Source: Newswise (6/26/2012) — Nursing homes do not have to be inevitable destinations for frail older adults. Many—even those with long-term health problems—can remain at home and be independent. All it takes is a little help to change “disability” to “capability”.
A handyman with a few nails to fix a wobbly bannister can make the difference between staying at home and a nursing home stay. Visits from a nurse or occupational therapist can help simplify a bewildering medication regimen or improve the ability to get around the house and neighborhood. Simple, inexpensive steps may change the equation for thousands of seniors, but in reality, services like these are rarely available for many at greatest need—the poorest and sickest older adults receiving Medicare and Medicaid.
CAPABLE, short for “Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders,” and a $4 million Health Care Innovation Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is about to change that reality. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ll never forget my first experience with an open shower. On a French-class trip to Paris at the innocent age of 14, I arrived at my hotel tired, jet-lagged and longing for a good, hot soak. I pushed open the bathroom door and looked around, flummoxed. Where on earth was the bathtub? Then I glanced up and gaped: I was standing in the shower, which was just a handheld faucet and a grate in the floor — no tub, no door, no curtain, no threshold. The entire time I was there, I never mastered the art of soaping up and rinsing off without drenching the whole room.
It turns out, the French were onto something. Doorless showers have become a design darling in recent years. Not only do they create an open, expansive feel in a bathroom, but they also lend themselves well to universal design and aging in place. And while they’re a little more sophisticated now than my Parisian puzzler, they still require careful planning. Lisa Frederick shows us eight things to consider if you’re thinking about the doorless approach. (from houzz.com)
Even if you are fit as a fiddle, it’s a good idea to provide as many safety features as you can in your bathroom. But does a bathroom that incorporates safety into the design have to look like it belongs in a hospital?
Absolutely not! Fixture manufacturers are now offering attractive designs that blend into your décor. Whether you love sleek, minimal design or are hooked on traditional, you can provide safety without sacrificing style. Pangaea Interior Design shows us several examples below, from houzz.com.
This article was originally published at 1 Call Bath Solutions and is re-posted with permission.
Occupational therapists are big picture experts. Let’s take Mary. She’s 85, lives at home and is challenged with Parkinson’s. Sue, her occupational therapist, assesses her physical strengths and weaknesses, how the natural aging process is affecting her (things like eyesight and hearing that affect everyone over time), her medical condition and any psychological issues. And the psychological part doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with Mary—it could be just the typical fears of losing control over her own life and the lack of privacy that comes from depending on others.
Modern Health Talk founder Wayne Caswell is an eLocal.com home improvement expert and contributes to their industry surveys. Their first survey for 2012 is the same as for 2011 – What are the top Home Improvement Trends. Below is an infographic that summarizes answers from 50 eLocal experts, followed by what I submitted for this year’s survey.
In this recessionary economy, home construction is slow, but one bright spot is home modifications for aging in place. I was happy to meet a reputable local contractor who is adopting Universal Design principals and embracing the Aging-in-Place market. They’re going to Houston next week for a Certified Aging in Place (CAPS) class, which covers low-tech construction projects but not high-tech solutions like environmental and medical sensors and telehealth services. Our discussion got me thinking about advice for builders and remodeling contractors and a webpage with business advice that I created several years as Communications Director for HOT. Homeowners of Texas is a non-profit consumer advocacy that helped get an abusive State agency abolished. But until we can produce our own video tutorials for contractors, I’m including several shorts (~5 min) from 5min Media, a leading syndication platform for broadband instructional, knowledge and lifestyle videos.
Housing Options: Retirement and Independent Living Communities
Housing Options: Aging-in-Place
How to Choose a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist
NPR host Michele Norris explores housing options for America’s aging population in her interview with Jon Pynoos, a professor of gerontology policy and planning at USC. (Listen to the broadcast or read the transcript HERE.)
Pynoos describes the high costs of nursing homes and assisted living facilities and the insurance options that pay for them, including Medicare & Medicaid. He then promotes aging-in-place at home as a much lower-cost option, but most homes were designed for people who aren’t old. He calls them Peter Pan homes. They have stairs, inaccessible bathrooms, and inadequate lighting, and they lack many of the safety features that would help people avoid falls.
“I won’t grow up. I don’t want to go to school.
Just to learn to be a parrot, And recite a silly rule.”
To help you assess your home and make modifications, contact a certified aging in place specialist (CAPS) or, if you’re in Central Texas, click HERE to learn about our own assessment services.
Home Modifications: UB-Designed Renovations Are Changing Lives, One Home at a Time
For people with disabilities, modifications can mean the difference between comfort and frustration at home
Release Date: September 29, 2011
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Even the smallest of home renovations can change the life of someone with a disability. Widening a doorway or adding grab bars around a toilet can mean the difference between independence and dependence — between comfort and discomfort in one’s own home.
That knowledge is what has driven architect Danise Levine to design about 475 home modifications over the past 15 years as a member of the University at Buffalo’s Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA Center).
“You see people in their homes, and they’re restricted by their environment. To try and overcome this, they tend to adapt their behavior to their environment instead of adapting their environment to fit their behavior. It’s very rewarding when you can help change that,” Levine said.
Levine, now the IDeA Center’s assistant director, began working on home modifications in 1996, soon after graduating from UB’s architecture master’s degree program.
Here’s a stimulus idea that I borrowed from Canada, which should be considered in Obama’s Jobs Plan. It addresses jobs, home construction, energy, and health care for Seniors. What do you think of the idea, and how would you change it? Please leave a Reply below.
The basic idea is to give a 15% tax credit on Energy Star and Aging-in-Place home renovations for seniors over age 65. Such a program has numerous benefits:
- Creates immediate jobs for home construction workers and manufacturers of products related to home modifications, universal design, and energy conservation and management.
- Helps reduce energy costs for seniors on fixed incomes.
- Prepares homes for aging to keep seniors to in their homes as long as possible and avoid forced moves into more expensive institutional care such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
- Improves home values.
- Sets the stage for innovation in health care aimed at home care.
Thirteen years after a freak accident left her paralyzed, Rosemarie found a new mission in life: sharing what she has learned about Universal Design. She founded Universal Design Living Laboratory and is building a national demonstration home that will be opened to the public this fall. I’ll be writing a series of articles about her project and start with this, her story.
About The Demonstration Home Project
On June 13, 1998 my husband, Mark Leder, and I decided to celebrate our anniversary by going on a bicycle ride. It was a beautiful day with a clear blue sky, perfect biking weather. I was riding down the path ahead of Mark, when he heard a loud crack and yelled, “Look over there something is falling!” I glanced back at him and suddenly a 3 1/2 ton tree came crushing down on me, leaving me injured on the bike path. My life was changed in that instant! I was paralyzed from the waist down with a spinal cord injury.