Friday, December 9, 2011
Considering that accidents happen at a fairly consistent rate it is probable that at some point a disability will hit with in the home that reduces a person’s mobility. When an accident occurs it is likely individuals can find themselves dependent upon the use of a wheelchair, walker or scooter device. Also, as people age the simple act of maneuvering around the home becomes trickier. Often times these are the points in life that it is realized the space within the home and accesses in and out of the home are compromised and need to be updated.
It is rare that a home is built with the limitations handicaps and aging in place bring. Most traditional builders do not build with the foresight that narrow doors and an abundance of stairs might eventually be difficult for maneuverability. Builders don’t build with questions such as “How would I access this narrow door?” or “How would I access this stairway?” with the same thinking as someone with a handicap or some years under their belt. Consumers don’t often purchase homes thinking about the golden years or the what if’s accident bring.
Accessible living solutions within the home is an industry in which is being grown out of a need that has not been filled with in the home construction industry. Remodels of this magnitude look at all aspect of aging and handicap needs. Handicap accessible renovations look into home modifications that make the difficulties aging and handicaps bring and work to lessen if not eliminate them. Enhancements will improve not only daily life but overall safety as well.
Aging in place is becoming a more viable option for seniors and their loved ones. Many times people would rather not move late in life and prefer the idea of maintaining independence and caring for themselves. As long as caregivers can keep them safe with simple modifications this option helps many dreams of independent living a reality. The same is true when you think of individuals in which have been handicapped naturally or accidently. Handicap is not a synonym for unable to. In fact it often makes one more determined to be independent.
This was true when I broke my ankle. I was handicapped by the fact I could not walk. Crutches hurt, wheelchairs worked well outside of my home however inside the home was a complete disaster. I can only imagine the same is true for others with disabilities.
Everyone’s needs are a bit unique. Some such as me only need to meet a temporary need while others need permanent solutions to everyday dilemmas. It is important for us to be able to care for ourselves. Privacy is a premium within the bathroom and dressing areas. Handicap construction teams come into homes and meet with clients to access their needs and values. This in turn allows them to seek out areas modifications are necessary and ones that are not with accessible living solutions.
A prediction for the future with life spans increasing is that awareness begins within the construction industry. Homes will be seen with easier access in and out, wider doors will become standard and open floor plans will be on the rise. It is also important to note that homes will be built with multiple bathrooms in which at least one is built with shower access that does not involve a traditional tub. Small modifications such as these will allow the next generation to age in place with less issues then what faces elderly and handicap individuals today.