The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” Read on to learn of some ways that can allow you to stay safer in your home as you grow older.
Lever door handles are easier to turn than knobs. These are among one of the more inexpensive changes that can be added to your home.
Think flooring. Wood, linoleum, cork or even rubber flooring are good options because they are easier on joints and safer if a fall were to occur.
Being able to pull out shelves to reach exactly what you need is necessary especially when things become less accessible as you age. Wide, easy-to-grab cabinet and drawer pulls are essential if you want to age in place. Cabinet knobs and drawer pulls are also a fairly inexpensive change.
Wider hallways and passages to accommodate a wheelchair or walker. In the kitchen, the Americans With Disabilities Act guidelines require at least 60 inches of clearance between opposing cabinets, walls or appliances for U-shaped kitchens; galley or “pass through” kitchens require at least 40 inches of clearance between opposing surfaces.
No-threshold shower. Although these are growing in popularity due to the sleek look they offer, curbless showers are essential in an aging in place home as they are easier and safer to use. Grab bars can also be added for more safety.
Atleast one no step entry in to the home that is covered and well lit. This is essential to allow access for wheelchairs and walkers.
Elevator. If the home is more then one level be sure the staircase has secure banisters as well as an elevator. If you are not prepared to install an elevator currently, you can frame in stacked closets on top of each other to use for storage until you are ready to add in the elevator.
Wider doors to allow for walkers and wheelchairs. It is suggested that doorways be atleast 32-inches wide.
Install comfort-height toilets. These are two to three inches higher than traditional toilets, and require less bending to sit on.
In conclusion, addressing flooring issues, installing additional lighting and adding in a curbless showers are all things that may be beneficial to all ages and can be more aesthetically appealing. Are you considering adding any of these features to your home?
Sources houzz.com and The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Were nearing completion on this bi level home on the South River. The combination of wood and stone veneer siding truly makes this home stand out. Click on each image to see it enlarged.
Although the days have been warmer here in Maryland, they are slowly becoming chillier as we near Christmas. If you are concerned about cranking up the heat because of the increase in your electric bill, check out our easy tips for reducing your energy costs.
Adjust your thermostat at night or during the day when you are away from you home. You can save about 10 percent per year on your heating bills by turning your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day, according to the US Department of Energy.
Keep your furnace clean and unblocked. Check your furnace filter regularly and replace it when it gets dirty. A dirty filter makes your furnace or heat pump work harder, and leads to higher energy bills.
Plastic wrap your windows. Drafty windows can be major culprits of heat loss, but can easily be fixed by covering them with plastic. DIY window insulation kits start as low as $12 and can even be found at local stores like Target.
Hang thermal curtains. Invest in curtains with thermal lining that will block heat and UV in the summer and keep cold air out in the Winter.
Reverse the ceiling fan. Most ceiling fans have a switch you can flip that will change the direction the fan blades are rotating. This will push hot air that has risen to the ceiling back down into the room.
Decorate for warmth. Put flannel sheets on your bed, warm rugs on your floors and extra throw blankets on the sofas.
Take advantage of free solar heating. Open curtains during the day to allow the sun to warm your home; close curtains at night to trap in the heat.
Close the damper. Sometimes overlooked this can be a major culprit in heat loss. Keep the damper closed when your fireplace isn’t in use to prevent warm air escaping.
Boost your homes energy efficiency and prevent winter damage by checking off these to-dos before cold weather hits.
Take a walk around your house and look for signs of damage. This includes the roof, siding and foundation. Schedule these repairs before winter comes.
Seal gaps where critters could enter. With colder weather animals are always looking for a warm place and some only need a small gap to sneak in.
Stock up and check the condition of winter supplies. This includes snow scrapers, shovels, emergency kits and snow blowers (if you use them).
Rake leaves. Letting leaves sit over winter can inhibit spring growth.
Shut off exterior faucets and store hoses. Drain the hoses and protect your pipes from the dropping temperatures.
Add weatherstripping. This is often overlooked, but this small step can help you save money on your energy costs. Apply it around the frames of windows and doors.
Clean gutters and downspouts once most of the leaves have fallen. Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding.
Clean dryer vents. Lint buildup in dryer vents can make your dryer work less efficiently and even cause a fire.
Schedule a chimney cleaning and heating system maintenance. Make sure your chimney and furnace or boiler are cleaned, maintained and in working order.
Can you smell that? That’s the comforting scent of all things pumpkins, apple cider and spice. We may still be in the depths of summer and planning beach trips, barbecues, and enjoying warm summer nights, but Fall is almost within our reach! Check out these quick tips to help transition you’re home decor from Summer to Fall.
Layer rugs and pull out the throw blankets
Add warmth to your home by adding a few textured throw blankets and area rugs to your rooms. For an added touch, choose ones that are in rich fall colors: red, orange, dark purple and browns.
Turn to the outdoors for inspiration
Bring the outdoors inside and fill some jars with branches from your yard or your local craft store. Add in fall smelling potpourri for added affect. A bundle of fallen twigs wrapped in a bow could be used in an entry way or as fireplace decor, fallen leaves could be used as a base to fill a jar and pine cones could be used to fill a wooden bowl along with other accents. Bonus because those decorations are all free!
Change our your bedding
Add linens in rich colors, plaids and darker prints. Simply adding darker colors can totally transform your home to feeling more seasonal.
Change out your welcome mat
The best way to say “Hello fall!” is to have a festive welcome mat by your front door!
Create a welcoming autumn feel with scented candles
Scented candles in the season’s vanilla, spice, apple and pumpkin fragrances can easily bring warmth to any space. Try arranging large candles around a centerpiece with faux leaves and pine cones.
Switch your hand towels
Choose darker, bolder, earthy and warm fall colors. You can also bust out new hand soaps in fall scents.
Springs here and that means more yard work for many families who are starting to plant gardens and tend to their yards. Did you know that approximately 68,000 people are treated in emergency rooms for lawn mower-related injuries each year (AAOP)? Sadly more than 9,000 of them are children under age 18.
“The overwhelming majority of these injuries result in amputations that require reattachment or reconstructive surgery,” says Rick Redett, M.D.
The majority of lawn mower-related injuries can be prevented by following a few safety guidelines and using common sense. Check out the list below for a few safety precautions you can take to prevent injuries.
Hippotherapy is the use of horseback riding as a therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment. The movement of the horse affects a rider’s posture, balance, coordination, strength and sensorimotor systems.
It is believed that the warmth and shape of the horse as well as its rhythmic, three-dimensional movement along with the rider’s responses to the movement of the horse can improve the flexibility, posture, balance and mobility of the rider.
This program differs from therapeutic horseback riding, because the work is one-on one, and the rider does not direct the horse. Licensed health professionals including physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists guide the rider’s posture and actions while the horse is controlled by assistants at the direction of the therapist.
The horse’s unique walk transfers variable, repetitive and rhythmic movement to the client, which provides sensory input to the brain and nervous system. The resultant responses in the client are similar to human movement patterns of the pelvis while walking. An average horse takes 120 walking steps per minute, allowing 120 chances each minute for a client to experience this unique movement that cannot be replicated by another apparatus or equipment. During a session the therapist, working in conjunction with a specially trained horse handler, can grade or adapt this movement to provide a “just right challenge” for each client. Most clients respond very enthusiastically to hippotherapy treatment and thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to engage with the horse in an environment that is much different than a typical therapy clinic.
Who benefits from hippotherapy?
A wide variety of individulas can experience benefits from hippotherapy. Some diagnoses commonly treated by this therapy include:
Experts at the Pantone Color Institute are hinting at upcoming mellowing & calm trends with their choice for this years Color of The Year. Recently for the first time ever they anointed two colors; rose quartz and serenity were selected as the dual colors of the year for 2016 (they are shades of pale pink and baby blue). The pairing can appear solo or as blended shades.
In the words of Leatrice Eiseman, the Executive Director of the Pantone® Color Institute: “Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.” Rose Quartz is persuasive, gentle and conveys compassion and composure while Serenity compares to the blue sky and provides relaxation. Read on to see some simple ways you can incorporate these two tones into your home.
Add printed throw pillows throughout your home. Using a pattern that has both colors create a stunning display especially when placed against a neutral background.
One of the easiest ways you can stay on trend is to hang art on your wall. Art can be easily changed and if you think outside of the box it can be fairly inexpensive. Think old prints, posters, thrift store finds and tapestries. You could paint frames in these tones as well to subtly incorporate this new trend. This poster to the left uses both colors in a pretty design.
Table clothes can be easily incorporated into your home with little to no struggle. We love this printed patterned table runner from Pottery Barn.
Adorable accent pieces such as this chair are perfect for incorporating these colors. Think stands, dressers, and bookshelves. You can even upcycle things you already have or come across.
You can see how well the two colors compliment each other and blend in this awesome dresser. Blending the colors adds depth and personality as opposed to having just one flat color and takes full advantage of both of the tones.
Probably at the top of my list for most favorite uses of these colors is this wood paneled wall splashed with Rose Quartz. The wood panels give this hue a beachy and rustic vibe and creates something extremely unique. You could simply paint one wall to create an accent wall in your home with either of the colors. To prevent overkill and to break up the color adorn the wall with mirrors or photographs.
We also love this Rose painted door. A bolder move but it works so well!
One of my favorite go to decorations when I’m in a pinch is using extra ornaments to decorate non traditionally. Place ornaments on a cake stand, in a glass vase or anything else you can
find for an extremely simple, yet stunning centerpiece. You can also use leftover ornaments to decorate windows. Simply tie a ribbon thru and secure to either your curtain rod or a hook affixed to the window.
For an easy and festive table display gather some doilies (white, silver, red, or gold) and tape them together. Use vases of varying heights filled with ornaments and pine cones. You can even spray paint the pine cones silver, gold or white for an extra special touch. Finish the display off by tying a ribbon around each glass.
Can’t find a wreath this late in the game? Grab a handful of twigs from your yard or the craft store. This simple display makes a wonderful hanging decoration to put on your front door or even above the mantel. To secure this, wrap a wide rubber band around the twig ends. Tuck a sprig of greens, such as rosemary or eucalyptus, inside the rubber band for color. Cover the rubber band with a ribbon.
Have something sitting around that you’re not using or that your child has outgrown? Perhaps an old pair of rain boots? Use those in your front porch display by dressing them up with twigs, greens and ribbon for a welcoming display. You can add weight with rocks to keep the boots from falling over. Here’s just a couple of our favorites.
If you have a birdbath in your yard dress it up with garland, a large red ball, pine cones or any other left over Christmas decorations you have laying around.
If you need a display for your mantel try wrapping empty food boxes in various wrapping papers or fabrics. Finish each package off with a decorative ribbon or flowers. Arrange these on your mantle along with ornaments, pine cones, or candles for a festive display!