Aging in Place, Health and Welfare, Interior Design and Decorating, interior design Idaho, Senior Safety

An Aging-In-Place Couple Need Easy Access to Their Home

August 2011 003Tilly and Harold are an Aging-In-Place couple who are choosing to make changes to their existing home.  They want to be able to remain in the home they have lived in and raised their children in for the past forty-five years.

Tilly and Harold have noticed it is getting more and more difficult to get up and down the steps to their front door.  They are thinking about their options, knowing some of their friends have installed ramps at the front of their homes.  They have called their Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) and have asked to see if there are other options to placing a ramp at the front of the house.

Some of the things their CAPS Consultant covered with them was an Entrances & Exits Checklist with some ideas they might consider for their entrance:

  • At least one no-step pathway into the house
  • Ample and level maneuvering room, 5 feet by 5 feet, in entryway
  • 36-inch-wide entry door with lever-style handle
  • Zero-threshold doorway
  • Covered entrance to protect from inclement weather 
  • Shelf near entrance to put packages while opening and closing door
  • Bright lighting inside and outside entries
  • Lighted doorbell at an easily reachable height
  • Easy-open door locks, such as keyless locks with remote or keypad codes
  • High-visibility house numbers
  • Handrails on both sides of steps
  • Railings on porches
  • Slip-resistant walkways and entryways

After discussing their options they decided a ramp would be their first priority.  Their CAPS sat down with Harold in their living room while Tilly went to get some coffee for everyone.loving seniors

“We really aren’t sure we want to put a ramp at the front door.  Is there another way to do this without an advertisement that someone needs a ramp lives here?” asked Harold.

“Yes, there are a couple options we can look at.  I agree the ramp at the front door could be an invitation to robbers or other problems.  Not to mention lack of cover.  We can look at the garage since it is already covered and would be a natural access.  Other ideas include a side or rear entrance,” mentioned their CAPS.

“Oh, I would like to consider the garage!  It would be much easier to get into and out of the house and not have to go around to the garage from the front entrance,” piped in Tilly from the kitchen.  “It would be so much easier to get the groceries into the house too.”

“One thing we will need to consider is the minimum one inch in height for every foot in length that is the accepted standard.  It is just the minimum.  Often, a one inch rise in twenty inches is preferred.  It is more gradual and easier to walk up and down with a hand full or even a walker, if that would become necessary,” their CAPS replied. 

“So, does that rule out the garage?” asked Harold. 

“No,” replied the CAPS, “we will have to measure the length and get a better idea what we would be looking at to see if it is a possibility or not.  We would need to look at the existing door into the garage too.  We want to make sure it is wide enough. The main things we need to concentrate on are safety, comfort and ease of maintenance.”

“Sounds like a plan!  Let’s get down to business and get this figured out,” commented Harold.

Alesha E. Churba of A.E.Churba Design is the only Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) with experience in Residential and Commercial Interior Design and Decorating in Southeast Idaho. Her business niche is primarily designing and decorating with her clients futures in mind- i.e. aging in place, color story investment, and designing for the long term safety and comfort of her clients. Alesha resides in Pocatello, Idaho. (208)-313-6414.


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