Getting older? Me neither

Doorlever1_2But it could happen. And if it does, we can delay moving to an old folks home by making some changes in our own homes.

For instance, it will help of we can open the doors (even with arthritic fingers), if we can see clearly, and if tripping hazards are eliminated. To help with needed modifications, the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) offers to contractors and designers a training program called Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS).

Here’s what such a specialist would look for to make a house more accommodating:

• A master bedroom and bath on the first floor
• A low or no-threshold entrance to the home with an overhang
• Lever-style door handles (pictured)
• No change in levels on the main floor
• Bright lighting in all areas
• A low-maintenance exterior
• Non-slip flooring at the main entryway
• An open floor plan, especially in the kitchen/dining area
• Handrails at all steps

If you do end up living into old age (which is certainly a goal of mine), and need help modifying your home, look for a California contractor or designer with the CAPS designation.

(Photo: Brian Jenkin)

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