Thinking of making home modifications so you, or a loved one, can thrive in place? To have a fully functional universal designed home, you need to go beyond the shower stall bars, wider hallways, and doors. Consider buying new appliances with aging-in-place features.

As this article illustrates, today's appliance makers are becoming more aging-in-place friendly by developing drawer-based kitchen and bathroom appliances, simplified controls, and smarter formats.

Margaret Biggs, a universal design consultant with Disability Advocates of Kent County in Michigan, says that within 10 years, many younger families will have live-in seniors, such as parents or grandparents. Designs to help seniors or people with disabilities also can foster independence for children. One example she cites in the article is microwave ovens.

According to Biggs, they should be at counter height or lower. Some new designs now put the microwave in a pull-out drawer below the counter because the ones above the stove or oven are extremely dangerous for seniors and children, mainly due to the fact that there's something very hot above their heads.

The convenience of a drawer refrigerator or drawer dishwasher also has wide appeal among baby boomers. In other easy access options, according to the author, overhead cabinets could have pull-down shelves, while base cabinets' shelves could be pulled up. Cabinets with pocket doors can accommodate someone in a wheelchair.

In the kitchen, oven knobs need to be on the front of the unit, so cooks don't reach over hot pots to change the setting. Some new cooktops have thermal sensors to cut the power when a burner dangerously overheats.

In the bathroom, having the toilet at the right height can make an big difference in comfort and safety.   Also, consider a bathroom mirror with built in lighting. If you have a medicine cabinet lighting built inside can help you find things easier.  An expert bathroom remodeler like Village Craftsmen can help you add new features in your bathroom to make it easier for you to age in place.

From the laundry room to kitchen to bathroom, thoughtful design targets safety and ease of use for aging boomers. With pull-out drawers for appliances, open cabinetry, a level floor and a wheelchair-friendly layout, a house can be a home for years longer.

Take the next step toward your independent future. Village Craftsmen offers a THRIVE Bathroom Design Safety Program to not only help you age in place, but thrive in place.  An in-home, experienced rehabilitation technician will:

* LISTEN to your concerns regarding bathroom safety

* ASSESS your bathroom with the Thrive Safety Protocol

* PROVIDE you with recommendations for your safety & fall prevention

* ARRANGE for a quote to install safety enhancements if you desire

To learn more please complete the form on this page

                                   or call 330-896-2000.