Home safety modifications are the key to successful aging in place. This often means universal design house plans or home remodeling plans
One of the best qualified people to help with successful aging… is the certified aging in place specialist. Read what advice David Foley gives us in the interview below.
David Foley President, Home Solutions Specialists 255 Barnes Blvd. Rockledge, Florida 32955 CGC #150-4884 321-632-4530 321-632-4531 fax www.davidfoley.com
Interview with Diane Carbo and David Foley
Diane David, my goal is to help individuals make their home their partner as they age. Can you tell me when is a good time to begin to make changes in the home to allow for successful aging in place?
David We believe that any time a home repair is undertaken… it is an opportune time to increase functionality and safety of the area being improved. In our opinion … the benefits of incorporation of these principles into any project is timely. Things such as choosing:
A light color of paint to increase reflectivity
Adequate lighting is important in fall prevention.
Energy efficiency may not be interpreted as aging in place modifications. However they improve conditions for all. Lever lock door knobs .. while stylish serve as an improved function to an arthritic individual. (And cats and dogs can learn to operate them as well)
Diane: What are the first steps… an individual that wants to remain in their home consider taking to prepare for aging in place?
David: We believe the first steps would be a thorough evaluation of the property. Typically someone trained in aging in place can assist in this evaluation… working in conjunction with the client … to identify the low hanging fruit which can be easily performed.
This includes evaluating the home for safety such as: Recommending spring cleaning,
Removal of clutter
Removal of throw rugs
And other potential fall hazards is a priority.
Evaluation of the lighting in each room is important
And that includes.. recommending removal of large or heavy dust collecting blinds and draperies
To name a few suggestions we may start with.
Diane: Can you make some inexpensive recommendations.. that may be helpful to any aging senior now?
David: Some are listed above. I can’t stress enough the importance of increasing wattage on light bulbs… changing air conditioning filters to higher efficiency improving indoor air quality. Addition of assistance bar’s throughout the home… including entryways and stairs. Nonskid strips and bathtubs, showers, and entrances.
More on Home Safety Modifications…
Diane: Most aging seniors live on a fixed income. Are there any green modifications that would help to… lower heating, air conditioning costs and water usage in the future?
David In addition to the above.. green recommendations include:…Frequently communities have senior assistance programs.. that may pay to change out in efficient commodes (those higher than 1.60 GPF).. using credits or vouchers, shower heads included.
Fire departments will change out smoke detectors and batteries. Of course this is more of a life safety issue, but still very important.
Reducing the temperature on your hot water heater and/or timers is a cost effective measure. Frequently electrical water heaters are on all the time. When in reality it only requires a couple of hours on to provide necessary hot water for the senior to use. It is a simple thing to change by determining the usage pattern of the senior. Adjust for the shower… in the morning or evening etc
Changing lighting to CFL’s, programmable thermostat’s … will be a cost effective way to lower electric usage.
Diane: What are the most important factors an aging senior should consider… when planning to age in place?
David: The only thing constant in life is change. It is important we keep an open mind and continue to educate and learn as we age. Proper precautions and preparations can potentially save your life. One of the most beneficial things I have done is through sensory deprivation devices… experience what it is like to have arthritic hands or macular degeneration.
Diane: Thank you David for offering advice to my readers… that will encourage successful aging in place.
Meet our other certified aging in place specialists