“Our Aging In Place Focus Goes Inside As Wintertime Is Not That Far Away”

Wintertime means that we spend more time inside, and aging in place needs we haven’t considered in a few months are more noticeable

We go with the seasons and prepare to help people make the most of their living environment depending on the time of year that it is. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were bidding farewell to wintertime and welcoming the spring. Now, wintertime is back – all too quickly – and we need to begin dealing with it. In many places, the first snowfall has occurred – small and light but snowfall nonetheless.

During the warmer months, we spend a lot of time outdoors. The daylight hours are extended, the temperatures are pleasant, and there is a nice breeze. The grass, flowers, and vegetables are growing. Even if we don’t partake in any outdoor activities, we enjoy being outside and taking in the fresh air.

All the thoughts we had about the winter being over and getting to spend time outdoors gets reversed. We now begin planning for remaining largely indoors, the daylight hours being much shorter, the temperatures being quite a bit colder, and the activities centered on the indoors.

Wintertime is but upon us again. We still might have some pleasant days and an occasional above average warm day or two, but the temperatures are definitely heading down. All signs point to winter’s inevitable arrival and a change in how people use their homes. We have closed the book on almost all of 2018 so far, and it’s on to finishing it up and moving on to the new year – and that next cycle of warmer weather again.

For the next five months or so – longer in some places and a little shorter in others – winter is going to be our major concern until we can eventually say that winter is behind us again and that the temperatures are definitely getting warmer. Until the days start getting longer with the return of daylight savings time, and the transitional activities that we look forward to as marking the end to the winter have been completed (Daytona 500, spring training, spring break, March Madness, the Masters, and Easter), we are in full-blown winter.

However, in the winter, people spend much of their time indoors, so it makes sense that we focus on remodeling and aging in place projects that will help people remain safe during the extended period of time that they are indoors – with the windows closed, the heat on, abbreviated daylight hours, and frequent inclement weather.

Remembering parts of the home that didn’t serve people as well as they would have liked last  winter will give us a starting point for completing projects now (weather and time permitting before the wintertime festivities take over) – especially if they involve windows, siding, roofing, foundations, basements, chimneys, or other areas of the home where the home may need to be open to the outside air for a period of time. The sooner we can begin, the better we will be in avoiding ice, really cold temperatures, and freezing conditions.

Maybe people simply ran out of time to complete them or have them started during good weather this summer and fall, or we were too busy to get the work started for them. It doesn’t mean it can’t still be completed. It’s just that the weather may be more of a factor than it would have been a few months earlier.

Nevertheless, people are going to be spending considerably more time indoors for the next few months – whether they are still working or retired. This means more cooking, TV watching, playing games, using the computer, reading, and remaining warm. The outdoors will be de-emphasized as activities – even exercise such as walking move indoors (treadmill, for instance).

As the activities move to the inside, this means that the outdoor space needs to evaluated for maintenance, safety, and potential upgrades for next season to provide people with the comfort, convenience, and accessibility they and their guests expect and desire. In addition to purely outdoor activities and pursuits, there are areas of the home that support such activities, like a cabana bath to provide access to a bathroom from the pool area or yard or a sleeping porch for those hot nights when a cooler sleeping area (or a place for afternoon and weekend naps) is desired.

As we turn our back on the warmer weather once again and focus on wintertime and what it brings, we certainly won’t have any shortage of activities to focus on for ourselves and our aging in place clients. In fact, getting it all done before it’s time to move back outside in a few months or so will be a big challenge.

Creating a safe, comfortable, and accessible environment – inside the home or outside in the yard – is a top priority for us and one that always is in style.

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