Are you or a loved one considering aging in place in the St. Louis area? You’re not alone. As we age, the desire to stay in our cherished homes, amidst familiar community surroundings, becomes a key component of our comfort and happiness. However, most homes aren’t designed to cater to the changing needs of seniors or individuals living with chronic conditions. That’s where aging-in-place remodeling comes into play, a service that Rapid Repair Pro proudly specializes in for the St. Louis, MO market.
Aging-in-place remodeling involves making thoughtful modifications to your home to enhance accessibility, safety, and comfort, allowing seniors to navigate their daily lives with ease and independence. These home alterations are meticulously planned and executed by professionals like Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS), ensuring each change aligns with your unique needs while adhering to local building codes and regulations.
Exterior Adjustments for Easy Maintenance
When thinking about aging in place, it’s crucial not to overlook the exterior of your home. Opt for low-maintenance materials such as vinyl or brick, which don’t require frequent painting or intense upkeep. Incorporating easy-to-care-for shrubs and plants can keep your surroundings beautiful without excessive effort. Also, consider the transition from outdoor to indoor spaces; deck, patio, or balcony surfaces should be no more than a half-inch below the interior floor level, especially if made of wood, to prevent tripping hazards.
Efficient Overall Floor Plan
An effective aging-in-place design entails having all main living essentials on a single story, including a full bath. This design eliminates the need to navigate stairs, reducing fall risks. Ensure there are no steps between rooms or areas on the same level and that there’s adequate space for maneuvering. Ideally, there should be a 5-foot by 5-foot clear turn space in the living area, kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom.
Wide, well-lit hallways are integral to safe mobility. A minimum width of 36 inches is recommended, though wider spaces are preferred to accommodate potential wheelchair use or assistance from caregivers. Ample lighting also contributes to easier navigation and comfort.
Accessible path of travel to the home is essential. Having at least one no-step entry with a cover minimizes the risk of falls during entry and exit, especially during St. Louis’ rainy seasons or icy winters.
Flooring should be smooth, non-glare, and slip-resistant both inside and outside the house to prevent falls. If you prefer carpeting, choose a low pile (less than a half-inch high) with a firm pad underneath. Additionally, having a color or texture contrast can visually indicate changes in surface levels, serving as a subtle alert.
Comfort isn’t just about furniture and layout; it’s also about air quality and temperature. Your HVAC system should be designed for easy maintenance, with easily accessible filters. Opting for energy-efficient units not only supports environmental sustainability but can also reduce utility bills. And don’t forget about natural ventilation; windows that open easily can invite fresh air and improve overall well-being.
Bathrooms can be particularly hazardous, so they require special attention. Install grab bars in the shower, near the toilet, and in the tub, if applicable. Consider a curbless or low-curb shower with a built-in seat for comfort and a handheld showerhead for flexibility. Non-slip flooring and proper lighting are also paramount in this space.
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and it should be accessible to everyone. Implement lowered countertops and sinks to accommodate wheelchair users. Pull-out shelves and drawers improve access to kitchen items, while lever-style handles on faucets and cabinet hardware make opening and closing easier. Adequate lighting in the kitchen is essential for safety while preparing meals.
If your home has multiple levels, consider installing a chairlift or an elevator. Ensure handrails are sturdy and well-maintained, and consider adding non-slip treads for additional safety.
Adequate lighting is crucial throughout the home. Install motion-activated lights in hallways, bathrooms, and other high-traffic areas. Don’t forget task lighting in the kitchen and bathroom, where focused activities take place.
Smart home features can significantly enhance convenience and safety. Voice-activated lights, thermostats, and other devices minimize the need to fumble with switches or controls.
Planning your home’s aging-in-place remodeling can seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. Consulting with a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) like those at Rapid Repair Pro ensures your home modifications are comprehensive, personalized, and compliant with all St. Louis, MO building codes and regulations. With the right adjustments, your beloved home can continue to be a safe, comfortable, and familiar haven for many years to come. Contact us today to find out how we can help you make the necessary changes to age gracefully in the comfort of your own home.