Alam Showcase

Home Improvements For Seniors

3 Easy Bathroom Design Options

bathroom designsWe have to redesign our restrooms when we begin to age, as our mobility will not be as good and, therefore, many inconveniences can arise. The most simple bathroom design techniques are often the best ones to implement and make an immediate difference. Here, we have compiled a few items of note, that we feel can help our members significantly in the long term.

  1. Installing a Shower Seat

    That’s right folks, you can sit down while you shower! How great would it be to not have to worry about a fall during a shower, and also having a more comfortable set up! We love this idea, and we are sure you will benefit from it. You can even find them at Bed Bath and Beyond.

  2. Heated Bathroom Floor

    So, you get up one night to go to the bathroom, and you are immediately brought out of your slumber by a freezing cold tile floor. Not fun. That is why we have had this done to many of our properties across the country. Installing the tile is easy, but for the heating elements beneath, you will need an electrician. This is easy enough, but whether it is worth the cost is entirely up to you. Perhaps a bit more of a vanity operation, some homeowner may opt for an easier comfort setting before doing this. We say, if you can afford it- do it!

  3. Install A Phone Near The Toilet

    This may sound a bit crazy, but we assure you it is not. You never know when or where you might fall and not get back up. While in your home, you may not have your cellphone with you, but you want to make sure you are able to quickly call someone when you need to. That is where a simple phone set up near the toilet will come in handy. Just call the phone company and you will be quickly get this done, and it will not cost much either.

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

kitchen remodelSeniors often spend a decent amount of time in their kitchen area, as it is a multi-purpose area to both enjoy the morning paper and a cup of coffee, as well as visit with family. We have seen a few interesting ideas come up over the years and thought we would identify the most senior-friendly options out there.

The first option is to make all cabinet and counter levels at a height that makes sense for those living in the space. The kitchen contains so many different items that it is important that they are all within an arms reach. This can prevent falls or spills that may leave an elderly person feeling hopeless and impotent. By simply lowering the cabinet levels, one can cast aside the step-stool need within the kitchen. We also enjoy building larger spaces below the countertops so that kitchen wares can be stored in an area that does not require a reach at all. This means finding the best level for comfort as well as functionality. We may need to raise or lower the counters to make room, however this is a fairly straight-forward project and can be done over a few days.

We have also had success in widening the kitchen area, either with a new addition or by rearranging some appliances. Many kitchens that were built in the 70’s to 1980’s may be outdated in their layout. That means that persons operating this space are at a disadvantage when walking thru the kitchen or making something for dinner. We want to reduce the walking necessary for this reason, and there can be a lot of people who find this helpful. Rearranging the stove, refrigerator, and sink may be a tall task, so we look for the easier options first. Anytime you are hiring a home renovation contractor, make sure they provide all information beforehand.

Making the right improvements to the kitchen is imperative for seniors looking to age in place. These are just a few suggestions that can make the process much easier and affordable. Kitchen remodeling contractors will often provide a list of available tailored options that will assist in this endeavor. We hope to find a few more options down the road and report back with an update!

3 Home Renovation Ideas For An Elderly Parent

new bathroom remodelEveryone’s parents will eventually age, unfortunately. That is when an important decision must be made- should we enroll them in a retirement village? Get in-home nursing or help staff? Or is there any other way we can help make the aging process easier for them? If we move them, what do we do with the home? We all just want our parents to feel comfortable and at ease while they age, and the solution will invariably depend upon the situation and the severity of any condition they may have. If you move them to a nursing home, then you must figure out what to do with their home- do you sell it or keep it? However, there is a great way to find a middle ground. By making appropriate home renovations, you can not only make their life easier, but also make them more comfortable as they grow older.

The number one factor when deciding what to do with an older parent is comfort. You want them to be in a situation where they are never upset or distraught with their surroundings. A nursing home is typically not a wanted solution, and a hospice is probably the last choice for both the parent and yourself. Given the inevitability of the aging process, the proper steps can help make this transition seamless. I have found that most older couples wish to remain in their home, no matter how old or debilitated they may be. That is where appropriate conditions can play a huge role in the viability of such an idea. We want to allow them to remain in their home, but the home may not be in the best condition to make this a feasible thought. There are a number of easy remodeling ideas that can help here. I have outlined just a few that I have encountered over the years, and I hope they can shed some light on this very difficult decision.

1) Bathroom Remodel

A full bathroom renovation is an easy, and relatively short project to make your parents’ life easier within their home. By having safe access to the shower and tub, you can be at ease while leaving your parent at home alone. Not to mention, bathing and restroom functions are often the most embarassing issues that an older parent will face. No one wants to require assistance when using the bathroom, or taking a bath or shower. We find that by adding a few changes to the shower- such as a handle for stability, curbless design, and perhaps a seating option can make any potential accidents a thing of the past. We also like to add heated tiles to the floor. This allows for comfort while entering and walking around, which everyone can enjoy. The sink and cabinets are not as important, but functionality is hugely important. We simply want them to not have to reach too high for a towel, and not have to try too hard to wash up in the sink area. A larger medicine cabinet may also be a smart idea- as the medications usually increase with age. We do not want any accidents when reaching for medicine or washing their hands.

2) Kitchen Renovation

Making changes to the kitchen can allow for your parents to experience the look and feel of a new home, while also making it easier to live in. The kitchen area is where a lot of older couples like to enjoy their time together, and a few simple upgrades can make this process even easier. We like to focus on accessibility- meaning the aisles are wide enough for a wheelchair or walker. This also includes the convenience of the sink, stove, refrigerator, and countertops being close to one another. By having enough space to easily cook and clean, the aging couple will not need much of any assistance when using the kitchen. We also typically install new cabinetry, which is a great way to make the kitchen look great while also adding some functionality. Seniors do not want to have to reach very high, which is why we often install cabinets on the lower level of the counters. We will not install anything that is out of arms reach, and that includes where the dishes, pots, and pans are stored. We have seen some couples utilize a simple step-stool system that integrates with the counters and lower cabinet areas. The options will be based on necessity, and there are never a shortage of ideas to accommodate most, if not all, conditions.

3) Stair Lift

Accessing the upper levels of the home can be a tall task for the aging parent. Installing a lift that can easily transport someone from the bottom of the stairs, to the top, and back down again, is an oft-requested upgrade. There are far too many falling accidents with seniors, and if this happens on the stairs you are looking at potential devastating injuries. That is where a stair lift can make this process much safer and eliminate any potential falling hazards down flights of steps.

By incorporating some or all of these ideas into your parents’ home, you can allow them to age in place gracefully and independently. We want to make their life easier, but also allow them to retain the dignity of being an adult that can take care of themselves. You can find more information, and locate contractors to come and give an estimate by contacting the government Administration on Aging. If you are in the Delaware area, Home Ideations is a trusted remodeling contractor that shows dedication to seniors looking to age in place.

Choosing A Contractor For Home Improvements

We want to take some time to give our newest visitors a taste of what is to come. We have dedicated this site to providing homeowners, and specifically, senior citizens and older couples, with a dedicated resource for their home management needs.

Improving your home is a tough task in most cases, you must find a contractor, read their reviews, and then schedule a time to meet with them, get an estimate- and this is all before the work begins! When choosing your contractor, we recommend a simple process that will set you up for an easy transition.

  1. Research
  2. Contact
  3. Follow-up

screwdriversResearching your contractor has become much easier now that the internet provides a slew of sites that keep track of background and reviews for a given company. There is often a question we get- should I choose a small local business or a large company with tons of employees? Well the answer is not always simple. First, the smaller business may be more dedicated to each of their customers. This will be rewarding in the end, because you will be one of just a few clients that the owner of the business can manage. Easily managed clients are often the most satisfied, so if you wish to be a special person then this is most likely the way to go. If you choose a larger company, you might want to see how many projects they currently have going on. That way, you can understand well in advance just how much attention you can expect. We find that a good balance is to choose a contractor that has a good reputation but is not a large company like the Home Depot.

Contacting a general contractor may be the easiest part of the process, but should be taken equally serious. You have to remember that these businesses are constantly looking for new clients but they also get a lot of calls from telemarketers and those just looking for quick estimates. We recommend building a rapport right off the bat, so that the business owner remembers your name and voice. This will ensure an easier transition when they come out for the estimate. You want to be concise in your request for service- give them a good day and time when you will be home and make sure they give you a description of the process so you know what is to come.

Following up with your chosen contractor is only necessary when you have a change in schedule or if they were not clear on what they were going to do for you. I once saw someone remove an entire tree from a customer’s backyard, only to find out that the tree was supposed to be pruned not removed! This is a scary miscommunication that could have easily been avoided with a quick follow up before the work began. You can spend some time with the contractor at your home to go into detail about what you expect and the time you expect it to take. This way there are no misleading situations and you can easily accomplish any home improvement project with ease. Home Ideations has a lot of good information on this same topic, which we recommend as well.