We can have help with aging in place solutions
As professionals involved in creating aging in place solutions for our clients, we can have some help – perhaps in a way we hadn’t considered. We can get the clients involved or rely upon their participation to complete much of the minor work that needs to be done.
We can meet with them and outline what needs to be done and have them agree that they will perform dome of the work that involves putting things aways, removing navigation obstacles in their home, reattaching items to walls or other surfaces that have become loose, painting, incidental repairs, and even some more prominent yet easy fixes for them to undertake. Or, they may undertake these tasks on their own simply because they can and they want to do them.
It also allows them to pace themselves and control their budget since they only will be spending money on what they need to fix or address each time. Then, we can get involved in helping them address the more significant issues.
Not the big-picture solution
While not every home is going to be ideal for people doing their own work, and some people are not going to have the physical ability or skills to performs the tasks that they identify, having owners get involved in some of the renovation and update programs is a great beginning – especially where it relates to eliminating safety issues in their home. Who knows better than them what some of the issues are in their home as far as potential hazards or issues?
Additionally, clients who participate in renovations – before calling us or instead of contacting us likely will face less disruption of their living environments from people coming into their homes or from having larger scale projects underway. They may be able to accomplish smaller tasks without causing much of an interruption in their daily routines.
There is a limit to what can be done, but this may be a great beginning for people when they can check things off their list or eliminate them before calling us to help them.
Effective for easy fixes
Many tasks can be done by the homeowner with little risk to them – and at a time-savings for us since we don’t need to get involved on these simpler fixes and can use our time more advantageously elsewhere. For those clients who have the skills to do so, swapping out all of the toggle-style light switches for rocker, push-button, or torch ones would be an easy beginning. Switches that use dimmer switches or pre-selected timers also are fine to install at this time. This requires only a simple knowledge of electricity and following a few safety rules.
Another task they can handle is replacing lightbulbs throughout the home with LED bulbs and fixtures to create more even and dependable lighting – as long as these can be done safely. This can be done over a few weeks if budget is a concern. The color output and the amount of lumens vary by the bulb selected, but the main thing is to offer as much light as possible in an area and eliminate shadows or places of low illumination.
Replacing all door handles that currently are the round knobs or something other than levers with the single lever handles. Of course, these come in a choice of colors and finishes to suit the tastes of the occupants. If this already has been done, they can move onto the kitchen cabinets and drawers and replace the handles and pulls with something relatively easy to grasp and use. They should be careful of sharp or extending edges on the handles that might catch on skin or clothing if someone brushes against them.
We can get involved with larger or more urgent projects
Sometimes there is going to be an urgency for making improvements in someone’s home, particularly for working with traumatic injuries or when safety needs to addressed in an immediate way. In such cases, expecting the clients to conduct updates or minor modifications may not be appropriate as they need a quicker response and result.
Clients may even volunteer or suggest that they, or a family member (son or daughter, for instance) or neighbor can do some of the simple tasks we are suggesting to them. This also gives them a greater sense of ownership in the renovation project we are going to be completing.
Knowing that they can accomplish smaller scale projects on their own means that we can focus on the more significant renovations for them and be more efficient at the same time. People like hearing that they might be able to save money by doing some of the work themselves and that we don’t need to be involved in all of the renovations. This will help to cement the trust and confidence they place in us as well.
When clients get involved with simple tasks that they are comfortable performing for themselves, it frees us to work on larger, more risky, or trickier projects that are not appropriate for homeowners to undertake or for ones where they may not have the ability to do any of the work themselves.