In-laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats

NanaI found a book on home remodeling that may help you or your aging parents. It reminded me of mom’s story and the fact that housing needs change as we move through life stages.

Mom & Dad were both chain smokers, but thankfully I never started. After dad died, mom sold their home in McLean and bought a nice little condo in Fairfax. She even replaced the large-scale furniture with units that better fit the smaller space. ‘Good move. That worked fine for a few years, but without dad she grew more lonely and needed more care. Her emphysema progressed to the point that she was put on oxygen and forced to quit smoking, and she could no longer drive.

As her health deteriorated, one of the best things mom did was to sell the condo and use the money to build an apartment onto my brother’s home. Perry had enough land to expand on, and it gave mom autonomy and a sense of security with family so close by. She still missed dad but was relatively happy there – as happy as she could be given her health problems – until she too finally passed away years later.

I invite you to share your own story as a reply below.

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A BusinessWeek Guide to Assistive Technology

Senior with iPad“Jonathan Avila uses his iPad in ways most people might not realize are possible: The device reads e-mail to him while he’s traveling to work, tells him which way to walk when he is lost, and even lets him know if there’s a sidewalk on the other side of the street. Avila needs these features because he’s visually impaired.”  (Read about iPad’s Secret Abilities from Rachael Kin’s BusinessWeek article…)

In the article, Rachael describes how the iPad helps people with disabilities by reading e-mails, voicing directions, and zooming in on text. Her recorded interview with SSB Bart Group in this (listen to the audio podcast) seems to support our view that the Apple iPhone & iPad are ideal accessibility devices and also make for good home health gateways between medical sensors and monitoring services.

Getting People with Disabilities Back to Work

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