Creating an Age-Friendly Home: Design Tips for Senior Living

Author

Senior Care Authority - Pittsburgh Market

For more information about the author, click to view their website: Senior Care Authority Pittsburgh

Posted on

Jan 08, 2024

Book/Edition

Pennsylvania - Greater Pittsburgh Area

As we age, our living environment plays a crucial role in maintaining independence, safety, and overall well-being. By making thoughtful design modifications, we can create an age-friendly home that caters to the unique needs and challenges of seniors. In this blog post, we will explore various design considerations and practical tips that can transform a house, senior living, or assisted living apartment into a safe and comfortable haven for seniors, enabling them to live independently and enhance their quality of life.

Prioritize Safety and Accessibility - Safety should be the top priority when designing an age-friendly home. Consider incorporating the following modifications:

  • Install grab bars in bathrooms and near stairs to provide stability and support.
  • Ensure proper lighting throughout, including hallways, stairways, and entrance areas.
  • Remove tripping hazards such as loose rugs or cluttered walkways.
  • Install non-slip flooring, especially in moisture-prone areas, like bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Consider installing lever-style door handles that are easier to grasp than traditional door knobs.
  • Adjust the height of countertops and cabinets to avoid excessive bending or stretching.

Enhance Mobility and Ease of Navigation - Seniors may face mobility challenges, so it is essential to create a living environment that allows for easy movement and navigation:

  • Ensure that hallways and doorways are wide enough to accommodate walkers or wheelchairs.
  • Install ramps or lifts for entryways with stairs to ensure accessibility.
  • Arrange furniture to create clear pathways and minimize obstacles.
  • Use contrasting colors for walls, floors, and furniture to aid depth perception and reduce the risk of falls.
  • Consider using non-glare surfaces and window treatments to minimize glare and improve visibility.

Optimize Functionality and Convenience - Streamlining daily activities can significantly enhance the comfort and convenience of senior living:

  • Consider installing a walk-in shower or a seated shower bench to facilitate bathing.
  • Utilize adjustable-height countertops and pull-out drawers in the kitchen for easier access to cookware and supplies.
  • Install a hand-held showerhead and grab bars in the bathroom for added convenience and safety.
  • Ensure that light switches and electrical outlets are easily accessible and at a convenient height.
  • Implement smart home technology, such as voice-activated assistants and automated lighting, to control various functions with ease.

Comfort and Relaxation - Creating a comfortable and soothing environment is essential for emotional well-being:

  • Select supportive and ergonomic furniture with features like lumbar support and high-density foam cushions. Automatic recliners and lift chairs are also available.
  • Incorporate soft, non-reflective lighting to create a warm and relaxing atmosphere.
  • Use window coverings that allow for natural light while maintaining privacy.
  • Consider installing adjustable heating and cooling systems to ensure optimal comfort in all seasons.

Designing an age-friendly home is a transformative process that empowers seniors to maintain independence, safety, and comfort within their own living space. You can prioritize safety, accessibility, mobility, functionality, and comfort, while still creating a warm hospitable environment. With careful planning and thoughtful adjustments, we can transform our homes into havens where seniors can thrive, enjoy their golden years, and embrace the joy of aging in a secure and comfortable environment. When the time comes to explore other senior living accommodations your Senior Care Authority advisor is just a phone call away.

Other Articles You May Like

Lets Stay Together: Comparing Retirement Communities for Different Care Needs

Lets Stay Together: Comparing Retirement Communities for Different Care NeedsBy: Country Meadows |  Retirement CommunityCouples who have been together for decades have a deep bond and a desire to continue living together in a retirement community. When individual care needs vary, many retirement communities, such as Country Meadows, strive to support and accommodate these long-term relationships.Factors to keep in mind when comparing retirement communitiesLevels of care: Look for communities that provide various levels of assistance and support, such as independent living, personal care, memory support and skilled nursing, when comparing retirement communities. For example, if one member of a couple requires more assistance with activities of daily living, the retirement community may provide assistance with tasks such as bathing, dressing and medication management. At the same time, the other member of the couple may be able to live more independently and take advantage of social activities and amenities.Having several levels of care on the same campus can allow couples to continue living together while accessing the appropriate level of care for each individuals needs.Shared living: Inquire about policies regarding shared living arrangements for couples with different care needs when comparing retirement communities. Ask whether its possible for one partner to receive care and support within the same living unit or nearby, allowing the couple to remain together.Location: Consider the location when comparing retirement communities. Is it in a desirable area close to amenities, healthcare facilities and social activities? Think about your proximity to family and friends as well.Support services: When comparing retirement communities, consider the level of healthcare and support services available within the community. Does it have on-site healthcare professionals, access to medical care, assistance with activities of daily living and emergency response systems? Evaluate whether the community can meet current and future healthcare needs for both partners.Amenities and services: Assess the amenities and services offered when comparing retirement communities. Look for facilities offering things that are important to both individuals to meet varying hobbies and interests. These might include fitness centers, swimming pools, libraries, social and recreational activities, transportation services, housekeeping and maintenance. Determine which amenities are important to you and match your lifestyle.Dining options: Food is one of lifes great indulgences, so when comparing retirement communities, also compare meal quality. How many meals are offered each day? Are snacks and guest meals available? Are various dietary needs accommodated? Make arrangements to have a meal at retirement communities you are seriously considering to, literally, get a taste of that lifestyle.Housing options: When comparing retirement communities, explore the range of housing accommodations available, such as all-rental apartments, villas, townhomes or cottages. Consider the size, layout and features of the units. Evaluate whether the accommodations suit your preferences, offer enough room for two individuals and any potential future needs, such as accessibility or modifications.Financial considerations: When comparing retirement communities, you may come across many financial models which may be confusing. Understand the costs involved with each care level, including upfront fees, monthly rental and additional charges for services or amenities. Review the financial stability of the community and consider long-term affordability.Emotional and spiritual support: At Country Meadows, on-staff chaplains offer counseling and services honoring various spiritual traditions. When comparing retirement communities, look for those that provide emotional support and counseling for couples to help navigate the challenges and transitions of aging together.Community culture and activities: Understand the community culture and the types of activities and social events offered when comparing retirement communities. Attend community events to get a sense of the atmosphere and the opportunity to engage with other residents. Determine if the community aligns with your interests and promotes an active and fulfilling lifestyle.Resident feedback and reviews: Seek out feedback from current residents and their families and read online reviews. When comparing retirement communities, these simple inquiries can provide insights into the experiences of those already living in the community.Staff and management: When comparing retirement communities, you will probably meet with members of the marketing and management teams during your initial visit. Be sure to note their friendliness, responsiveness and professionalism. Inquire about staff-to-resident ratios and the availability of co-workers for assistance and support.By considering these factors, you can make a more informed decision when comparing retirement communities to find one that aligns with both partners lifestyle, preferences and needs. Its important to visit multiple locations, ask questions and involve both partners in the decision-making process to find the best fit.Country Meadows has nine locations in Pennsylvania and one campus in Frederick, Maryland. We offer a wide range of services to serve a variety of resident needs including restorative care, rehabilitation, personal care and assisted living, memory support and independent living services. If you or a loved one are beginning the retirement planning journey and would like more information about our communities, please contact us today. Were here to help.Country Meadows

Talking to your parents about Independent Living Communities

Talking to your parents about independent living communitiesBy: Country Meadows | cost of senior living, For Adult Children, Independent Living, Senior Living, senior living communitiesFor adults with aging parents, there are several difficult although necessary conversations that must be had around planning for the future. One of those conversations is about making the transition to senior living. And with multiple care factors to consider and a range of options for independent living communities to choose from, this discussion may seem all the more daunting. At Country Meadows, we have decades of experience in helping families make the right decisions for their senior living journey. Here of some ways to help ease into the conversation of planning for senior living.Find the right time and use the right toneWhen discussing sensitive subjects, especially ones so deeply personal, its best to enter the conversation knowing that it may not be easy for either yourself or your aging loved one. Be sure to find a time where there are no other distractions and you can sit down and have a meaningful experience. For instance, attempting to have this discussion during a family function or before an important event may cause clouded judgement as its already such a momentous time. If this is the very first time youll be having a conversation about independent living communities, these preparations can make all the difference in how your words are received. Its also important to understand there may be resistance from your parents or loved one when discussing independent living communities. If the discussion becomes emotional, be sure to stay calm while directing the conversation. Do your own research on independent living communitiesIts a good idea to walk into a situation prepared, and discussing independent living communities with your parents is no different. Researching amenities, activities and levels of available care if needed will help you provide solid answers when questions arise. Additionally, understanding the differences in pricing among the many independent living communities available will help you be realistic about what options are affordable. Once your parents are ready to be a part of the process, youll already be prepared for a more positive prospecting experience.   Anticipate what your parents are looking for in independent living communitiesWhile your parents or elders may not have explicitly expressed what theyre looking for in a senior living community experience, there are reference points that can help you understand what they may need from independent living communities. For instance, gauging their level of independence will be important when it comes to determining the type of care that theyll need now or in the future and this may differ from what your parents feel their level of independence is. Knowing, however, what aspects within the independent living communities youre researching may bring a compromise between your points of view. This can help to keep these conversations respectful of what you feel is best and also what your parents wishes are. If you know that your parents are social, active or enjoy dining out often, leading your research with independent living communities that feature those amenities can be a great entry point.  Be ready to have multiple discussionsRome wasnt built in a day, and its very likely that planning retirement wont happen in a single sitting either. There are many aspects that go into making a decision on senior living. Between the initial conversation, understanding the options available, visiting prospective campuses and financial considerations, there will be a lot of time invested in the process. Outside of these factors, the emotional aspects may leave you having to revisit this conversation with your loved ones either when theyre ready to think about independent living communities or when theyre willing to at least continue the discussion. Being able to listen and empathize will be very important in ensuring that everyone feels respected and heard.Ultimately, understanding your parents emotional needs in addition to their physical needs will be crucial in navigating these difficult conversations effectively. And when youre ready to make a decision on independent living communities, Country Meadows is here to help. With nine locations in Pennsylvania and one in Frederick, Maryland, Country Meadows has consistently been recognized as one of the best independent living communities for seniors. Not only are our independent living communities affordable, but theyre also designed for each resident to feel connected to neighbors while still having space all their own. Our campuses are pet friendly, as well, so residents can bring their furry friends along. In addition to independent living communities, Country Meadows also offers many different services including memory support, rehabilitation services, assisted living and personal care as well as restorative care options. With this comprehensive approach, our independent living communities are able to give a range of care to all residents. If you or a loved one are looking for more information on independent living communities or specifically more information on Country Meadows, contact us today. We can help you learn more about the services we offer, schedule a tour of our independent living communities and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you.  

Keeping Independent Senior Living Costs Affordable

Keeping Independent Senior Living Costs AffordableBy: Country Meadows |  Independent LivingAs people plan for the future, one common goal among older adults is to maintain independence in the comfort of their own homes for as long as possible. However, life is unpredictable, and there may come a time when seniors find themselves in need of a little extra support with everyday tasks or simply crave companionship. Independent living is designed for seniors who are generally healthy and active, but prefer a community setting that offers convenience, social engagement with others and amenities such as meals or recreational activity programs. Independent senior living costs can vary widely based on several factors such as location, amenities, additional services provided and type of housing.Housing typeThe type of housing a senior chooses can significantly impact independent senior living costs. When seeking information on various types of housing, seniors will find options that may include apartments, cottages, condominiums or single-family homes. Larger or more luxurious accommodations typically come at a cost with higher fees.LocationParticular geographic areas can influence overall expenses. Independent senior living in urban or high-demand locations will have higher costs than those in rural areas, as is the case in private homes or rental properties. For example, independent senior living in New York City will come at a much higher rate than living in rural Pennsylvania.AmenitiesIndependent senior living costs often include a range of amenities and services such as fitness centers, activities programs, housekeeping, laundry and transportation services. The more extensive and upscale the amenities, the higher the cost may be. Consider which amenities are important to you and your loved one when choosing senior living accommodations.Meal plansSome independent living communities offer meal plans as part of their services. The cost of these plans can vary based on the number of meals provided each day as well as dining options available, such as special meals where premium menu items such as filet mignon or lobster are offered.Utilities and maintenanceIndependent senior living costs may include utilities and maintenance services in their fees, as is the case at Country Meadows Retirement Communities. Others may have separate charges for these services, which is why its essential to clarify items included in the monthly fee.Healthcare servicesWhile independent living is designed for seniors who are relatively healthy, some communities offer healthcare services or have arrangements with healthcare providers and vendors such as nursing agencies and medical specialists. Additional healthcare services may come with extra costs.Community fees and depositsThere are several different types of senior living communities, and with those come a wide variety of costs. A Continuing Care Retirement Community, also known as a CCRC, may require a large entrance fee for admission as well as a monthly charge to guarantee service availability at every level of care. Other senior living facilities may require a community fee in addition to monthly charges. This fee may cover administrative costs, reserve funds or contribute to community improvements.Social and recreational activitiesAccess to social and recreational activities may be included in the monthly fee at some senior living communities, such as Country Meadows Vibe program. Some independent senior living costs might include higher fees for organized events, outings, entertainment, classes and fitness services.Transportation servicesTransportation services for medical appointments, shopping trips and social outings may be included in independent senior living pricing at some communities. At other locations, transportation services may be billed separately depending on a variety of factors such as distance and time of day.Security and safety featuresIndependent senior living costs typically include secured building entrances and 24-hour emergency response systems in private apartments. Additional security features which might incur higher fees are 24/7 medical alert systems and security personnel, which can significantly impact cost.Its crucial for seniors and their families to thoroughly review the costs of each community. Additionally, considering the long-term financial implications, including any potential increases in fees, is important when evaluating the affordability of senior independent living.Stop by one of Country Meadows Retirement Communities nine campuses in Pennsylvania or one in Frederick, Md., to pay us a visit. For information about any of our locations or services, or to ask a Question, please reach out to our expert advisors. Were here to help! Country Meadows

Local Services By This Author

Senior Care Authority - Pittsburgh

Housing Placement & Resource Specialists 651 Holiday Drive Suite 400, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15220

Senior Care Authority is a senior care consulting firm that helps families find the right care for their loved ones in the Pittsburgh area. Their team of Certified Senior Advisors (CSAs) are experts in senior care and can help you navigate the complex healthcare system, understand your options, and make informed decisions. Senior Care Authority is committed to providing compassionate and personalized care to their clients. FINDING SENIOR LIVING OPTIONSMaking the right care decision for your loved one can be a daunting task. There are so many options; the terminology is often unfamiliar and the terrain unknown. Senior Care Authority of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will streamline the process to make it easier for you to make informed choices and reduce the stress and pressure associated with such important decisions.Our team of Certified Senior Advisors carefully inspects locations from mid-to-larger size communities as well as smaller, residential care homes. We meet the staff, residents, family members when possible. State reports are reviewed to advise you of any citations or complaints issued against a particular provider. We have comprehensive knowledge and experience with all facets of senior living, from Independent Living to Assisted Living, to Memory Care and Skilled Nursing.Your Advisor will meet with you in person to discuss your options and then accompany you on visits to places that meet your criteria. We ensure that all your questions are answered, and assist with paperwork and negotiations. The hallmark of our service commitment is that we are by your side every step of the way.We are paid a referral fee by the communities and care homes so there is no cost to you for our placement services. In the rare case where we are not contracted with a community, your Advisor will let you know at the outset and explain any fees that might be incurred, should you choose that location. You can expect total transparency from us and we respect your right to choice.ELDERCARE CONSULTINGSometimes our families need help with challenging transitions, endless decision-making and navigating a complex healthcare system. This can include facilitating essential conversations between family members, locating a skilled nursing facility, home care agency or caregiver selection, long distance caregiving, finding the right resources and learning how to access them, or regular visits to your loved one, providing you with "peace of mind" when you are unable to visit.  It can be comforting to have someone partner with you who is outside the emotional landscape of the family: doing research, talking to providers, organizing paperwork, or finding those "needle in a haystack" resources  a go-to person you can turn to when things get overwhelming. No care plan is cookie cutter. We customize our services for your family. We are your advocates on this often difficult journey and help you track the endless details.There is no cost for an initial consultation. You and your Advisor can get to know each other and decide if working together is a good fit to meet your needs.ADVOCACYAn advocate can be a good friend to have on your side, especially when things get complicated. When navigating the healthcare system, sometimes there is so much information being offered that it is nearly impossible to hold it alone and sort out what you have been told. As your advocate and coach, we do our best to ensure that everyone understands the information being dispensed and that your questions are answered appropriately.FAMILY COACHINGA third party who is outside of the emotional landscape of the family during tough decision-making can be a great benefit. Each family has its own dynamic and a coach can help make sure everyone is heard and seen, and that everyone is treated fairly, even if you dont all agree. Your coach can help your family find consensus or at least encourage everyones point of view to be voiced and listened to calmly. We are not therapists. We are trained to empower families to move forward with whatever process is most beneficial. Initial consultations are always offered at no charge.Kathy Thompson is the owner of Senior Care Authority for the Pittsburgh area of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. She became a Certified Senior Advisor to help families and seniors navigate the broad, confusing, and stressful decisions regarding senior living options. From her mothers fight with cancer, she has learned that life can change instantly. Her mission is to help families get the necessary resources and information they need in a timely fashion to be able to make the best educated decision for their elder parent or loved ones.Kathy understands that choosing the right senior care is a difficult decision, and she is here to help you every step of the way.  Contact her for an initial consultation and see how she can make a difference for the senior in your life.

Senior Care Authority - North Pittsburgh

Housing Placement & Resource Specialists 2009 Mackenzie Way Suite 100, Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, 16066

Senior Care Authority is a senior care consulting firm that helps families find the right care for their loved ones in the North Pittsburgh area. Their team of Certified Senior Advisors (CSAs) are experts in senior care and can help you navigate the complex healthcare system, understand your options, and make informed decisions. Senior Care Authority is committed to providing compassionate and personalized care to their clients. FINDING SENIOR LIVING OPTIONSMaking the right care decision for your loved one can be a daunting task. There are so many options; the terminology is often unfamiliar and the terrain unknown. Senior Care Authority of North Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will streamline the process to make it easier for you to make informed choices and reduce the stress and pressure associated with such important decisions.Our team of Certified Senior Advisors carefully inspects locations from mid-to-larger size communities as well as smaller, residential care homes. We meet the staff, residents, family members when possible. State reports are reviewed to advise you of any citations or complaints issued against a particular provider. We have comprehensive knowledge and experience with all facets of senior living, from Independent Living to Assisted Living, to Memory Care and Skilled Nursing.Your Advisor will meet with you in person to discuss your options and then accompany you on visits to places that meet your criteria. We ensure that all your questions are answered, and assist with paperwork and negotiations. The hallmark of our service commitment is that we are by your side every step of the way.We are paid a referral fee by the communities and care homes so there is no cost to you for our placement services. In the rare case where we are not contracted with a community, your Advisor will let you know at the outset and explain any fees that might be incurred, should you choose that location. You can expect total transparency from us and we respect your right to choice.ELDERCARE CONSULTINGSometimes our families need help with challenging transitions, endless decision-making and navigating a complex healthcare system. This can include facilitating essential conversations between family members, locating a skilled nursing facility, home care agency or caregiver selection, long distance caregiving, finding the right resources and learning how to access them, or regular visits to your loved one, providing you with "peace of mind" when you are unable to visit.  It can be comforting to have someone partner with you who is outside the emotional landscape of the family: doing research, talking to providers, organizing paperwork, or finding those "needle in a haystack" resources  a go-to person you can turn to when things get overwhelming. No care plan is cookie cutter. We customize our services for your family. We are your advocates on this often difficult journey and help you track the endless details.There is no cost for an initial consultation. You and your Advisor can get to know each other and decide if working together is a good fit to meet your needs.ADVOCACYAn advocate can be a good friend to have on your side, especially when things get complicated. When navigating the healthcare system, sometimes there is so much information being offered that it is nearly impossible to hold it alone and sort out what you have been told. As your advocate and coach, we do our best to ensure that everyone understands the information being dispensed and that your questions are answered appropriately.FAMILY COACHINGA third party who is outside of the emotional landscape of the family during tough decision-making can be a great benefit. Each family has its own dynamic and a coach can help make sure everyone is heard and seen, and that everyone is treated fairly, even if you dont all agree. Your coach can help your family find consensus or at least encourage everyones point of view to be voiced and listened to calmly. We are not therapists. We are trained to empower families to move forward with whatever process is most beneficial. Initial consultations are always offered at no charge.Cara Lapic is a dedicated, highly motivated professional who loves finding solutions to challenges. She has spent almost thirty years in the corporate and academic world doing just that.During her tenure in the corporate world, life changed drastically - her father passed, her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers and she became a guardian to her sister, while at the same time dealing with a serious health issue herself. While learning to navigate the complex web of support services for her own family, she noticed her growing empathy for others needing to walk down the same road. Why not help them in their journey to make life as fulfilling as possible for their loved ones? She thought of no better way to move forward with her next chapter of work and giving back. She found Senior Care Authority could fulfill this desire for her.Caras education includes a BA in Business Administration, MS in Information Systems Management and a Doctorate in Information Systems and Communication. She has had robust training in Senior Care and has earned important certifications as a Certified Senior Advisor and Certified Dementia Practitioner. She has a national team of professionals to support her as she helps you navigate your options for your loved one. Cara is anxious to put her experience and training as a new owner of Senior Care Authority to work for you and your family today! She cant wait to meet you!  Contact her for an initial consultation and see how she can make a difference for the senior in your life.