Opening Doors for Homeowners Like You!
What is "Visitability"?
To ensure that your guests and visitors with mobility impairments are welcome and comfortable in your home, consider these design features:
- At least one zero-step entrance approached by an accessible route
- An accessible bathroom on the main floor
If you are considering the purchase of a new home, or modernizing your existing home, these design features are the minimum you should include to provide "access for all". These features will give you, as the homeowner, the option of utilizing the spaces if your needs change in the future.
What is "Aging-in-Place"?
It refers to living where you have lived for years using services, products and conveniences which allow you to remain at home as your circumstances change. CAPS professionals' mission is to assist you in evaluating your current living situation and suggest adaptations or modifications to ensure your home remains comfortable, safe and convenient and gives you tools to maintain your independence as you mature.
To age-in-place, you may need to modify your house to increase access and maneuverability. These modifications could include:
- Installing bath and shower grab bars
- Adjusting countertop heights
- Adjusting toilet seat heights
- Provide knee spaces under sinks
- Install wheel/walk-in shower
- Replace door knobs with lever handles
- Create a multifunctional first floor master suite
- Installing a private elevator
What is "Universal Design"?
There are numerous home modifications that can make your life easier, safer, more convenient and improve ease and comfort for guests of all ages and ability levels. This is the emphasis of Universal Design:
- Replacing door knobs with lever handles can make maneuvering through doors with bags of groceries, laundry baskets or a walker less awkward...
- Removal of throw rugs can prevent tripping hazards for those of any age...
- Providing counter tops of various heights in the kitchen allow everyone to assist with dinner preparation, whether they need to sit or stand, and whether they're a small child or a person confined to a wheelchair...
- Installing lever handle faucets make activation easier for those hands covered with garden dirt or lacking flexibility from arthritis...
Many of these improvements can be made economically, and product manufacturers are developing new styles and products to please the most discriminating consumer.
All of these design concepts come together for Certified-Aging-in-Place Specialists, who have been trained in:
- The unique needs of the older adult population
- Aging-in-place home modifications
- Typical remodeling projects
- Solutions to common barriers
As an Architect and CAPS professional, Lynda Mong has the resources, expertise and design experience to answer your questions. She has learned the strategies and techniques for designing and building aesthetically enriching barrier-free living environments. With parents in their 80's and family members with mobility impairments, Lynda has gained insight and understanding on a personal level with those who would benefit from many of these design concepts.
The CAPS program goes beyond design to address the codes and standards for new construction and remodeling expenditures and projects, including product ideas and resources needed to provide comprehensive and practical aging-in-place solutions. CAPS graduates pledge to uphold a code of ethics and are required to maintain their designations by attending continuing education programs and participating in community service.
What is the First Step to Determine if My Home is Adaptable so I can Age in Place?
An Initial In-Home Assessment is your first step in the process to evaluate what is required to ensure your home meets your needs now and in the future. This assessment is a check list detailing potential problem areas of the home. Typically this includes information on such areas of concern as:
- maneuverability within various rooms
- tripping and falling hazards
- inaccessible spaces due to awkward sizes or other constraints
- narrow doors and hallways
The checklist is compiled and an Assessment Report is given to you, the Client, and others involved in your care. Clarifications and possible solutions may be discussed, and the determination is made by the Client whether or not to proceed. If you would like additional information, you may contact our office and we would be happy to answer your questions. For reference, you may also download a copy of our brochure here. Contact our office to schedule your affordable Initial In-Home Assessment, and we will be happy to discuss options and possibilities to add value, comfort and longevity to your home!
For additional information, see the following articles and websites:
For resources in Southeast Washington: