As accommodating physical needs through home improvement is a topic that is close to our heart, we are eager to share our experiences and knowledge in this area. Having family members with disabilities, we have witnessed firsthand the impact that home changes can have on improving their daily lives. It is our hope that by discussing the benefits and considerations of disability remodeling, we can help others who may be facing similar challenges.
Aging-in-Place: Improving Homes for Older Adults
Aging-in-Place remodeling refers to projects specifically catered to those homeowners who opt to stay in their homes long-term. Instead of moving to a retirement community or some other facility, they have decided to “age-in-place” to maintain their independence. We work with homeowners on these projects which are often centered around making your home easy to navigate and safe.
Certified Aging-in-Place Professionals (CAPS) have taken part in extra education specifically for catering to the needs of those planning to age-in-place. These are architects, designers, and contractors who are intimately aware of the difficulties experienced by older customers. They want to provide the best solutions, both for now and for the future.
Aging-in-Place Bathroom Remodeling
Bathrooms in particular pose a safety concern for many of those who have decided to age-in-place. As the room with the most water, and the most hard surfaces, they pose the potential for falling. In order to reduce any slipperiness and make navigating simpler, there are several things that are often helpful when we undertake a bath remodel.
First, we take into account the size of the room. We often widen small bathrooms and their doorways to make navigation easier. We will often survey the entirety of the floor and its transitions from the front door to the back of the bathroom to minimize any tripping hazards and smooth out any changes in height.
While remodeling for an aging in place bathroom, we might feature a barrier-free shower as well as benches with shower controls and niches nearby. To encourage safe passage, we often install plenty of grab bars for solidity. Essentially, we’ll think through as many use-cases as possible and do our best to achieve a universal usability within this bathroom.
See more about planning and options for aging in place.
Disability Remodeling: Improving Homes for those with Physical Needs
Disability remodeling more generally, is a process of making physical modifications to a living space for better accessibility and accommodating to individuals with disabilities. For those people with disabilities, navigating the physical environment can be a significant challenge, but it is often possible to make changes that improve day-to-day living.
Among the 10 most common disabilities listed by ADA claims are back/spinal injuries, hand/leg (extremity) impairments, vision impairments, and hearing impairments. These are the areas where changes in the home can really shine, and make a big difference for navigating and working safely.
Projects such as thinking through home flow, widening pathways and doorways, installing ramps and grab points, and improving electrical device heights can help those with back and spinal injuries. Thinking through types of lighting, and making touch and aural feedback major components of a home when helping someone with a visual impairment. Each project must be specifically tailored to the customer’s needs and abilities.
Do I Need a Designer?
Finding and working with a certified designer or architect is a good first step in the process these sorts of projects. While many customers are happy to rely on designers employed in retail, aging-in-place and disability remodels can have very specific requirements. You want somebody who not only understands your needs currently, but can anticipate needs you’ll have in the future. They will meet with you and discuss your needs and wants. Then your designer will create a floor plan and prints for the new space. These are the plans that we will be working from on your project.