Ways to Prepare a Home for Aging Homeowners

Ways to Prepare a Home for Aging Homeowners

As the Baby Boomers embark on the retirement phase of their lives, many are finding a more sensible alternative to assisted living facilities is to modify their current home for accessibility. The expense and restrictions of an assisted living/nursing home can be overwhelming, which has popularized the idea of continuing to live in the home. As the children of Baby Boomers want to ensure parents remain safe in their home environment, there are many Ways to Prepare a Home for Aging Homeowners. Let’s explore a few of those suggestions for attainable solutions to reduce household trip hazards.

According to an American Psychological Association article titled, By the numbers: Older adults living alone, 12 million Americans over age 65 live alone, according to a report by the Pew Research Center. The percentage of older adults who live alone quintupled from 6 percent in 1900 to a peak of 29 percent in 1990, and has slowly declined since then, to 26 percent in 2014.

As the data shows, the elderly population is growing, and many are choosing to stay in their current residence. A few modifications that will help with the aging demographic are:

ADA Ramps

DS Concrete has recently built more handicap accessible ramps around Kansas City than ever before. More and more homeowners are setting up their homes to anticipate the future – handicap accessibility. As a licensed and experienced concrete company, DS works with local and ADA codes to ensure the ramps are done properly.

According to Home Depot’s website, there are several key requirements for how to build a ramp following ADA guidelines. Consider them as you develop your wheelchair ramp plans. Carefully choosing the ramp’s location and design is an important step.

  • Measure the distance between the ground and the threshold to find the rise of the ramp.
  • The rise of single ramp run must not exceed 30 inches.
  • If your threshold is more than 30 inches from the ground, two or more ramp sections will be necessary and separated by level landings. 
  • Slope is the proportion of vertical rise to horizontal length.
  • The steepest slope permitted by the ADA is ratio of 1:12, meaning that the ramp rises one inch for every 12 inches in length.
  • A ratio of 1:16 is not as steep and therefore easier to navigate with a manual wheelchair; a 1:20 slope requires even less effort but is longer in length and will require more materials.
  • To determine how far the ramp will project horizontally from the threshold, multiply the rise by the desired slope and then divide that figure by 12 to convert the measurement to feet. For example, a 30-inch rise multiplied by 1:16 slope equals 480 inches. That length divided by 12 equals 40 feet, the horizontal distance the ramp will extend from the threshold.

Repair Uneven/Crumbling Concrete

The #1 reason for Emergency Room visits each year is for falls on sidewalks, patios, porches, driveways, and garages… all of which have concrete as the common denominator. Concrete can expand and contract with the seasons, and Kansas City sure does see all four of the seasons! From the winter freezes to the summer droughts, the concrete around a home sees damage each year and can worsen to a point of needing replacement or repair. Here are some options when this becomes a noticeable issue (keep in mind… don’t ignore the issue – it will only worsen and result in a more extensive and expensive repair!):

  • Polyjacking: this high-density polyurethane concrete leveling process is known as the best solution for concrete repair, leveling, and lifting. DS Concrete’s sister company, PolyMagic, specializes in this process, which has many proven benefits over the traditional mudjacking process. Read more the process here!

Bathroom Design

Yes, a bathroom is a necessity when it comes to handicap and aging needs. According to Washington Post’s10 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Aging in Place,” bathroom design should focus on convenience and fall prevention. Consider what you, your family or a visitor using a wheelchair might need to get around. Make sure the walls can accommodate handle bars, and that the sink, shower and toilet are accessible to people of all ages, heights and mobility. A door opening of at least 32 inches allows better access, and a curbless walk-in shower area is ideal.

Here were a few of the Ways to Prepare a Home for Aging Homeowners which we hope you find helpful as you navigate the next stage of your life, your parents’ lives, or friends/family. Should you have any specific questions or concerns with how to accomplish the projects requiring concrete lifting, foundation repair/piering, ramp building, or even concrete replacement/addition, please reach out. We’d love to have a conversation to better understand your needs and address the most effective solutions to meet your needs. Click here to fill out our quote form!