An aging in place remodel project in Middletown, MD
When this client called me, he said he and his wife very much wanted to be able to stay in their own home for as long as possible. They are both in their mid-70’s.
A little backstory on this aging in place remodel client, he and his wife have lived in their current home since the 1970’s. They raised their children there and have good neighbors. Their home is located on a nice, private lot in a good neighborhood. Their current home is a two-story, with most of the living area on the main floor. His wife uses the main floor bathroom and he uses a shower in the basement. There are stairs down to the basement with a single handrail.
Before they decided on modifying their home for aging in place, he and his wife had recently toured a local continuing care community, which included independent living, assisted living and a nursing home. This experience made them realize that they would very much like to explore their options with aging in place, due to the small living quarters and the high prices at the facility they toured.
He was recently diagnosed with a progressive disease, which affects his balance and gait, at times. She has a history of osteoarthritis, which affects her balance when walking, causing significant pain and limits her mobility at times.
They wanted to be proactive and do everything they can to age in place safely. They also really wanted to save money, which he knew could be done with home modifications vs. fees for living in a continuing care community.
They have support, when necessary, from their local adult children, as well as from neighbors. Overall, they are both relatively independent with daily activities, including self-care, light homemaking tasks and driving.
Aging in place remodel needs
As part of my discovery and assessment services, these clients in Middletown had a list of concerns, including:
- Safety using the stairs down to the basement when carrying laundry
- Safety and independence using the front entrance and the garage entrance to the home (both have steps)
- Safety and independence with bathing
- Safety and independence with transporting the trash cans up the steep driveway
- Safety and independence with toilet transfers (their toilets are quite low)
- Endurance with getting around out in the community
- Minor challenges with self-care tasks
Current level of functioning
- Both are independent with dressing, bathing, grooming, toileting and self-feeding
- Both normally ambulate, in the home, without an assistive device. Both have straight canes for “bad” days with her arthritis and his condition
- Both are capable with kitchen tasks
- A house cleaning service visits once a month for heavier cleaning tasks
- Both transport laundry, navigating basement stairs, using a laundry basket or just carrying the clothes
- Independent with their cell phones, finances, medication management, grocery shopping, etc.
- Both enjoy visiting with family, TV, reading, going on drives, going out to eat
- Both are independent with driving
Current home photos
Home remodeling & modifications
After the home assessment and some discussion about the project, the client chose to do the following work on their home.
- Renovate the upstairs bathroom and install a walk-in shower, a comfort height toilet, grab bars and handheld shower
- Renovate the master bedroom bathroom so the husband may start using this main floor shower vs going down to the basement to shower
- Install a second banister for the basement steps
- Install railings at the front and garage entrances