By: Jane Sandwood
Bringing your elderly parents into your home is a blessing for some; it provides quality time together that you may not otherwise have. But moving your parents in your home also often requires retro-fitting some new features to ensure they remain safe.
If your home is going to be a temporary stage for transitioning between independent living and moving into a residence designed for seniors, it can be difficult to determine how to balance safety over the short term without damaging your home’s value over the long term.
We’re going to break down the modifications you may need to make to your home and how to make them without impact your home’s value (too much):
Responsible Construction: Building Senior Friendly Homes
Every construction company and builder will want to earn a well deserved reputation for the quality of their builds. This is especially pertinent for senior housing projects, where there are several considerations that need to be taken – and there is plenty of demand in Tysons, VA, where 11.6% of the population are aged 65 or over. Poor planning can cause reputational and cost damage, with adverse construction processes bringing problems as far afield as Elgin, IL, where a housing project for seniors has hit safety hitches.
For companies in the senior housing business, there are a few considerations to ensure that your risk is managed effectively when going through the motions of constructing a project. By implementing these guidelines into your build, you can help build a solid reputation for versatile homebuilding.
One of the prime ways to ensure that a senior housing project remains effective for the target market is through the use of sensible and effective building materials. For instance, when constructing bathrooms, the inclusion of granite and other polished rock types in flooring can be problematic, threatening slips and falls and also releasing harmful gas over years. Instead, make the home safe for seniors by providing elements on which to support weight in case of falls, and using floors that have grip, or non-slip linoleum.
Provide Flexibility In Ramp Design
Fortunately for construction companies, the requirements and related liabilities for ensuring properties are compatible with wheelchairs and other mobility aids falls on the owner of the property or business. However, if you are involved with a project offering independence and flexibility to seniors, it pays to have architectural design that allows either for immediate wheelchair access, or for future adaptations. This is especially in focus as technology is allowing wheelchair users independence and bringing the flaws of poorly designed properties into light.
In a wider sense, look to improve accessibility around the home. This includes removing thresholds between rooms, such as raised areas or metal boundaries between areas of the house. The benefit of this is removing the danger of trips and falls. This extends to the access to the specific design of the house grounds. Especially for seniors who require specific care and attention, either from family or care agencies, it is vital to have good access to the house. Again, the ability of third parties to reach your development can be key in maintaining a high value and being a quality development.
Making your house design inclusive of and designed towards senior isn’t the most taxing task around – but there are specific, easily overlooked alterations you can make, as discussed above, that can make the difference in terms of money, time and reputation.
10 HOME SAFETY TIPS FOR SENIORS
- Buy a 19” high toilet
- Install grab bars next to it
- Put a grab bar in the shower
- Place a folding chair in the shower
- Install bedrails
- Remove thresholds
- Pull up carpeting
- Change door handles to lever style
- Make sidewalks easier to navigate
- Purchase an economical access ramp
About the author:
This article is published in ConstructionRisk.com Report, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Feb 2018). Copyright 2018, ConstructionRisk, LLC