The house that Fabgrandpa and I sold in 2000 was a split level. It didn’t matter which entrance you took into the house, you had to go up some stairs. There were also stairs going up to the bedrooms and bathrooms. I bought that house in 1984, when I was in my 30’s. It was a great house for raising kids in, but the longer I lived there, the more I thought about how I would manage if I lived there when I got older. As it turned out for us, we sold that house to go RV’ing.
We spent the next thirteen years living in an RV. It was a tagalong trailer, with just one level, but you still had to go up some steps to get inside. When I cam home from the hospital in 2012, it was very difficult for me to climb up those four steps into the trailer. By that time, we had already bought the house that we live in now. It is a one story ranch style, two bedroom house. There are three steps to get into the house in the front.
Now that I am sixty two and disabled, I think a lot about how to make things easier for me to live in my home. I have blogged about our remodeling, from adding new windows, a new door, new counter tops and a range hood in the kitchen. All of the things we have done were necessary, both for making updates to the house to make it more energy efficient and more eye pleasing, but also to make it easier for us as we get older.
For instance, for that pretty new door, I picked out a door lever instead of a door knob. A lever lets me push down on it to open the door, instead of having to grasp the doorknob and twist it. For someone with arthritis, that makes a big difference in their everyday life. Because I can not bend over to get pots and pans out of the lower cabinets, we choose to get a rack to hang them on. It add a lot to the decor of the kitchen, but also allows me to get the pots and pans I need for cooking by myself, and allows me to put them away myself. Being able to do that helps to alleviate some of my depression.
I decided to talk about these things today, because I was looking at my twitter account, and there was a guy who followed me on there whose profile said that he was the nation’s leading authority on Aging in Place. I have never seen that term used before so I set out to see what exactly it meant. Well, there is a LOT of information on the internet about Aging In Place. From the Aging In Place website:
“Aging in place” refers to living where you have lived for years, not typically in a health care environment or nursing home, using products, services, and conveniences which allow you to remain home as your circumstances change. In other words, you continue to live in the home of your choice safely and independently as you get older.”
I think it is a wonderful idea. Up until today, I thought the only choices for people who are getting older was to either go into an assisted living community, or to go into a nursing home. People who are aging can modify their homes to make it easier for them to live there. With sites like Aging In Place and others like it, older Americans can find the resources they need to remodel or modify their homes to accomodate their needs.
I still have a couple of things I need to make my home an easy place for me to live. I have been looking at installing a walk in shower, but when I looked at some of the resources I found today, I found that there exists such a thing as a “wet room”. This is a trend that started in Europe, and is making it’s way here to the United States.
I would LOVE to have a wet room installed in my home. It is simply an area of the bathroom that is all tiled so that someone can just walk over there and take a shower. It can have doors or not, a shower curtain or not, but the main thing is that it is a very easy and simple idea that makes taking a shower easy for someone who has a disability or who can be off balance. I will be looking more into this in the coming weeks, and start saving my pennies to help make it happen. If you had access to a “wet room” would you have it installed in your home? Do you have a disability that having a wet room would make your bathroom more accessible for you?
I have not received any product or compensation for this post.
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