Aging in Place and Universal Design Ideas

Handicap Corner Accessible Sink (ADA)

Handicap Corner Accessible Sink (ADA)

The latest buzz with the 1st wave of the baby boomer generation just turning 65 revolves around our ever-growing Senior population and where they choose to live or retire as they grow older. Everywhere you look there are articles relating information on the care and home facilities for our aging parents. Today family members are scattered across the country and not available to assist on a daily basis with the care of their elder parents. Long term care insurance is an ever-growing market segment with insurance and financial planners leading the cause.

Elderly parents generally wish to live in their current homes as long as possible where they have their network of friends, neighbors and social circles. Remodeling the home they live in for their limited mobility, sight issues and comfort assists many seniors with performing daily chores more independently allowing them greater quality of life. Simple remodeling solutions to current home designs and planning will make most homes livable and comfortable for many years until skilled nursing care is required.

Aging in Place Checklist

Flush Floor Transitions Wood Floor w/ Granite Tile Border

Flush Floor Transitions Wood Floor w/ Granite Tile Border

1.    Main level Bedroom and Bathroom

2.    Universal Plumbing Faucets, Knobs, Door Handles, etc.

3.    Proper Lighting for sight impairment

4.    Flush Floor Transitions and proper flooring material selections

5.    Wider Door widths and circulation space

6.    Kitchen & Bath countertop heights & reach movements

7.    Walk or Roll in showers with seat or bench

8.    Grab Bars properly located

9.    Closet coat poles within easier reach and open shelving details

10.    Grade level entrance to home

Powder Room - Hall Flush Transition Tile-Granite-Wood

Powder Room - Hall Flush Transition Tile-Granite-Wood

Current economic times and many homes under water is encouraging homeowners to invest in remodeling their existing home to accommodate their needs as they Age in Place, or should they need to move Mom or Dad in to assist with their care. All home remodeling projects contemplated today should incorporate the Aging in Place or Universal Design features mentioned above as a basic standard level of construction. Grab bars needs not be installed but the blocking support should be in the wall when the time comes. There are also many newer Grab Bar options that are not institutional looking and designed as attractive design elements. Universal design does not need to be institutional looking with the ever-growing selections of attractive products that are entering the market. Creative detailing and handsome product selections that fit Universal Design criteria only add to the remodeling project and most people would never guess that the home was designed for Senior Living.

We provide a simplified 1 ½ hour Design, Planning & Remodeling Consult outlining for you a Plan of Action to make your home livable for years. Included are Design Sketches, Construction Details (or how to build), Material & Finish suggestions, Universal Design fixtures and ideas. Before hiring the contractor start with a Planning Consult to review detailing specifics and options available to make the most of your remodeling dreams.

Office Lighting Solutions – Glare Free Work Spaces

Glare free Office lighting solutions enhance surroundings, provide for a less stressful work environments and improve employee morale.  Uplight fixtures, task and indirect lighting sources are considered standard lighting design solutions today.  For an updated look in an outdated office space consider removing old standard fluorescent ceiling light fixtures and replacing with these contemporary solutions; as with the track lighting above the file cabinets.  Hidden fluorescent uplights mounted on top of cabinets and in soffits are inexpensive ways to provide indirect light sources and add pizazz for the overall design and ambiance.