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Exceptional Service and Quality Craftsmanship since 1990

Enjoying Your Warrenton Golden Years Independently

Universal Design is the key to independent, safe living for all Americans - young, old, special needs and everyone in between

The old saying "a man's home is his castle" faces an acid test as the king ages: will he live luxuriously in a grand courtyard, or be confined to a dungeon? At Home Sweet Home Improvements, we provide Warrenton aging in place services and we are specially trained and equipped to improve the safety, functionality, and comfort of your palace!

AARP research indicates 9 in 10 Americans want to remain in their home as long as possible; the realities of increasingly long life spans and the growth of nursing home and assisted-living industries have led many older Americans to believe that they will be forced to give up their independent lifestyle sooner than they are ready. Genworth Financial, a leading insurance services provider, in its "Cost of Care Survey 2011" published that the Northern Virginia area average cost for a single-occupancy assisted living unit is $44,460 per year and a semi-private nursing home room is $69,715 per year plus most of these facilities charge large non-refundable entrance fees. Genworth's research also illuminated that two-thirds of all Americans will need long-term care as they age, and the large majority would prefer to receive care in their home rather than in a facility. Sadly, many Americans do not know about alternatives that will allow them to maintain that cherished independence.

The Concept of Universal Design
What many seniors do not realize is that the home they live in can be custom retrofitted (or a large section remodeled) to accommodate to the unique needs we all face as we move through our life cycle. This is called Warrenton Universal Design or Warrenton Aging in Place (they apply the same principles to all phases of life and AP specifically for older adults). Surprisingly to many, the same modifications that benefit older people are beneficial to children, individuals with disabilities, and everyone else too! The AARP defines Universal Design nicely:

Universal Design is about creating an attractive, stylish space that everyone, regardless of age, size, or ability, can live in or visit. A home with Universal Design makes it easier for residents to live in, and for guests to visit now and in the future, even as everybody's needs and abilities change. Having Universal Design features and products in a home makes good sense and can be so attractive that no one notices them, except for how easy they are to use.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), working with the AARP, developed a comprehensive Aging in Place training and education package for construction professionals. Only an elite set of contractors have completed the training and earned the prestigious NAHB Certified Aging-In-Place-Specialist (CAPS) designation; it is important to seek out one of these highly skilled professionals when considering any project. Give us a call at 540-439-8890; we would be happy to walk you through all recomendation from NAHB and AARP.

Why Universal Design and Aging in Place Remodeling Matters to You
The majority of older adults, children, and individuals with disabilities live in a home which restricts their lifestyle or poses unnecessary hazards. Surprisingly most people never recognize the limitations their home presents; they simply accommodate to their environment out of necessity! This is particularly true of young- and middle-age adults: we usually do not consider how our children or aging parents struggle to safely navigate stairs, bathrooms, corners, kitchens, switches and fixtures. Sadly, the US CDC estimates that 1 in 3 seniors will sustain a fall-related injury, and an alarming number will not survive the injury.

These dangerous limitations include, but certainly are not limited to,

  • inadequate lighting (which casts shadows or leaves rooms dim, creating trip/fall risks or fear of certain rooms in the home);
  • stairs at every entrance (which severely restricts mobility for those using walkers, canes, wheelchairs, or carrying heavy/awkward items; and are dangerous for young children);
  • door handles and faucets which require twisting or gripping (which make them difficult to open or turn on)
  • narrow doors and hallways (which make it difficult to navigate a wheelchair, power scooter or large items through the home)
  • bathtubs or showers with slick floors and high sides (which greatly increase slip and fall risks during daily hygiene times)

Again, it is important to remember that modifications designed to address one specific need generally benefit everyone who enters the home: for example, replacing a standard light switch with a lower-set rocker switch makes it easier for Little Billy to reach, more convenient for Mom to nudge with an elbow when her hands are full of groceries, and safer for Grandma to turn lights on without stretching or leaning from her wheelchair or scooter. Likewise widening a hallway and door, plus installing a lever-style handle, makes it drastically easier to move a wheelchair, king-size bed set, or crib, into the bedroom.

The icing on the cake is that Universal Design or Aging in Place remodeling increases resale value of the home, because it removes many barriers for future residents and makes the home more desirable to any family in any stage of life. These modifications can be minor or extensive, and can be tailored to any set of needs.

A Logical Conclusion
If your goal is to keep yourself, or your older loved ones, safely in the comfort of home as long as possible, aging in place remodeling is both an excellent investment in your future and the key to living your best years at home. Why sell the house to rent an unfamiliar and generic assisted living apartment far from home and family, when for the cost of a single year's rent your home could be customized to your unique needs for many years to come! Check out our comprehensive Contractor Qualifier worksheet to help you make an informed decision. The US Census recorded over 650,000 remodeling companies but the Certified Aging-In-Place-Specialist (CAPS) locator only reports a few individuals in this area are certified! Home Sweet Home Improvements is one of these elite CAPS professionals, and also earned the NAHB's prestigious Certified Graduate Remodeler certification. We stand ready to help you make your home your castle call us today to start your adventure!

If you are looking for a Certified Warrenton Again In Place Specialist to remodel your home, contact Home Sweet Home Improvements in Bealeton, Virginia.

Christopher Koch is a Remodeling Specialist with Home Sweet Home Improvements. Chris can be contacted at 540.439.8890 or at Home Sweet Home Improvements is a residential General Contractor licensed in the State of Virginia.

If you are looking for a professional Warrenton kitchen remodeling contractor, please call us today at 540-439-8890 or complete our online request form.

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