If you are like many of the other 76 million Baby Boomers who want to “age in place” in your current home, you are going to want to change, modify and/or add to it in order to make access to it easier and safer for you. Here is one idea on how to implement such a change.
Make your main entryway one with no steps.
If you have developed chronic back pain over the years, or if you have any one of a dozen different ailments which make it difficult to climb even one step, you should consider changing your entryway to one with no steps. Depending on how your home is configured, this will mean either changing the access from the street, from your driveway or from your garage. Moreover, changing your entryway to one with no steps and one that is also covered is an even better idea.
The best way of accomplishing this is to reconfigure the entryway using a gradual, sloped incline, otherwise known as a ramp. This may also necessitate adding a railing of some kind. With regard to the cover, consider incorporating the architecture from your existing roof line or, if that is not possible, a less expensive option is to add some kind of an overhead arbor.
What are the obstacles?
There are some problems inherent in aging in place modifications. With regard to adding a ramp to the front entrance of a home, that list would include both practical problems – such as needing the approval of homeowners associations and next door neighbors – to aesthetic considerations – such as how to make your outdoor ramp look like a pleasing passageway, rather than an institutional eyesore.
One way to insure that your aging in place modifications are aesthetically pleasing is to hire a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). These men and women have been specifically trained on how to make these kinds of age-related modifications look beautiful – rather than institutional – and have the resources to make this happen, including access to specialized products and contractors. A CAPS professional can also suggest a host of other practical, yet pleasing ways to gain safer and easier access to your home as you age in it.
A state by state list of CAPS professionals can be obtained through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), or you can contact the writer, Bonnie Joy Flamm, who is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) and a residential Interior Designer.
To find out how you can benefit from an Aging-In-Place design, Contact me today for a complimentary design consultation.