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Old 11-14-2012, 09:48 AM   #21
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We've been slowly developing a similar list for our next, possibly last house, and our list shares many items with yours. We're in our late 50's and in good health, but we've already decided on a 1-story that can be easily adapted for disability. Thanks for posting your thoughts...and subsequent thoughts from other members.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:14 AM   #22
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We've been slowly developing a similar list for our next, possibly last house, and our list shares many items with yours. We're in our late 50's and in good health, but we've already decided on a 1-story that can be easily adapted for disability. Thanks for posting your thoughts...and subsequent thoughts from other members.
Although not planned when built, my parents house had a straight single stair, so that a stair elevator was possible. I would suggest at least avoiding landings in the middle of stairs, or spiral stairs. Stair elevators are essentially chairs that travel up and down the stairs that are motorized. One other thought on stairs, is consider railings on both sides of the stair.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:34 PM   #23
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.................................................. ......

....But... the Retirement House...

Energy efficient... vaulted ceilings.
Gas Fireplace... a 100% necessity
Our present house meets several of your criteria, only its too dam big (4200 sq ft). While I like a gas fireplace (have 3 of them) for the ambianace, both the fireplaces and vaulted ceilings are big energy wasters in my opinion. One other requirement for me when we downsize to the retirement house, would be FIOS.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:06 PM   #24
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Our present house meets several of your criteria, only its too dam big (4200 sq ft). While I like a gas fireplace (have 3 of them) for the ambianace, both the fireplaces and vaulted ceilings are big energy wasters in my opinion. One other requirement for me when we downsize to the retirement house, would be FIOS.
I agree about the gas fireplace and vaulted ceilings (plus, when I had vaulted ceilings, cobweb removal was such a drag and my ex was always teetering around on an extra tall ladder doing something or other). Why FIOS when you downsize?
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:14 PM   #25
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That is very pretty. I like the idea too and agree that community is more than "nice to have".
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:55 PM   #26
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I guess you never really understand just how elder unfriendly your house is until you get nicked up a bit. When I had a broken ankle and now with DW on crutches, it's evident that we need to plan for the future as well. One floor, grab bars come to mind first, but I'm sure we'll incorporate a lot of the op's ideas
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:14 PM   #27
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Looks great. I like the teddy bear.
No pooper scooper required..
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:26 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by freebird5825
Looks great. I like the teddy bear.
No pooper scooper required..
...........................................

warning... thread drift....
But I gotta tell ya the story about Homer... our polar bear... (my school mascot)

It started in 2003, when we bought the house... I spotted him in the window of the Salvation Army store in town... He was sitting in a high chair. When I went over to the window, incredible... there was a couple looking at Homer. (he wasn't named Homer at the time... that came later). Anyway, as the couple was looking, I rudely reached in and grabbed him away. Got a strange look from the couple, then realized they weren't looking at Homer, but the high chair. So, anyway $2.00 brought him home to our new house.

Tensions were a little bit high between DW and self... buying furniture, deciding on colors etc... and on a tight time schedule. Uptight to the point of almost not speaking. That's when it began... instead of talking to each other, we began talking through Homer, as the mediator. That began the saga of Homer the ombudsman.

For the past ten years, Homer has been part of the family. He travels with us on trips, goes to Florida for the winter, and maintains a place in the living room or the car (always placed so he can look out the window). We talk to him during the day, and every relative, friend and neighbor knows him, what he does, and they never fail to talk to him and say hello, when they come to visit, except for one lady who calls him "Morgan". Homer has gotten us through some tough times...hugs when things are sad, and always able to garner a smile to break any tension. We're at a point when folks don't think we're odd (at least to our face)... and sometimes actually go to him for counsel.

Along with other considerations for the retirement home, I'd really recommend getting a "Homer"...

... and, right... no poop!

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Old 11-14-2012, 09:08 PM   #29
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We rebuilt two years ago with retirement in mind.

- Kitchen/dining/living/master suite are all on the main floor which is about 3' above grade. We could easily reconfigure the entry stairs to include a ramp if needed.
- All doorways are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair.
- Stairway is extra wide to accommodate a stair rider if needed.
- Pocket doors (I think will be easier if we become wheelchair bound).
- Lever locksets for all swing doors.
- Shower in master bath is a slight step. Shower base could be replaced with no-step if necessary
- Vinyl siding so no painting.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:32 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Originally Posted by freebird5825
Looks great. I like the teddy bear.
No pooper scooper required..
...........................................

warning... thread drift....
But I gotta tell ya the story about Homer... our polar bear... (my school mascot)

It started in 2003, when we bought the house... I spotted him in the window of the Salvation Army store in town... He was sitting in a high chair. When I went over to the window, incredible... there was a couple looking at Homer. (he wasn't named Homer at the time... that came later). Anyway, as the couple was looking, I rudely reached in and grabbed him away. Got a strange look from the couple, then realized they weren't looking at Homer, but the high chair. So, anyway $2.00 brought him home to our new house.

Tensions were a little bit high between DW and self... buying furniture, deciding on colors etc... and on a tight time schedule. Uptight to the point of almost not speaking. That's when it began... instead of talking to each other, we began talking through Homer, as the mediator. That began the saga of Homer the ombudsman.

For the past ten years, Homer has been part of the family. He travels with us on trips, goes to Florida for the winter, and maintains a place in the living room or the car (always placed so he can look out the window). We talk to him during the day, and every relative, friend and neighbor knows him, what he does, and they never fail to talk to him and say hello, when they come to visit, except for one lady who calls him "Morgan". Homer has gotten us through some tough times...hugs when things are sad, and always able to garner a smile to break any tension. We're at a point when folks don't think we're odd (at least to our face)... and sometimes actually go to him for counsel.

Along with other considerations for the retirement home, I'd really recommend getting a "Homer"...

... and, right... no poop!

A tech savvy stuffed bear? I don't think so, call me when one shows up who does sports and cranks out an occasional R rated joke.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:26 AM   #31
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Although not planned when built, my parents house had a straight single stair, so that a stair elevator was possible. (snip)
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(snip)
- Stairway is extra wide to accommodate a stair rider if needed.(snip)
I think the width is more important than lack of landings. It is possible for a chair lift to go around a corner for a landing, although it's more expensive than a lift for a straight staircase. Also make sure there is enough room at the top and bottom to get in and out of the lift. The main stair in my mom's house is barely three feet wide, and at the bottom is a square landing with the door to the master suite on one side and to the laundry room on the other. The staircase is too narrow for a chair lift, and there's no room to maneuver at the bottom. For anyone who can't walk up and down a staircase, that house is out of the question.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:24 AM   #32
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Very nice place. Sounds like you have made a lot of smart choices.

Our house is definitely not "aging friendly". I am not worrying it about it too much at this time. I am 59 and DH will be 62 next month. If I were to outlive my DH, I would not stay here unless I had family living with me (DD and Granddaughter have been living here since end of July and Son-in-law is coming the end of this month.) I would probably go to an apartment or to a retirement place.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:00 AM   #33
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Those stair lifts are awfully slow, and probably wouldn't work in a power outage. Also those tiny personal elevators that some people have installed in their homes are way too claustrophobic for me and I just wouldn't consider one.

If I already had a two story house that I loved, I would have a chair lift put in rather than move. But right now I am 64 years old and live in a single story home. Stairs are already a problem for me. If I buy another house sometime I'd far prefer to buy another single story house than a multistory house with a chairlift or elevator. I think the only thing that could persuade me to buy a two story home would be location, specifically if it was right next door to my dear F's house. In that case, I'd put in a stair lift but I would add a full bath to the first floor if necessary, and only use the second floor for storage.

I just love this thread! I thought I was considering all possible home modifications that could help as I grow older, but this thread has caused me to think of some that had never occurred to me, specifically the higher wall sockets.

I was already thinking of the slide-out lower cabinet shelves just for my present convenience. Besides, who wouldn't like them? I would. Meanwhile I love having a pot hanger thingie in my kitchen to hang my favorite pots and skillets from, so that I don't have to drag them in and out from the bottom cabinets.

I bought my present house over ten years ago with the idea of living in it forever, so it is probably as elderly-friendly as I could find in my suburb. Reasonably small, no stairs, even at the entry, levered door handles and faucets everywhere, and nearly zero maintenance with some of the lowest property taxes in the country. The first thing I did before moving into it was to have cable TV/internet outlets installed in every room.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:33 PM   #34
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I agree about the gas fireplace and vaulted ceilings (plus, when I had vaulted ceilings, cobweb removal was such a drag and my ex was always teetering around on an extra tall ladder doing something or other). Why FIOS when you downsize?
I guess I'm spoiled by FIOS internet and TV, as its been better and more reliable than anything else I've had in the past or seen at friends' houses.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:00 PM   #35
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An alternative to pocket doors:
Wall-mount sliding door hardware Johnson HardwareŽ Sliding Door Hardware
We used these with regular interior doors for our accessible bathroom as there was too much plumbing and wiring for pocket doors and the 36" wide doors would really impede on the floor space on both sides. They work great - no floor rail needed and have been very smooth and stable more than 2 years in. Highly recommended.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:36 PM   #36
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Pocket doors: The do save space, but can be troublesome. And when your fingers get a little less dexterous, grabbing those little doorhandles might be a PITA.
They're probably okay for seldom used entryways where a conventional swinging door would get in the way.

MB, that surface-mounted option looks useful. And, you could put "real" handles on it.
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