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Aging in place adaptions and DIY
  • The list of adaptions made within the Aging in place section was pretty thorough. I think adaptions really depend on individualistic needs. For instance, I have an elderly friend whose family has made many adaptions to her home so that she can remain in her home and still live as independent as possible. These adaptions range from labeling cabinets and drawers so that my friend knows that is behind the door (not everyone can afford to buy new clear cabinet doors!), rearranging furniture so that she can get around with her walker.

  • I agree with Amanda...the Aging in Place section was very comprehensive. My mother is in Assisted Living, and one thing I notice there is that furnishings are serviceable, but sparse...plenty of room to navigate wheelchairs and walkers.
  • Agreed. Depending upon need...easy access to laundry is important to many...unless service is offered. As for ease-of-use gadgets...just about anything can be automated today and operated from a central console...which can be wheelchair mounted. Thus kitchen door and drawers can be opened from a touchscreen diagram.
  • Adding RAMPS to ensure easy indoor/outdoor access.
  • I agree with all the above. If the aging resident still does laundry then it is vitally important that a folding table and hanging stand be available. Also, remotes and phones should have the large easy to read buttons...thanks.
  • One floor living seems to be a major plus for older people who want to remain in their home. For homes with the living quarters on the second floor, there is the stair chair lift but it's costly.
  • Other adaptations would be appliances like the wall clock - large and easily visible and or the telephone with large numbers and easy instructions on how to listen/retrieve messages - in addition, a bed lower to the ground in order to avoid steep drops when trying to get out of bed. Also, a height adjusted food tray/stand so that can accomodate meals when person is not up for walking around or just by the bed-
  • nice, posts...I have seen labeling done in homes specific to the owners needs that worked well for sight impairment.
  • Regarding safety, audible security and emergency sound indicators as well as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and doorbells, I'm thinking about these systems being wired into lighting system for visual notification for the hard of hearing.
  • I in total agreement with all these comments. Especially with the open floor living concept and the safety emergency sound indicators.
  • After reading through all the comments, it seems they covered everything. I found myself thinking back to my mother's home. It would have been so nice to have been able to do some of the items listed, but she would have no part of any of it but some of the bathroom modifications. An intercom system would also be good if a live-in caregiver is needed so that if help is needed, the person wouldn't need to try and find a bell or buzzer.
  • What about motion detector light switches? I think that would be good for low vision folks. Also, voice activated switches. My Dad is 99 and legally blind. He has his third I-Pod Nano and it is voice activated so he can request certain tunes.
  • My parents are 80 and 84, still are aging in place, and have done no modifications to their home. My husbands parents have had to make modifications to their home. It is a 2 story and they sleep upstairs and have a downstairs exit. They have put a handrail on the opposite wall from the previous handrail and are talking about putting a door at the top of the steps so that his Dad will not accidentally fall down them.

    I agree that the modification possibilities have been well covered and like the comments on others thoughts. It has given me some things to think about for my parents... Thanks
  • Additional adaptations:
    Strategically placed windows to allow natural light into areas like stairs, hallways, bathrooms and garages.
    Home elevator with glass on an outside wall so that the person inside the elevator can see outside and those outside can see the person inside the elevator.
    Larger mirrors so that people in wheelchairs who have mobility issues with their necks can see into the mirror and those who can stand and do not have disabilities have equal access to the mirrors
    Varied cabinet and counter heights instead of just lower ones so that disabled residents and others without disabilities have equal access. The person needing this access might be a guest family member or friend and not just a resident of the home.
    Light on doorbell that flashes when someone pushes it so someone with hearing issues knows there is someone at the door.
    Lighted steps inside and outside the home to help prevent falls, which often occur on steps.
    Raised flower and vegetable beds for easier access for disabled and non-disabled people with wide, lighted paths and benches. Fenced yards creates greater security for residents and pets and water treatments create a calming environment for reading, meditation and practicing Tai Chi and Yoga or just relaxing.
    Stairs inside garage to basement mechanical area allows access to storage out of the weather and access to mechanicals for repairs without workers needing to through the house. Safer for residents and less dirt being dragged into the house.
    Larger garage to allow access in and out of the car and storage on the sides and back of the garage.
    Turning radius for wheelchair in the laundry room as well as first floor bathroom.
    Mudroom off the garage provides access to coat closet, shelves and drawers for boots, hats and gloves as well as bench for safe seating while taking coats and boots off and on.
    Gas fireplace with ability to work if electric goes off to help heat an area of the house or generator of power outages.
    Outside coded lockbox in case resident locks himself or herself out of the house and for emergency responders who need access into the house.
    Wire the house for security system for fire, theft and medical.
    Formaldehyde-free insulation, VOC-free paint, air filtration system since many elders have respiratory problems
    Blinds in windows for low maintenance e and less dust and dirt accumulation.
  • The importance of neighbors who are involved with the community as well as their neighbors becomes more and more important as mobility decreases.
  • Smaller yards and raised gardens make outdoor activity more limited and easier to perform.
  • As a real estate professional and designer, this was most interesting. Implemented at the construction phase, it facilitates aging at home. Also, bull-nosed edges of walls, chair rails, large window sills, large walk-in closets with rods at lower and higher levels, heated garage. Needs can be met with beautiful design.
  • The section and everyone's contributions covered adaptations very well. With hearing going as aging occurs, a flashing light for phones and doorbells definitely help. Also, my mom burned a pot into the stove (the whole stove top had to be replaced), so a siren or alarm on a stove top that senses extreme heat might be warranted. Also, she used a lamp by her bed that was touch activated, so she didn't have to search for or twist on a knob. A walker with a seat is also a huge help. When she got tired, she could just turn around and sit until she got her energy back.