While moving into an assisted living facility, or in with family, may certainly be required at some point in our lives, we’d all prefer to stay in our homes for as long as possible.
With that in mind, everyone needs to consider what their home will need as they age.
As we age we tend to shuffle along more. We don’t stride forward, we slide forward. One foot, then the other. Deep carpeting, throw rugs and flooring transitions become greater trip hazards as we age; and falls are a major cause of injuries for the aging. Solid surface flooring is preferable as we age, as there is less to trip over and it is easier to slide our feet forward on these surfaces.
If you, or a loved one, requires the assistance of a walker or wheelchair, then a step or two up at the entrances to the home can suddenly look like mountains. Threshold ramps are a ready-made solution for this situation.
After measuring the height difference between the threshold of the entrance, and the ground level (sidewalk, or garage floor) outside the door, you then want to purchase and install a threshold ramp equal in feet to the number of inches of height difference. So, a 4-inch step up requires a 4-foot ramp. This gradual incline will be comfortable to folks with walkers, wheelchairs, or just shuffling along.
Anyone that would benefit from threshold ramps will also likely benefit from stability bars. This may include railings anywhere in the home where there are steps. It would also include grab bars in the bathrooms. We generally install them by the toilets for a bit of assistance getting up and down, by the tub/shower for something to hold on to when stepping in or out, and in the tub/shower for transitioning from sitting to standing (or vice versa) if you decide to soak.
Lighting is also a common point of frustration as we age. Things seem darker and we opt for brighter bulbs to help us see better. Higher wattage bulbs generate more heat, and at some point we reach the max wattage of our lights. Traditional incandescent bulbs also cast a yellow wavelength light, which is not ideal for reading or detail work; like cooking. Newer LED lighting doesn’t generate the same heat and can be purchased in other color wavelengths – including ‘cool white’ and ‘outdoors’ – which will help with reading and cooking.
Rather than reaching the point in life where you may need all this at once, consider what investments you can make along the way over the coming years. Then, when you need these things, your home will be ready.
For those needing help readying their home for themselves or a loved one, please call Mr. Handyman to discuss your specific needs. We offer a full range of home improvement, repair and maintenance services; including projects to help us stay in our homes as long as we can.