Aging in Place – Are Home Modifications Right For You?

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modifying homes for elderly

Are you, like me, seeing the term “Aging in place” everywhere these days? Maybe it’s my reading material, but it seems to be a really, really, big subject at the moment, and for good reason.

Baby boomers are getting older and most of us would prefer to live and retire in our own homes instead of moving to a nursing home or assisted living due to the fact that we can no longer function because of design problems with our present homes.

Unfortunately, one of the realities of getting older is the fact that accidents and falls are more likely to occur, and with that reality comes another reality of the necessity for wheelchairs or walkers.

These mobility aids are great and are very often a temporary solution, but what if they can’t get through the doorways of your home, or what if there are only steep steps to enter, and the bathrooms are inaccessible? Even for a short while that’s going to be very problematic.

Thus, the full on amount of information about Aging in Place.  The more far sighted homeowners are examining their homes and seeing if modification is possible. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and a move will be inevitable.

Of course, the other alternative is to choose to be proactive, have your home evaluated, preferably by a CAPS certified contractor.

CAPS certified contractors

CAPS is the acronym for Certified Aging in Place Specialist – a certification through National Association of Home Builders. A properly certified specialist can assess your home to see if it can be modified in order for you or your loved one to enter and move about without obstacles, such as steps and narrow doors. These are but two of the examples of the necessary modifications for wheelchairs or walkers.

There’s tons of information on line under, CAPS certification, ADA.gov, (American Disabilities Act.gov) which lists all the exact dimensions and allowances for everything like bathrooms, kitchens, elevators, ramps, toilet heights, etc. – you can go to NAHB.org – National Association of Home Builders for even more information and help lines.

There is also a bill that has been proposed to give tax credit for home modifications – HR1780 – look it up – and if you agree as we do, sign and let’s get some resources available for those who want to modify.

The bottom line is to not wait until that dreadful accident happens and you or your one is now stuck, but to design with aging in mind so you can remain independent and active in your own place – your home.