Plan for the Future With These Thriving-in-Place Home Modifications
A recent study revealed that roughly 53 million Americans live with a disability. Limited mobility is the most common disability, and about 6.8 million Americans use an assistive device such as a cane, walker, or mobility scooter. When considering that older adults will account for approximately 20% of the country’s population by 2030, it makes sense to focus on aging, or thriving, in-place by making modifications to their homes.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the National Conference of State Legislatures both found that 90% of people aged 65 or older want to be able to live in their own homes for as long as possible. In order to do so, particularly with retirees that live with a disability or have limited mobility, many Americans are choosing to modify their homes accordingly.
HomeAdvisor’s 2016 Aging in Place Report indicated that a large percentage of homeowners had already begun to modify their homes for this purpose. The home service professionals that contributed to this report stated that they had been hired to do a variety of aging-in-place projects. One of the top projects was to install grab bars in the bathroom as well as by doors, particularly where there were steps. The second most-requested project was to construct entryway wheelchair ramps. While some homeowners may have requested these for front entryways, it’s likely that they were added at multiple entryways.
The above report also showed that homeowners over the age of 55 had bathroom modifications at the top of their list for aging-in-place projects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that on an annual basis, almost 235,000 people sustain an injury in the bathroom. Having grab bars and modified shower stalls are both beneficial projects to prevent bathroom injuries from occurring.
If you’re planning to have grab bars, wheelchair ramps, or other modifications made, home service professionals will be able to assist you with these and other projects. Since ramps can provide easy access to your home for walkers, scooters, and other mobility devices, it’s likely that you already have an idea of the handicap ramp specifications that will be required.
Once you have a contractor come to your home, you’ll be able to discuss your handicap ramp specifications in greater detail. Since you may want to have different types of ramps to provide access to and from your home, your contractor will take exact measurements and further discuss what you’ll need in terms of handicap ramp specifications. If your home has a second floor, you may also want to learn more about having a stair lift installation. In addition to these projects, you may want to discuss other thriving-in-place projects you’ve been considering, such as remodeling your bathroom, kitchen, or other areas of your home.
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