On February 13th, 2013, students at the University of North Carolina Wilmington hosted the 19th Annual Young at Heart Social. More than 100 seniors from the community came to UNCW’s campus to socialize and dance with UNCW’s student volunteers.
Due to our local presence in Wilmington, we felt that this is one event that our team needed to be involved with – so we went and tried our best to keep up with the seniors as they danced the jitterbug, waltz, and electric slide among many other dances. In between favorite songs, we seized the opportunity to speak with the local seniors.
Meet the musician who jammed all night long, from jazz to blues and other classics – this band man was the cat’s meow!
When asked if they were married, the woman with the flower in her hair exclaimed, “Of course we are married! Look at how I am matching his tie!” The couple has been married for 45 years.
This 73 year old dancing queen was a bell of the ball, she enjoyed herself throughout the night and was an amazing dancer. Her words of wisdom were simple, “Always dance.”
Gertrude in the red and Joe in his vest have been happily married for 60 years. Gertrude immigrated from Holland in 1948 and fell in love with Joe. They both danced throughout the night, teaching others how to box step.
This young man politely asked this beautiful woman to the dance floor. She tapped her feet on the hardwood as he scooted her around. After a song or two, the young man knelt down to both knees at eye level. They are pictured sharing an embrace after several songs, both delighted!
This is Maureen Parks. She has had Parkinson’s for 18 years and can’t stand without assistance or assistive technology. Our Marketing Director, Joel Brenner, had the pleasure of escorting Ms. Parks to the dance floor. Joel describes the dance,”She was able to stand as long as I held her and we danced, she told me that dancing with me was the first time in a long time that she didn’t feel old or Ill. She trembled in my hands as the music played, and she was nervous I think about being judged, but we just made a dance out of it and laughed together. When her caregiver came to tell her it was time to go she got sad… I begged the caretaker to wait for the end of the song and she obliged. That caused one of the best smiles I’ve seen.”
“We met in Brooklyn and been married for 50 years!” exclaimed Richard. When asked what has held them together, Betty gushingly says with a smile, “He’s a really good guy.” Richard responds, “She has always been patient with me!”
It was our pleasure to be involved in such a fun-natured event that helped to bridge the gaps between generations. We saw everyone whether they were wheelchair bound or not, young or old grooving to band’s jazzy tunes and smiling. Our belief is that more needs to be done to bridge gaps between the generations. We all have a lot to learn from each other and we can all contribute to making our communities a better place. Happy Valentines Day!
We are active members of our communities. Click here to reach out to the 101 Mobility location closest to you!
Greg Slepecki, Franchise Owner and his son Brad are proud to announce the opening of 101 Mobility Pittsburgh. These Pittsburgh natives are committed to helping Western Pennsylvania families improve their mobility inside and outside of the home. 101 Mobility Pittsburgh represents 101 Mobility’s 22nd national franchise opening.
101 Mobility Pittsburgh is a locally owned, family operated business. The Slepeckis were born and raised in the Pittsburgh area and understand the unique mobility needs of residents from the rough, hilly Pittsburgh terrain. They explained how most homes in the area are two to three level homes with upstairs bathrooms and downstairs kitchens, making stair lifts a must-have for those who plan to successfully age in place.
This charismatic father and son team have seen first-hand how people with mobility challenges have become an under-served demographic. It is their goal to provide the reliable mobility solutions that every Pittsburgh resident should have at their fingertips. Greg adds,
“The residents of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas are good people, blue-collar families who just want to stay in the home that they raised their children in.”
Greg recalled a personal experience with his late mother to describe how his parents relied on a stair lift to age comfortably in their home,
“My mother was nearly blind to the point of counting steps…she would count each step as she climbed the stairwell. We searched everywhere for something to help and there was no go-to name or business for mobility equipment in Pittsburgh; I think there is a general lack of awareness for what’s available.”
Prior to joining the 101 Mobility family, Greg Slepecki worked in one of Pittsburgh’s oldest companies as the President of Matthew’s International Architectural Group. He ran seven international manufacturing plants from Australia to Canada, California and New York. From constructing the memorial for Elvis Presley’s grave to engraving super bowl trophies, Greg has been a part of it all. Son, Brad Slepecki is experienced in disaster restoration/construction with a talent for exemplary customer care and relationship building. Brad will join the service and sales teams as Greg oversees the operation. The Slepeckis are also happy to have Primio LaLama join their 101 team as the top sales and technical person. Primio has been providing Pittsburgh families with 101 Mobility products for over three years.
Brad and Greg believe that their broader breadth of mobility products ranging from wheelchair ramps to porch lifts and more, in-depth product knowledge and franchise support system which allows for more ingenuity, will give them an upper hand over any competition. This Pittsburgh duo is working hard to brand themselves as the number one source for accessibility solutions across Western Pennsylvania with the goal of becoming a household name.
Call 412.428.9485 or visit http://pittsburgh.101mobility.com/ for assistance or additional information.
According to the United States Census Bureau, there are approximately 22.3 million Americans experiencing difficulty using the stairs while 7.7 million Americans are unable to climb stairs. The stair lifts that are sold, rented, financed and serviced by 101 Mobility can ease difficulties that people with mobility challenges face in going up and down the stairs. 101 Mobility offers top quality stairlift brands (Bruno, Harmar, and Sterling), allowing consumers to choose the right product for their financial and mobility needs.
101 Mobility wants customers to be satisfied with their stair lifts and enjoy their new-found freedom to move up and down the stairs safely. Here are some reviews from 101 Mobility customers about their Stair Lift installations:
Reviews of 101 Mobility Raleigh, NC
‘Hi, just wanted to let you know that we had the chance to use the lift for my brother over the weekend. The lift worked great, we had one before when he lived in Arlington, Va. and this model is a lot more stable and doesn’t vibrate like the old one did.
I just wanted to thank you all so much for being able to respond in a short amount of time to enable us to bring my brother home for the holidays as this will be our first holiday in the new house and we wanted to host our family dinner here.’
Thanks again, Devin
Reviews of 101 Mobility Cleveland, OH
‘Joe and Jeff spent the day with my family while installing Mom’s new chair lift. From the moment they introduced themselves at the front door, til it was time to leave we felt that we put Mom in some very safe hands. They were courteous to her; informative to us; they respected our home and have provided us with peace of mind knowing Mom will be safe. They all provided top of the line customer service. Thank you!’
Reviews of 101 Mobility Columbus, OH
‘Joe and Felix arrived promptly to install the Elan stairlift. They were totally professional and efficient. They explained everything thoroughly concerning contracts, warranties, and the operation of the lift. Felix was actually from our neighborhood and Joe (like us) is a veteran. They were very sociable and are now our friends.’
Thank you and Merry Christmas!
L. and T. Kliemann
Reviews of 101 Mobility Cincinnati-Dayton, OH
Thanks for all of your help. The lift looks great and works flawlessly. Your installers did a terrific job. Those guys really earn their money. Thanks again’
“When Mom first started using the stairlift, it took a while for her to learn to use it independently. I still check on her while she is on it since there are times she is confused about the sequence and may turn the chair facing the steps before ascending when it should remain facing to the side. The beeping sound, although annoying at times, is very helpful in alerting me as to when she has turned the wrong way or when she has completed an ascent. In the beginning, one of the units was overly sensitive with the beeping and also was slightly difficult to turn, but Nate came out and adjusted it and now it is perfect. His skills are amazing. I am very impressed with both the engineering of the design and the exacting installation of both the inside stairlift and outside platform lift. Mom shows it off to every visitor like it’s part of a carnival ride. The height of the seat is also optimal for her in ease of sitting and rising.”
- L. Proctor
If you or a loved one uses a wheelchair or experiences difficulty with steps, there are now a variety of mobility solutions to choose from, including ramps, vertical platform lifts, incline platform lifts and even outdoor stair lifts. These products significantly increase outdoor independence; Yet, many people are unaware of the outdoor accessibility options available.
Gordon Raney, Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) and the owner/operator of 101 Mobility franchises in Tulsa and Dallas, has a few guidelines to help you pick the best product to meet your mobility needs:
Best for? Ramping is the most common way to address accessibility issues within the home. They are perfect for individuals using wheelchairs, scooters, or who simply struggle with stairs. Folding ramps provide a solid threshold over smaller steps or curbs. More substantial modular ramps are suggested for higher landings.
How much ramp will I need? For every inch of vertical rise, a foot of ramp is necessary. The slope of your property will also dictate the amount of ramping needed. If your property is sloped downhill, more ramping will be needed to create a steady incline and vice versa.
How will I maintain it? Aluminum EZ Access Ramps require basically no maintenance; no rust, rot or decay. Aluminum modular ramps can be disassembled, moved, and easily rebuilt should families move or decide to re-sell.
How do I use the incline platform lift? The lift includes a large platform onto which the individual can drive their wheelchair or scooter. The platform then follows the incline of the stairs by a rail installed into the staircase, not the wall.
Do I have the space for it? Incline platform lifts generally work well with larger staircases as enough space for the platform to stop at top and bottom landings is required. Keep in mind that average platform size is 28” x 36” and they fold up when not in use.
Best for? The platforms are large enough for a wheelchair or scooter; similar to the incline lift, vertical platform lifts are great options for people who are unable to independently make transfers from their chair.
How is this different from an incline lift? Vertical Platform Lifts are essentially mini platforms that lift in a vertical fashion as opposed to an incline platform lift which follows the route of the stairs. Vertical platforms lifts are generally used for porches.
When should I choose a vertical platform lift over a wheelchair ramp? Porch lifts take up considerably less space than wheelchair ramps and certain models enable the user to travel up to two stories high. At approximately 30” of vertical rise, a wheelchair ramp would need to be 30 feet long and likely contain 2 landing platforms. At this point, it becomes more cost effective to opt for a porch lift instead of a modular wheelchair ramp.
How does an outdoor stair lift work? Similar to indoor stair lifts, they safely transport a person from ground to porch by following the route of the stair case.
How do I keep it protected from the elements? Outdoor stair lift models have marine-grade vinyl seats and other standard features to withstand weather conditions. Ordering a cover to keep the lift free of any dirt or debris is recommended, especially if you live in an area where it frequently snows and rains.
Still have questions? No problem, find your nearest 101 Mobility location by clicking here. Learn more from Gordon Raney about accessibility enhancing modifications in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!
Most Americans have a destination in mind that they would love to explore. Unfortunately, too many Americans feel confined by aches and pains or disability. According to a study by Dr. Liza Lezzoni of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, arthritis and other joint problems, back problems, accidental falls, heart disease, motor vehicle accidents, and chronic lung disease are the primary causes behind adult mobility issues. However, mobility difficulties are not exclusive to the elderly community by any means. Children who endured traumatic injuries or have been diagnosed with neurological or musculoskeletal conditions also face accessibility issues. Discover how today’s medical equipment and tourism programs are enabling the mobility challenged to sightsee in foreign lands or visit cherished yet distant family members.
Scooters or power chairs are a great investment for someone with respiratory or heart problems who enjoys being on the go. If you would love to hit the road but are worried about transporting a scooter or power chair, an auto lift or turning seat may be the perfect solution for you or your loved one.
- Auto lifts and turning seats can be universally fit for any sedan, van, SUV, or pick-up truck and because they are professionally installed into existing drill holes, these automatic mobility solutions can be switched from car to car!
- The super portable suitcase ramp also works as an excellent mobility aid when on the road – roll the wheelchair or scooter out the car and over curbs or other thresholds for increased accessibility.
Ask a 101 Mobility Expert about these multi-faceted travel enhancing options!
Rail – Amtrak
As with any travel plan, time is of the essence!
Book reservations well in advance. Amtrak recommends at least 14 days of notice. To prevent anything from slipping through the cracks, call a few days before departure to confirm that all the necessary accommodations will be in place. Amtrak offers the following choices to increase freedom and ease of travel:
- Wheeled mobility device space
- Transfer accessible seats to stow a wheelchair under your seat – added convenience!
- Accessible bedroom accommodations available by reservation
- Train platforms, no problem! Request in advance for use of mobility lifts.
- If you or a loved one requires an oxygen tank, be sure the tank can operate without the use of electrical power supplied onboard for at least 4 hours in the case of a power outage.
- If you or the one you care for requires assistance bathing, using the restroom, dining or other related activities, please make arrangements for companionship.
- Amtrak offers a 15% discount to those traveling with a disability in addition to a caregiver with acceptable documentation.
“…throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Check the resorts below for ideas on your next trip. There are accessible travel options out there to make visiting your dream destination a reality! From snow covered mountains to the Bacardi clear waters of the Caribbean, there is someplace to be enjoyed by everyone.
- Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico – Founded by a US Marine veteran who suffered a spinal cord injury and is now a quadriplegic, this resort is designed to meet the very unique needs of mobility challenged tourist.
- Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort of Utah – Looking for an outdoor adventure? This full service family oriented resort features a variety of adaptable activities including archery and horseback riding.
- African Safari – Hear mighty lions roar and watch elegant gazettes on the African Savannah Accessible Safari Tours, lodging accommodations, and landmarks are all at your fingertips with Access Africa.
- Ski Resorts in Vancouver – These magnificent resorts offer a wide range of amenities including wheelchair accessible playground to watch the kids or grandchildren play and wheelchair friendly shopping centers!
- Cruise – Royal Caribbean Cruise lines provide support and comfortable accommodations for guests with mobility impairments.
- Be Available
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Sea Breeze Volunteer Fire Department is now accessible thanks to Miguel of 101 Mobility Rochester!
Last week, Miguel Millan, Franchise Owner of 101 Mobility Rochester donated a stair lift valued at $4,200 to his local Sea Breeze Volunteer Fire Department. His generous gift ended the department’s 10 year financial struggle to purchase a stair lift. 101 Mobility prides itself in operating with integrity and exceeding expectations. Volunteer Firefighter, Mark Champion attests that this custom installation was no different,
“Our volunteer firefighters are aging and a lot of them are senior citizens, one of our former firefighters is a double amputee; we don’t have to carry him or anyone else up the stairs in their wheelchairs anymore! We also raise money for the department by renting out the upstairs reception hall and now we can bring in more groups, there is a lot of excitement within the department. We really appreciate what Miguel has done and his donation has made a huge difference!”
Although Miguel opened his Rochester franchise just eight and a half months ago, when he received a call from the Sea Breeze Volunteer Fire Department’s chief, Miguel simply did the right thing. After working for years as an EMT and firefighter, Miguel explains,
“I know the hardships that they go through and they [emergency responders] are just good people……we at 101 Mobility saw a need and took the opportunity to help by donating and installing a stair lift”.
Across the United States, local 101 Mobility franchisees are available to take your call and work with you to find the perfect solution for you or your family member’s mobility issues. 101 Mobility is the nation’s first full-service provider and installer of personal mobility products such as Stair Lifts, Auto Lifts, Wheelchair Ramps, Vertical Lifts, Porch Lifts, Overhead Lifts, Home Modifications, and Much More. Call 1.888.258.0652 to find your first course in mobility solutions for yourself or a loved one today.
New Company Fills Niche for Empowering the Disabled and Mobility Challenged in Austin
(Austin, TX)—Husband and wife team Bruce and Debra Dowden of Cedar Park are the owners/operators of 101 Mobility’s latest Texas Franchise serving Austin and surrounding areas, from South Austin to Waco. 101 Mobility Austin will join the Houston and San Antonio franchises in a recent string of 101 Mobility openings across the Lone Star State. As lifelong Texans, the Dowdens bring over three decades of management, purchasing, and finance experience to the organization. The Dowdens are active members in their community, and look forward to serving their neighbors with quality of life products that positively address personal mobility issues; allowing people to stay in their homes or “age-in-place”, despite facing everyday challenges such as stairways, raised porches, and other obstacles.
The Dowdens share a particular interest in helping the senior community, and felt that 101 Mobility offered a well-rounded model for assessing and supplying the mobility and accessibility needs of the seniors and mobility-challenged in their market. “Our goal is to be able to look back at the end of the day and see that we have helped people”, says Debra Dowden. “Through that, we hope to add value, not only to our lives, but to the community as a whole.”
101 Mobility Austin will focus on helping clients age-in-place by selling, installing, and servicing ramps, stair lifts, automobile lifts, patient lifts, vertical lifts, barrier-free baths and offering complete home modifications to incorporate total accessibility solutions. 101 Mobility is one of the nation’s largest sellers and installers of personal mobility products from well-known brands such as Bruno, Harmar, Liko, and many more.
101 Mobility is also a leader in providing services to our United States Veterans through the U.S. Veteran’s Administration. The Dowdens are especially excited to have the opportunity to give back to our Military Veterans. “Having Veterans in our family, including a daughter and son-in-law that are currently serving on active duty, has made this opportunity to work with Veterans very special to us”, says Bruce Dowden. “We consider it an honor to help those that have served and are proud to do so.”
101 Mobility is the franchising world’s first full-service sales, service, and installation provider of a complete line of mobility and accessibility products and equipment, including stair lifts, auto lifts, ramps, porch lifts, patient lifts, power wheelchairs, scooters and more. Short and long-term rentals are also available for home, office, and institution. By working with patients to identify which home health care devices best suit each individual’s needs, 101 Mobility provides an alternative to group homes and rehabilitation centers by allowing patients to live self-sufficiently in their homes.
For more information, visit www.101mobility.com or call 512.650.0354.
By Michelle Seitzer
Aging in place (AIP) costs considerably less than assisted living care, but it’s not free.
Though funds are dwindling for many senior-related programs (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security have all spent ample time on the chopping block lately), there are still a number of federal, state, local and private organizations that offer financial support to seniors who want to stay where the heart is.
To begin – because first you might need to sell the idea to skeptical family members, or just figure out what modifications are needed before getting the capital to do it – get to know what services and resources are offered in your home state via these helpful sites:
- Search for home repair and modification resources in your region at Eldercare.gov.
- HomeMods.org is a national information clearinghouse on all things related to home modifications. Professionals and consumers alike can peruse an extensive resource directory on the site.
- Not sure if your own home or a senior loved one’s residence is adaptable for AIP? Most are, but the WellCome Home site helps you clearly see the potential and know where to direct your energies and efforts when it’s time to transform the home.
- Download this Home Safety Checklist from Rebuilding Together, Inc. to remove fall hazards and resolve accessibility issues, many of which may be implemented without spending a dime.
Should the need arise for assistive equipment (such as power chairs or stair lifts) or home modifications (like wheelchair ramps or door-opening systems), here are a few ways to ease the burden of purchasing or installing these costly components.
Claim a deduction. Russell Glickman, a DC-based home design and remodeling expert, recommends conferring with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to find out whether you or a loved one is eligible to deduct the cost of home modifications on your federal income tax. You need a written recommendation from your doctor as proof that the modifications are medically necessary. Glickman also states that you can claim a deduction for the costs of operating and maintaining the modifications, whether or not the stair lift, ramp, or other equipment qualified as a medical expense. Home improvements (or capital expenses) that may be deducted per the IRS.gov are as follows:
- Constructing entrance or exit ramps for your home.
- Widening doorways at entrances or exits to your home.
- Widening or otherwise modifying hallways and interior doorways.
- Installing railings, support bars, or other modifications to bathrooms.
- Lowering or modifying kitchen cabinets and equipment.
- Moving or modifying electrical outlets and fixtures.
- Installing porch lifts and other forms of lifts (but elevators generally add value to the house).
- Modifying fire alarms, smoke detectors, and other warning systems.
- Modifying stairways.
- Adding handrails or grab bars anywhere (whether or not in bathrooms).
- Modifying hardware on doors.
- Modifying areas in front of entrance and exit doorways.
- Grading the ground to provide access to the residence.
Note: You can only itemize these deductions if the main purpose of installation is medical care for you, a spouse or dependent (modifications made for aesthetic, architectural or other personal reasons do not qualify). Permanent improvements that boost your property’s value may be partially included as a deduction; in this case, the cost of the home modification is reduced by the amount of the property value increase (whatever the difference is what your qualified medical expense to deduct will be). If the home modification does not increase your property value, you can deduct the whole cost as a medical expense.
Visit the Area Agency on Aging. Every state offers different incentives, programs, and benefits to their senior residents. The best way to learn about them all, in addition to any tax credits or federal monies available through Medicare, Medicaid (in some states, you may be able to qualify for funding via the Medicaid HCBS – home and community-based services – waiver), HUD, the VA, or the USDA that would be disbursed through the state, is at your local Area Agency on Aging. The AAA is a one-stop-shop neighborhood branch of your state’s department that handles senior care (i.e. Department of Aging, Department of Public Welfare, etc.). Go to Eldercare.gov or N4A.org to find your AAA by zip code, city or county.
Apply for grants or take advantage of state assistive technology projects to make your home wheelchair accessible. According to HomeMods.org, funding is available for this specific modification through the Department of Veteran Affairs (call 800-827-1000 or your local VA for more details) and via the United Cerebral Palsy Association (call 800-872-5827). The IRS also permits those with disabilities to claim some of these expenses as a tax deduction. Check in with the National Council on Independent Living Center (call 703-525-3406) to get local funding information and referral services.
Get a loan to add a room. If Mom is moving in and she has health needs or disabilities, you may be eligible for government funding. FannieMae offers the HomeChoice program, Home Keeper program, and the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (get more details at eFanniemae, or visit the local office). In Texas, New Mexico, California and Illinois, residents can apply for a Home Modifications Loan for Homeowners (with fixed interest rates and low minimum loan amounts) via Bank of America, under the “Access Loans” category. For more information, call 800-843-2632 (in CA, IL) or 800-900-9000 (in TX, NM).
Contact local foundations and non-profit organizations. Some may offer financial assistance or services referrals for those providing care for someone with disabilities or diseases like Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Easter Seals and Rebuilding Together both offer low- or no-cost community-based home modification and repair programs.
Take out a second/reverse mortgage. If you have the equity, this is a good way to secure a loan for a home modification, which, if done well, should add value to the home as more people will be seeking homes where aging in place is possible. You must be over 62 to secure funding via a reverse mortgage. (Learn more about reverse mortgages here.)
Check your insurance policies. The National Association of Home Builders says that some programs (auto insurance, worker’s compensation, long term care policies, state catastrophic accident insurance plans, and medical trust funds) might cover the costs of a home modification.
Move your parents in. If you have decided it’s best for Mom and Dad to just move in with you so you can provide care more readily, Glickman says you may be able to use proceeds from the sale of their home to make an accessible suite at your residence. He adds that adult children can avail themselves of the space in the future too, as their own care needs change.
Ready to consider a home modification for a family member’s residence, or your own? 101 Mobility has a full line of products (stairlifts, auto lifts, ramps, and more) and a team of highly-trained professional installers standing by to get AIP construction underway. Learn more about our services and find the local office serving you at http://101mobility.com/locator/.
If you or a loved one has struggled even once to open a door while in a wheelchair or power scooter, then you know just how much of a difference an automatic door opener can make in easing your daily mobility concerns. At 101 Mobility, our goal is to eliminate obstacles to your mobility and independence. We want you to be free to live the life you want to live.
Our Open Sesame automatic door opener is just one of the ways we help you to get out and enjoy life. This easy to install and operate door opener is designed for both residential and light commercial use and is ideal for those who are done with the struggle of getting through the door each day. With the Open Sesame door opener, just click a button and the device unlocks the door, opens it, holds it open for you to clear the doorway, and then gently closes the door for you. It could not be easier than that.
Installation is easy and does not require an electrician. Normal installation can be completed in approximately two hours. The Open Sesame door opener runs on a 24 volt AC adapter which plugs into the nearest outlet. It comes with a battery backup system which will run the door for a full 24 hours in case of power outages.
These automatic door openers come with a remote control that is easy to use and can be mounted near the door or on your wheelchair or scooter. Designed for easy use, the door opener can be activated from across the home and can be used with the side of the hand, the palm or fingers making it easy for anyone to use.
Whether you are moving into a new home or are making modifications to your current home, choosing the best features can seem overwhelming. When the goal is to choose design features that will help you to “age in place” with comfort, ease, and mobility, the task can seem even more challenging. For many Baby Boomers, the desire to create a home that will meet their needs far into the future is an essential one.
When designing a new home that will age with you, it is best to consider open living floor plans with main living areas all situated on one floor. With your kitchen, family room, bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry, and garage access all within easy access on the same floor, it eliminates the need for you to worry about climbing stairs. However, many people do not wish to build a new home and are looking for ways to modify their existing space. The simple addition of a stairlift can easily overcome the need to climb stairs in any home.
Increasing the natural light in your home can be a significant help to making your home more comfortable as you age. Adding skylights and larger windows helps increase natural light and does not require the homeowner to always turn on lights. If you are replacing windows, consider casement windows over double hung windows as they provide superior ventilation and are easier to open and close.
Other features within your home that make it easier to age in place include:
- The addition of wider doors, 36” wide doors are preferred.
- Opt for lever style handles on all doors.
- Roll out shelves in cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms allow for easier access to items stored there.
- The addition of D-shaped or loop cabinet pulls.
- Tubs with doors for easy access.
- Grab bars at the toilet and in the shower or tub for stability.
- Lever style faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms.
- Toilet paper dispensers that can be changed with only one hand.
- Counter tops with rounded corners.
- Thresholds or floor level differences of no more than ½” for easy clearance by wheelchairs or power scooters.
In order to reduce maintenance on the exterior of your home, consider upgrading the exterior to low maintenance coverings such as brick, stone, stucco or vinyl siding. All of these allow you to minimize the expense and upkeep of your home.
There are many more ways to improve the functionality of your home making it easier to age in place. Many communities have contractors who specialize in building or retrofitting homes for aging in place. Find a reputable builder who will work with you to accommodate your needs and help you to bring the changes you envision to reality.
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