Month: December 2009

Wheelchair Ramps – Part 1

There are many new types of home modifications and home remodeling that can help people with disabilities to confidently and safely navigate their living spaces. Before we can even consider the interior of the home or mother in law suite we first have to make sure that they can enter and exit the dwelling place safely and with the least amount of difficulty. The proper construction and design of an accessible ramp to enter and exit the home or mother in law suite is essential to creating a place where your love one can feel secure and enjoy the highest level of independence possible. The stairs that most homes have designed into their entryways can be very problematic and even dangerous to many elderly people with disabilities. Constructing a step-less or barrier free wheelchair entry ramp is an effective solution. A properly constructed ramp can offer safety and security to those with minor disabilities, those using walkers and canes, and even those in wheelchairs. A well designed handicap ramp can serve the elderly person now and in the future. Wheelchair Ramp Main Components Before we talk design and aesthetic requirements of the ramp, lets first take a look at some of the main components of the properly built wheelchair ramp. Guard Rail – these are the main rails that have the balusters attached to them to protect the users of the wheelchair...

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Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms In Elderly Adults

This article was written by Christie Sartorie RN BSN OCN to address a common reoccurring issue of urinary tract infection that caregivers are often faced with when caring for an elderly parent. To learn more about the author see her bio at the end of the article.-Tom When caring for an elderly adult there are red flags that can alert you to diagnosing and treating problems your loved one may be having such as urinary tract infections. By recognizing these red flags the caregiver can serve as an advocate for their loved one. Identify The Symptoms Start by looking for symptoms of mental status changes such as: confusion, anxiety, and even psychosis.  These can be accompanied by concentrated urine, low grade fevers and increased fatigue. The Important thing to remember is that the elderly often do not present with symptoms like a younger person would: burning with urination, bladder pressure or increased frequency to urinate.   Mental status changes are the hallmark presenting symptom in elderly and as a caregiver its what you want to be watching for to make sure your loved one is healthy and happy. So if your mom or dad starts to become confused call you doctor and have his/her urine checked. This is a simple test to perform they do not even have to go into the office you can drop off a sample at...

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Universal Home Design For Mother In-Law Suites

If you are remodeling space for in-law suite or building a new home with the goal of aging in place there is one phrase that can make the difference of a successful project or poor result. The phrase is “Universal Design”. Universal Design: What is it and why is it important? The definition of universal design is to simplify life for everyone by making more housing usable for a maximum amount of people. Simply put, it is accessible design for the present and future needs of anyone who occupies a habitable space. You could be remodeling for aging parents or adding a full mother in-law suite for your loved one to age in place, there is a criterion that must be met. This criterion is found in Universal Design. Universal Design will give the layout of every type of room to create a barrier free home, with accessible wheelchair ramps, elevators, the height to the bottom of the wall hung kitchen cabinets above the floor level, handrail height, the turning radius for handicap bathrooms and everything else needed to build a totally accessible design home. Accessible Design Resources Where in the world would one find the wealth of knowledge for accessible design? North Carolina State University has a Center for Universal Design in Housing. They have a complete guideline for any question about accessible design. It is a bit...

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Adult Day Care and Mother In Law Suites; A Balanced Approach

I have been getting really good comments from our readers about something very important that goes hand and hand with an In-Law Suite for aging in place. It will allow your loved one to create good interaction with their pear group and create personal freedom for you. The important something is Adult Day Care or senior centers. They can be an important component in your loved one’s life. Adult day care centers will offer physical activity, balanced mental stimulation, new social ties and a new sense of purpose. Different Generations I look at it this way, your loved one is usually from another generation. Just having them come to live with you is not the some total of the answer to a problem. How would you like to go live with a group of teenagers? Even though they may love us, it doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t be comfortable interacting with us 24/7. The same should be considered with our loved one. This is why senior day care is a very important building block for the success of aging in place and mother in law suites. If you’re loved one is confined to their home or In-Law Suite, a home care provider is another major building block. It matters not, whether the in home care giver is hired or a family member they must be educated to the basics...

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How We Built Our Garage In-Law Suite

My wife and I knew we had to do something rather quickly for the well being off my mother in-law. She needed 24/7 care. She wanted her own space but was unable to take care of herself. Barb (my wife) and I talked it out. We needed a place she could use on the first level of our house. We had only one place available. It was our attached garage. We decided it was the best to build a garage apartment or Mother in -law suite for Barb's mom there. How We Built Our Garage In-Law Suite We made an entrance door off our laundry area to the single slip of ourgarage. Our garage was deep enough that we built a bedroom, adequate size closet, accessible bathroom with a custom shower, kitchenette and small sitting area. We made the entire space independently tempered by using a self contained electric HVAC system that fit into a small closet space off the kitchenette. The entire in-law suite fit inside the single car slip of our three car garage. We raised the floor of the in-law suite with wood framing to match the existing finish floor elevation of our home. We used 2x4 wood studs to frame all four perimeter walls. We insulated and dry walled the perimeter walls. Now we had a rectangle of the total square footage for the mother...

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