Do you still remember that day you started building or remodeling your own home? How about that day you slept in it for the first time? It probably felt surreal that you were able to finish such an enormous project!
From the floor plan to the decorations, you have invested so much in making your dream house as warm and inviting as it could be- material resources, time, energy, and even your heart. Finally, there you are looking at it with satisfaction and pride.
The building works may be completed but you will have to finish mini projects from time to time as your circumstances change. For instance, your home looked different from when you were newlyweds, to when you had kids, and to when your kids grew up and moved out. And now, it’s time to carry on another exciting project as a new chapter of your life unfolds.
Home Sweet Home
Aging signifies your bond with your home. Through the years, it has developed a unique personality of its own. That’s why it is the best time to make modifications, not only to cater to your needs and provide more security but also to build sweeter memories in it. That’s why it’s called a home sweet home after all.
The memories you create in your home depend on how safe you make it. Nobody wants to remember getting injured falling down the stairs, slipping on the bathroom floor, or tripping on rugs. It’s a painful, embarrassing, and even fatal experience.
The statement “Accidents are inevitable” is only partially correct. Although there are things we can’t control, some accidents are preventable. Home injury control/HIC is one thing you can gift yourself and your family. And you will be surprised at how inexpensive and effective they are at helping you age in place!
A Cost-Effective Approach!
Unfortunately, home modifications for safety are not covered by Medicare A and B.
However, its alternative, which is paying around $5000-10,000 per month to an assisted living facility, is even more expensive and not to mention, also not covered by Medicare. If you are looking for a more cost-effective approach, home modifications are the way to go.
Modifying your home can be as daunting as the first time you started building it. Where do you even start?
Step 1: Assessment and Evaluation – It is best to consult a professional such as an occupational therapist in your area as they can make an educated assessment of your home and provide vital recommendations. You can discuss your needs and preferences together to create a better plan. At Bay Grab Bar, we also provide virtual home assessments at no cost.
Some common hazards are:
- Steep stairs, lack of handrails, and open staircases
- Floating shelves
- Exposed wirings
- Loose rugs/ carpets
- Slippery floors and surfaces
- Insufficient lighting
- Very high countertops
- Cracks on driveway and pathways, etc.
Step 2: Plan- There are three main things to consider in making a plan:
- Design– Design is an important part of modification. It does not only add to the aesthetics but also contributes to safety and a higher quality of life. This includes installing amenities for security and comfort that allow you to continue on your daily activities.
- Accessibility– Always aim for easy navigation and access. This includes wider doorways to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices, better lighting, lower counters and cabinets, installing grab bars, rails, and ramps where they are needed, and more.
- Adaptability- Needs change constantly so it is crucial to consider modifications that are flexible and can be changed quickly depending on the type and degree of needs that arise.
Step 3: Execute- Now, the actual construction begins! With the help of your trusted builder/ contractor, your visions will finally come to life.
Home Safety Trends Are NOT Always Safety
When we think of home modifications, we consider both functionality and aesthetics. It’s our home and we want to make it as pleasing but secure as possible. However, advertisements are sometimes deceiving and trends are misleading. Labels as “creative” “innovative” “hot” “modern” “or trendy” can sometimes lead to accidents. For example, removing handrails to save space can actually expose you to falling hazards. So before you follow a certain trend, make sure your needs are met and your safety isn’t compromised. Research.
Home modification is a worthy investment! It is a cost-effective way to make sure your needs are met and your safety is prioritized. Modifying your home may be a challenging task, but it is absolutely doable. Some of them are basic changes and some are complex. But remember to do your research before following a trend. Don’t let your emotions get swayed by advertisements. Instead, remember how you envisioned your home to be that day you dreamed of it.
You and your home have gone through so much together. Your memories live in it. But as much as you may want to keep it that way, your house needs a little makeover to ensure it’s not left behind with your changing circumstances. Your home, although aged as you, have so much more to offer. Give it that chance to keep you safe and comfortable and to live its name as your “home sweet home.”