Whether you’d like to explore options for one-floor living, create a more open floor plan, redesign a bathroom, or relocate a bedroom, Shakespeare Home Improvement Company can help you achieve your goal of aging in place.
Aging in place is defined as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” We here at Shakespeare Home Improvement Co. are experts in the field of aging in place, and we have a great deal of experience designing and remodeling homes for seniors.
While it is never too early to begin modifying your home to age in place, the main difficulty when it comes to planning ahead is that no one can really know how their needs will change as they age. Before you begin any home improvement projects, it is important to consider all preexisting conditions or diseases, and determine how they might affect you as you age.
Modifying the Interior of the Home
There are many general modifications that can be made throughout the common rooms of the house to make sure that these rooms are safe, comfortable, and usable, as well as walker or a wheelchair accessible.
- Widen doorways and hallways to accommodate walkers and wheelchairs.
- Make sure that there is adequate clearance for moving throughout the house, and around the furniture for a walker and/or wheelchair.
- Move/remove clutter and to prevent tripping hazards.
- Secure throw rugs with anti-slip tape OR remove throw rugs altogether as rugs are tripping hazards.
- Replace knobs and doorknobs with handles or levers to accommodate those with arthritis or other hand mobility issues.
- Install cabinets at a lower height so that the contents of the cabinets are easier to reach.
- Install multilevel counters that would allow for people who would rather sit than stand while working in the kitchen, laundry room, etc.
- Add color-coded edges on countertops and other flat surfaces to serve as a visual signal.
- Round out sharp corners on counters and other hard surfaces. Round edges lessen the likelihood of injury, bumps, and bruises
- Add additional lighting throughout the house to increase visibility, reduce eye strain, and help diminish trips and falls due to not being able to see.
- Make sure that light switches are in convenient locations and easy to reach.
- Install automatic or motion sensor activated lights.
- Installing a thermostatic valve or anti-scald controls at all sinks, showers, and bathtubs.
- Upgrade to windows that are easier to open and close, as well as clean.
- Install hard surface flooring because it is easier to maneuver a wheelchair/walker over a hard surface than over carpet.
- Add additional handrails at any steps or stairs.
- Install a stair lift or elevator to make it easier to go between the first and second floor.
- Plan closets and storage spaces so that they are organized, adjustable, and easily accessible.
Modifying the Exterior of the Home
The older we get, the harder it is to get in and out of the house – especially if we have mobility issues. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure that all entrances and exits are safe and accessible to wheelchairs and walkers.
- Doorways should be 36” wide to accommodate wheelchairs.
- Provide cover over doorways, such as overhang or canopy.
- Convert steps into a wheelchair ramp – we make them 4’ wide to be ADA compliant.
- Install automatic lights at doors.
- Slip resistant flooring inside all entrances.
- Modify thresholds so that they have no lip or a lip that is less than ½” to reduce tripping hazards.
- Fix cracked and uneven sidewalks because they are tripping hazards.
- Make sure that all outdoor steps are slip-resistant.
- Install handrails at all steps and ramps.
- Install automatic lighting around all entrances/exits.
- Install lighting along pathways to help with identifying obstacles and reduce the risk of tripping and falling.
- Keep shrubs, bushes, flowers, and trees cut back on both sides of the sidewalk.
Why Shakespeare Home Improvement Co. is Your Choice for Aging in Place in Lancaster County
We here at Shakespeare are experts in the field of aging in place. The owner of the company has over 20 years of personal experience in redesigning and renovating his home to be an environment that accommodates all levels of aging in place around the house. Now, he wants to share his experience with others to create a safe and happy environment for them as well.
Contact us at Shakespeare for a free consultation if you’re interested in remodeling or renovating either the interior or exterior of your home so that you can age in place.