Accessibility Remodeling and Aging in Place
The baby boomers are now reaching an age where we see an upswing in a trend for people desiring to stay in their homes for as long as possible. Consequently, modifications need to be made to accommodate the needs of an aging generation. Also, we see a growing need for home modification remodeling among our disabled veterans.
Thankfully our disabled veterans have access to federal resources for help with the cost of disability remodeling. The Department of Veterans Affairs promotes independent living for disabled veterans through several programs. Based on your disability, you may be eligible for a grant to make modifications to your home. One site to help get you started is https://www.militaryonesource.mil/military-life-cycle/veterans/make-a-home-accessible-with-department-of-veterans-affairs-programs
What about seniors who live on a fixed income? Remodeling can be expensive. Are there any resources available to help them make their home more accessible? The short answer is yes. Check with your local Area Agency on Aging, State Housing Finance Agency, Welfare Department, Community Development Groups, or the Federal Government for what resources may be available to you. One site not to miss is https://longtermcare.acl.gov/.
Different physical conditions require different home modifications. Even diseases like emphysema or diabetes need to be taken into consideration when planning to age in place. Wheelchair accessibility, or walkers, scooters, stair lifts, or other special needs equipment will need to be part of the renovation planning. Luckily there are different organizations for both seniors and disabled veterans that can help them plan a home renovation to keep them in their existing home.
Some remodeling ideas which help make aging in place/accessibility renovation easier are; doorways, landscapes, ramps, lifts, flooring, & bathrooms. Creating approachable entrances, wider front doors, and less cumbersome landscapes is a great place to start.
Once inside the home stairs can be an obstacle. A stair lift, whether horizontal or vertical, can provide ease of access to an upper or lower floor. All inside doorways will need to be widened to 36 inches or more for wheelchair accessibility.
Vinyl or laminate flooring is best for wheelchairs and easier on the body if a fall happens. It is much more forgiving that hardwood or tile flooring.
Even small things like light switches will need to be lowered on a wall if a wheelchair accessible remodel is necessary. A great way to take care of electrical hindrances is through the new technology available with Smart Home Additions. These technological additions can affect, lights, thermometers and door locks which can be controlled by voice activation.
Another larger scale renovation for both aging in place and accessibility remodeling is the bathroom. Open space for wheelchairs, touch operated faucets, higher than standard toilets with grab bars, walk in or rolling showers with seats and grab bars and held shower heads as well as lever handled water valves all make for great accessibility in the bath.
So how expensive is it. Well that depends on the renovations undertaken. However, according to longtermcare.acl.gov/costs-how-to-pay/costs-of-care.html cost of living for elderly or rehabilitative living can be astronomical:
- $225 a day or $6,844 per month for a semi-private room in a nursing home
- $253 a day or $7,698 per month for a private room in a nursing home
- $119 a day or $3,628 per month for care in an assisted living facility (for a one-bedroom unit)
Obviously the costs speak for themselves, the home renovations are much more economical that the institution solution.
Home improvements and structural alterations can help aid those wishing to age in place or the disabled with their special adaptation requirements for independent living. Loebrich Contracting can help with All your remodeling needs!