Aging In Place, Another Choice!
Universal Design and Age in Place Universal Design and Age in Place have different meanings yet do the same thing when applied correctly. Technology and healthcare have prolonged the active lifestyle and helped those living with a disability to be more independent. Physical and financial changes of the aging population affect the way homes are remodeled or built. This is an evolving territory with countless ideas and solutions to help people enjoy their homes more when the appropriate changes are made, if there are funds available to make the needed improvements.
When Floor Plans Don't fit Your Needs Housing needs change as people age. Remodeling or building a house for people who wish to Age in Place requires designs that anticipate mobility issues that homeowners and their guests might encounter.
Adapting their home environment requires a good design that will be flexible enough to adapt to the changing needs of its occupants. Proper planning will identify the multitude of obstacles that await those with limited mobility. Poor planning can leave the wheelchair bound -- or even people who need a walker to get around -- feeling frustrated due to the lack of flexible mobility within their own bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and hallways.When Your Physical Needs Continue to Change When physical abilities begin to diminish and there is a loss of their ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living), homeowners are researching Age in Place as an alternative because they want to continue to live at home independently as they age.
Seniors need more than just grab bars, they need wide showers (cut out tubs are now available if there is enough room in the bathroom for a senior to maneuver), railings for all steps, doorways wider than the standard 24”, space in the bathrooms and kitchens to turn a wheel chair around and many more issues to consider.
We understand that it is sometimes difficult for many seniors to be realistic about one’s overall capabilities (physical, financial, emotional) and their diminishing physical abilities to be able to live at home in an easy, manageable way. Deciding as to truly when it may be the best time to move to a residence community can be disconcerting.
Old Independence or New Independence? Seniors always say they do not want to give up their independence, but don’t consider that by moving to a more manageable place, they gain freedom and therefore a new independence of a different nature. This new independence is also discussed in FAQ’s. Most people who wait too long always say, once they live the difference, they should have done it much sooner. There are many valid reasons for this common response! With proper remodeling, you can enjoy an improved old independence or you can consider moving to a residence community for a new independence!
Talk to GoodLife consultants or other professionals who can explain some of the differences in staying at home versus moving to a residence community. To consider this option, go to Goodlife Communities.
To Age in Place, one must have enough resources to do the remodeling and realize that the remodeling may affect how well the house will sell later with the changes that are made. Consider your current needs and try to account for future needs. Find remodelers who have knowledge of Age in Place requirements and are good at staying within the bid and your budget. You can find remodelers under Housing and Moving in the “How We Work” section.
Here are some helpful tips from the Police Department and the County District Attorney's Office to help protect you from hiring a less-than-reputable contractor:
- Verify the contractors credentials
- Name, Address, Phone number, years in business, email address & Contractor’s License Number.
- Obtain a written contract which outlines the details of the work specifically.
- Obtain more than one estimate.
- Be wary of hiring a contractor who gives you a really low estimate to beat the competitors.
- You will have to pay some of the money up front - Customarily it is 30% down, with payments of 30% along the way, with a final payment of 10% - However, you may be asked for 75% down up front for custom marble, granite or on any customized materials used in the job - This is because custom cannot be returned once it has been made for your home or business.
- Verify permits and request a Sales Tax ID number and verify its existence.
- Obtain all Lien releases at the end of the job - This proves that all job site workers, material suppliers and subcontractors have been fully paid.
- The job site has been cleaned and cleared and looks nice.
- You have inspected and approved the completed work.
- The contractor has passed all the inspections required by the city.
- Research the Better Business Bureau for any complaints filed against the company