Modifying Your Home For Kupuna: Part 1
Here in Hawaii it goes without saying that we treasure and care for our Kupuna. Not only do we have Kupuna to think of, but we also have the aging baby boomer generation to consider when planning home modifications to ease aging “in place”. In 2014, the AARP found that nearly 90 percent of people aged 65 and older wanted to stay in their homes as they age. If this is the case in your ohana, here are a few ideas to consider when thinking of ways to create a comfortable and safe home.
Install Grab Bars and Railings: Grab bars are simple and inexpensive, but they make a difference! They can help stabilize homeowners as they maneuver, and they offer a good handhold for a moment of rest. Grab bars require proper installation so they can safely bear the weight of the person grabbing hold, so finding a professional for the job is important. A professional can also help you make grab bars look like simple decorative accents rather than an eyesore. As you add grab bars throughout the home, consider adding a railing to your stairways too.
Replace Cabinetry Hardware and Doorknobs: It is quick and easy to replace cabinet hardware and door knobs with “D” handles. People with arthritis may find it difficult to grasp traditional knobs firmly, and the twisting motion can sometimes be challenging. “D” handles allow one to easily open and close cabinets or doors, and the hardware can look just as stylish as any other handle. A small modification like this can keep life moving at a normal pace for anyone who’s feeling a little more stiff with age.
I hope you’ve enjoyed part of our Kapuna series. Please stay tuned for updates, and let us know if you need need anything.
Mahalo nui loa,
Your Kama'aina Handyman Team