lower counter tops to help those in wheelchairs. Bathroom renovations that are helpful are building a shower stall with a built in seat, removeable shower heads, removing glass doors near tubs, enlarging the ledge on a bathtub, and walk in showers.
The obvious benefit about gliding along as we age to a home where we want to be, is our continuing sense of living life on our terms. Another important outcome of living in ones own home is the continuous social interaction that being mobile affords us.
Other Helpful Tips
The recent NYT”s article on this subject provides some gems on easy, moderate and complex ways of fixing a home to make growing older with gusto easier! I will mention a few:
1. Use lever door handles
2. Use a brightly colored bath mat.
3. Use your throw rug as a tapestry on your wall
4. Add a lazy season to corner shelves to make it easier to get at items in back of shelf.
1. Custom build a moveable kitchen island
2. Widen doorways
- Major kitchen renovation; lowering or raising counters, install shelves that slide
- Install a walk-in shower