Creating a Home for Life:
Helping Clients Age-in-Place
An active middle-age couple wants to age-in-place and make their home accessible for themselves and for guests. They asked for solutions that will make the best use of their property, budget and long-term health considerations.
Homeowners were presented with four options:
Short term/immediate modification needs for safety and accessibility.
Design ideas for partial renovation to a first floor powder room and access into the house for wheelchair “visitability”
Sketches for a first floor addition and full renovation;
Extensive remodel and building design options that included some “wishlist” items.
Homeowners were given a thorough list of product resources, information regarding home tax credits through the Montgomery County Design for Life initiative and recommendations for experienced local contractors.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Homeowner with a significant disability after a stroke questions the cost-benefit of a full renovation vs. moving into a home that would suit his long-term, changing needs.
Specific recommendations were given for one-handed orientation; sensory loss; lighting, flooring; doorway access and falls risk prevention. Design options provided included plans for future live-in caregivers. Resources were provided for SMART home options, architects and contractors. To further research product options, I accompanied client to a local Home Design Showcase, looking at and pricing products and features that would be beneficial to him in a full home renovation.
Are My Parents Safe at Home?
Concerned adult children who live out-of-town wonder if their mother with dementia and caregiving father are at risk for falls and are safe at home.
After consultation, recommendations were given to address immediate concerns for safe functioning in the areas of showering, negotiation of stairs, toileting, communication during emergencies, bed transfers, locomotion and vision. The report provided recommendations for easily addressed remedial issues and solutions requiring a contractor.
A functional cognitive assessment was performed to provide more insight into safety limitations for the parent with dementia. A detailed report was provided in writing and in-depth phone conference calls were held with out-of-town children and the caregiving parent.
"They provided both immediate advice as well as a comprehensive written report. The recommendations were both timely and precise. We would recommend them without reservation.”