Page 8 - Senior Times South Central Michigan July 2020 - 27-07
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 Page 8
Senior Times - July 2020
Aging in Place
The Village of
Remodeling Checklist
By: Glin Winsor, DayOne Family Healthcare P.C.
When aging in place is your goal, ren- ovations may be necessary. This aging in place remodeling checklist will help you get your home prepared, so you don’t have to worry about renovations down the road.
Outside the home
✔ Repairs – Any roof damage, damaged weatherproofing, rotten deck or steps, door seals, etc. should be repaired.
✔ Low maintenance landscaping – Consider replacing high maintenance flowerbeds with hardier and slower grow- ing grasses without a lot of lawn decora- tion to hamper mowing.
✔ Limited mobility entrances – Decks, patios, porches, and approaches to door- ways should be wide enough to allow a walker, mobility scooter, or wheelchair
to pass easily. Stairs should be replaced in favor of gently sloping non-slip ramps with handrails or guardrails and covered if possible. Door thresholds should not have a sudden lip or drop in height that could cause stumbling or be difficult for a wheelchair to cross.
Doors
✔ Doorways – All doorways should
be wide enough to comfortably admit a walker, mobility scooter, or wheelchair
to pass through and thresholds should be flush or gently beveled for easy transition between rooms. The ADA recommends
a minimum doorway width of 36 inches. Widening doorways may require a con- tractor.
✔ Door hardware – Replace knobs/ handles with lever-type handles. These require less grip, which is good for those with arthritis or grip issues.
Windows
✔ Windows – Windows should be weather sealed against drafts and high insulation windows installed if possible. ✔ Curtains – Any curtains or blinds should have hardware installed for easy closure and opening from a seated posi- tion if needed.
✔ Locks – Window locks should be updated for safety and ease of use.
Hallways
✔ Hallways – Should be wide enough for a walker, mobility scooter, or wheel- chair to easily pass. The ADA recom- mends a minimum hallway width of 48 inches. Widening hallways may require a contractor. Lighting is important.
Kitchen
✔ Counter height – Counter heights may need adjusting to accommodate working from a seated position. The ADA recommends a minimum countertop height of 36 inches.
✔ Sinks – Sinks may need under-counter clearance for a wheelchair.
✔ Water – Safety controls on water heaters to prevent scalding.
✔ Storage – Additional lower storage shelving should be installed to prevent falls from reaching for items in high storage or items in high storage falling
on you.
✔ Freezer – A side-by-side or all-in-one refrigerator/freezer unit can make reach- ing foods easier.
✔ Stove – An electric cooktop with con- trols on the side or front can be safer than a gas stove or controls on the back.
Bathroom
✔ Tub and shower – Make sure your tub/shower is accessible. This may mean a roll-in shower or a walk-in tub and shower combination that reduces the need to step up and over the side of a bathtub. ✔ Handrails – Should be installed near toilets and tub/shower entrances.
✔ Non-slip flooring – Should be installed for wet areas. This can mean non-slip mats or painting hard bathroom surfaces with non-slip paint.
✔ Taller toilet – Toilet seat risers are an easy DIY fix.
✔ Safety controls – Anti-scalding valves on water heaters or bathtub faucets pre- vent scalding.
Lighting
✔ Guide lighting – Lighting designed to
Mill Creek A SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY A Mission of Presbyterian Villages of Michigan
activate in case of a loss of power should be available in all rooms.
✔ Hallway lighting – Hallways should have nighttime guide lighting for safety of movement.
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• Secure entry with cameras throughout the property.
• Small pet friendly
• Individually controlled heating and cooling
• Planned monthly resident activities
• Easy elevator access to both upper floors • Library with computers available
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✔ Lighting controls – Lighting controls should be easily accessible from a seated position height.
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EMBRACE THE POSSIBILITIES
Electrical
✔ Updating – Old wiring should be inspected and brought up to code.
✔ Outlets – Any worn outlets should be replaced, and ground fault-interrupt safe- ty plugs installed.
✔ Capacity – Many older homes have wiring systems, breaker boxes, and main electrical boxes that are not designed to handle the amount of power currently used by modern appliances and electron- ics. The capacity of your home should be updated to handle your current needs but also to be able to handle medical equip- ment and assistive devices you may need in the future.
✔ Backup – Because you may come to rely on certain medical devices such as oxygen, consider having a backup gener- ator system or other backup power option installed in case of power outage.
✔ Cords – Any power cords should be neatly bundled and secured so they can’t be a tripping hazard.
✔ Extension cords and multiple plug adapters – Overloading power outlets
is not only a fall hazard, it is the cause
of 12 percent of electrical house fires each year. Have extra outlets added when updating your home’s wiring instead of relying on power strips, extension cords, and overloading outlets.
Security
✔ Alarm system – Burglar, fire, CO2, and any other alarm systems should be updated and placed where batteries can easily be changed and maintained with- out climbing ladders or arrangements made for help in maintaining the systems. ✔ Escape route – In case of fire, con- sider an easier escape route than a ladder such as an inflatable slide, which can be installed underneath your window on the exterior of your house and activated with a lever.
✔ Peepholes – Door security peepholes should be lowered for easy access from a seated position or replaced with a video system.
Stairs
✔ Handrails – Secure handrails should be added along the stairwell.
✔ Non-slip surface – Stair surfaces should be non-slip. Adding grippy, stick- on traction pads is an inexpensive way to give you traction on stairs.
✔ Lips – Some styles of stairs have a lip where the stair top extends over the stair riser. These are notorious for causing trips and falls. Any stair lips should be eliminated.
✔ Alternatives – If possible, a stair lift or a residential elevator can be installed to eliminate the need to use the stairs.
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Flooring
✔ Non-slip surface – Some flooring surfaces are slicker than others. Consider flooring that is less likely to be slippery such as lightly textured carpet or add anti-slip paint to hard surfaces.
✔ Throw rugs – The edges of throw rugs can easily cause trips and falls and should be removed.
✔ Clear space – When arranging fur- niture and belongings it is vital that you keep floor space clear as much as possi- ble. Wider paths for moving throughout the home accommodate walkers, mobility scooters, and wheelchairs while also helping to prevent falls from trying to move in a cluttered environment. A pro- fessional organizer can be a big help in getting your living space free of clutter.
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I-94 Marshall
I-69 Coldwater Exit 13
Old US 12 Indiana
9011 W. Chicago (US 12) • Allen, Michigan 49227
Allen
Ohio
Publisher’s Note: If you have a VA home loan, or are otherwise qualified, there are VA programs that can help with remodeling costs for seniors and those living with a disability.
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