|Connie Hallquist is the Founder and President of Nest Home Health Modifications and works with her team of Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS), as designated by the National Association of Home Builders, to recommend home health products and design home modification solutions for clients.|
View Connie's full Bio
My husband and I have looked at retirement communities in our area, but our first choice is to stay in our home that we have owned for 32 years. How can we adapt our home to make it more senior-friendly (I am 78 and he is 82)?
The vast majority of Americans feel the same way that you do. According to AARP research, 90 percent of Americans age 60+ want to stay in their own home as long as they can. Here are five smart suggestions that you may want to consider depending on you and your husband’s health and activity level:
For additional suggestions, a home modification plan and installation, a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) as designated by the National Association of Home Builders is a great resource.
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My 75-year old mother will be moving in with us, what changes should I make in our home to ensure that all family members (me, my husband, my children, our dog and my mom) are comfortable, safe and happy?
Your situation, the creation of a multigenerational household, is a huge trend in our country. According to the Pew Research Center, 49 million Americans—more than one in six people—reside in households with three or more generations living under one roof, so you are not alone.
You should embrace your mother moving in as a great opportunity to assess your home and make updates that will not only make living more comfortable for everyone, but also add value to your property. Fall prevention should be your highest priority. According to the Centers for Disease Control, each year 40 percent of seniors fall. In addition to fall-proofing your home, identify those enhancements that address your mother’s specific health conditions, whether it’s arthritis, low vision or hearing loss, for example.
The Certified Aging-in-Place specialists at Nest have created a simple guide for you to follow called: Top Tips for DIY Home Safety (http://www.callnest.com/diy-home-safety.html). These are practical tips, from better lighting and re-routing cords to adding bath mats and re-arranging furniture, that you can implement on your own to improve the overall safety of your home room by room.
I would also recommend that you approach your mother’s impending arrival as a fantastic opportunity to de-clutter your home; better organize closets, cabinets and shelves; put storage units in the garage, basement and laundry area; donate the kids’ old toys, school gear and sports equipment; and, tidy up Fido’s food and water so it’s not a tripping hazard. If you need to add features such as grab bars, wider doorways or ramps, check the web site of the National Association of Home Builders to find a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) in your area.
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