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AIP Bulletin December 2011
Age in Place at Home - it's where you want to be. - - Helping you AIP in your home, your way.

Quote of the Month
"At Christmas, all roads lead home."
Marjorie Holmes, Inspirational Author, Columnist (1910-2002)

Home For The Holidays

How visitable is your parent's home?

It's always great to be home for the holidays with family and friends all around. Because my mom, in-laws and some of their friends are getting a little older and want to age in place, home modifications for safety and visitability are worth actively exploring with them. At this time of year when I'm home my mom and I do a walk-through of the house, room-by-room, and look for potential hazards or simple improvements that can be made while I am there or by a pro later on.

Adequate Lighting Is Essential to Safety


Logo: Senior Wellness Specialists: Creating Independence Through Universal Design

Universal Home Environments and Senior Concierge Services
Boca Raton, Florida 800.495.2833

One of the simplest but vastly important items to check is lighting. Starting outdoors and then throughout the house and garage. When you are thinking about lighting you also need to think about shadows. Shadows can dramatically alter one's perception - particularly depth.

Entering and leaving the house

I find it useful to perform common tasks like putting a key in the front door lock at night with the lights on. When approaching the front door if there are one or more steps are they well lit? What about shadows? When you get to the door are you blocking your own light? Is the lock clearly visible? Is there a screen or storm door that when opened blocks the light?

Once you have completed the ease of entry drill try leaving the house as you or a guest would. Take a good look at the steps and shadows and the walkway. Are there uneven bright and dark patches or places where your own shadow is a hazard? 

I also go through the same drill by entering the house through the garage (attached) where family enters and exits 90% of the time.

In the hub of the house - the kitchen

Last year we installed under cabinet task lights and 3 new pendant type lights over the sink and adjacent counter tops. We're probably in pretty good shape there. But I will be spending a lot of time in the kitchen since we all take turns cooking or cleaning up so I will be able to tweak things based on hands-on use if necessary.

Master bedroom, bath and closet

The last thing you want is someone fumbling around in the dark. So you might want to consider bedside lamps that you can touch and they light up. Or, a motion sensor that will trigger a light if someone gets out of the bed. And it's always a good idea to keep a flash light within reach in case of power failure.

In the bathroom, even if you determine that there is sufficient light, you might want to consider installing a heat lamp for those chilly mornings.

Closets rarely have enough light for older people to truly distinguish subtle color differences. You might consider natural light, fluorescent lighting to supplement what's there or replace it.

Navigating the house

Hallways are another great place for a motion detector activated light. There is always the temptation to NOT turn on the lights either because of familiarity or there is just enough light to kind of see coming from other rooms.

When it comes to lighting more is better

I find, generally, with lighting for seniors you are better off with more rather than less than they need. When in doubt bump it up a notch! Also, with ceiling light fixtures try to use the ones that have multiple bulbs so that if one goes out there will still be some light until it's replaced. And yes, lots of light-sensing night lights around the house are also good to use.

Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and joyous holiday!


Home For The Ages
Home for the Next 50 Years Before

John Salmen, Architect specializing in barrier-free design, and his wife gave a lot of consideration to their current and future housing needs, as well as, the type of community in which they wanted to be actively involved and grow old in before purchasing their current home. It was also important to them to demonstrate with their home that universal design /accessible housing can be beautiful, functional and cost effective.

"The guiding principle of universal design is to create a home that's adaptable enough to serve its inhabitants regardless of their age, ability, sex or economic status," says John.

Home for the Next 50 Years AfterThey spent two years finding and then one year renovating a house that met their criteria. Transforming a circa-1910 fixer-upper in a hilly section of Takoma Park, Maryland into a stylish urban home with built-in flexibility to meet their changing lifestyle needs. A key feature that makes this house livable longer is the residential elevator that operates from the first level (basement) to the third floor.

Click here to see inside The Home For 50 Years.



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Talk Back

RE: Is It Time To Throw Out Those TV Ears?

I think that t-coil is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Know of half a dozen folks in my immediate group of family and friends that would benefit greatly from this. Every hearing aid wearer that I have talked to complains about the background noise and although I am fortunate enough to have decent hearing, I think, I and along with millions of others would benefit from this when listening to TV. Where do I go to find out if I can get one here in Utah? Great information.

Thank You,

Barbara C.

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RE: AIP Professionals

While looking at your web site I noticed that you have a page this list the professional titles

One that I hold along with many others is CR Certified Remodeler

NARI members are also very well qualified to help homeowners with their home modification needs.


AJ Stones

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RE: Age in Place - Ugh!

We continue to receive suggestions for a less depressing term than "Age In Place" for people who want to live in their home of choice for as long as they want.

Monica Raygada suggests:

Home for Life, FitHouse and Lifelong Home

Send us an email with your suggestion!

Talk With Us

Your rants, raves, suggestions and stories are always welcome...especially the raves! Seriously, tell us what we can do to help you age-in-place, in your home, your way.  Share your story and send your comments to
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