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Old 09-15-2011, 11:38 PM   #41
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Midpack, your parents sound so much like my parents were. After they both died, it took us months to clean out a house that large with a lifetime of possessions. Plus the last ten years they let everything go - very little maintenance was done.
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:04 AM   #42
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That is me. I chose my condo having these variables in mind.
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Ideally, I would want to live in a pedestrian-friendly city. I would want to be within walking distance of shops, services, and attractions. A comprehensive and safe public transportation system would be a must as well. I would definitely want to live in a condo because I wouldn't have to keep up with landscaping chores. I would want the condo secure and offering easy access for someone with limited mobility (ho hills, elevator from street level). I would want to have some type of green space (park) close by.
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:09 PM   #43
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Portland offers many condos that offer all you list.
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:58 AM   #44
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We mostly decided to "age in place" at least as long as we can. Southern California is hopelessly congested and taxes are generally high, but the weather is really pretty perfect and family is close by. Our kids haven't settled yet, but all expect to stay in California.

When we remodeled both bathrooms 3 years ago, I kept that in mind. "Universal design" and all that. I love the bathrooms; they turned out just like I hoped, and we should be able to use them comfortably for quite a while. The main things I did were to place grab bars in the combo bath/shower and in the master shower, a full ceramic bench in our shower, small hex ceramic tile floor in our shower (extremely grippy), a hand shower as well as a fixed one, towel hooks instead of bars (much easier to use). We put in lever faucet handles and soap dispensers inset in the granite tops. Oh and lever door handles throughout the house. We're not set for wheelchair use, but that would have added a lot of expense; hopefully we won't need to do it here.

Our home isn't too large for us and is only one level. We would have to hire gardeners (DH has always done it), but we hope to do some landscaping in the next few years that will cut down considerably on upkeep. We still have a kitchen remodel ahead of us.

A small thing we changed is to install light switches with built-in nightlights in the bathrooms. Makes a huge difference for those more frequent night trips. Also put a lit switch in the hallway.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:15 AM   #45
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One more thing: I would want to live in a real neighborhood, not one of those manufactured "lifestyle communities".
You might be surprised. We bought a townhouse (which we now rent to DD) in a manufactured lifestyle community in a far out DC suburb. This was one of those "if Mama ain't happy" decisions, because it wasn't what I would have wanted. But DD and DGD live there, and love being able to walk to the grocery store, shops and restaurants. There are ground fountains for the kids to play in, nice green spaces used for frisbee and other games, concerts on the lawn, movies on the lawn (all in the nice weather seasons, of course). They have gotten to know some of the people, at least to say hi to. DGD just started kindergarten in the local public school, so there will be more neighborhood friends and aquaintances to come. Halloween last year was pretty decent. They try to do a lot to keep the kids safely entertained. It's still not my cup of tea (large open spaces and views, few people), but DD loves it, DGD loves it, and DW talks about moving there when we get too old to live where we are. Just because it's manufactured, doesn't mean it can't become real. Like Pinocchio.
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:42 AM   #46
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How to get up to that 2nd floor bedroom and walk-in closet easily when our joints complain with every step, a decade or two from now?

I plan on installing grappling hooks to make it up the carpeted stairs. Can probably buy my climbing gear at the local REI.

P.S. DW made it up/down even with a fractured ankle which happened as a result of collision with Corgi on those stairs.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:48 AM   #47
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We are getting ready to buy a home, but are not thinking of it as the last home we'll own. At 51 & 48, we feel we're too young to prioritize old age issues in our home buying decision. However, we have decided that this is the city we'll age in.

That got me to thinking - at what age does one need to start worrying about making your home old-age ready ?

There are implications to making your physical life to easy at an early age - use it or lose it. If you don't climb stairs, you'll lose the ability to climb them (or so I think). Obviously, all this is very dependent on the individual.

Our society is aging and there are more services & gadgets each year designed for the elderly. See some of the developments on exoskeleton devices & home delivery services. Medical advances may make it easier to keep senility at bay which should enable us to crunch our spreadsheets even longer.

For now, our plan is to stay fit - physically & mentally and be realistic in gauging our near future capabilities.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:29 PM   #48
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There are implications to making your physical life to easy at an early age - use it or lose it. If you don't climb stairs, you'll lose the ability to climb them (or so I think).
I suppose this is true, if you always get into your car right outside your ranch house. But most people where I live live on one floor, and usually a pretty small floor, as they live in condos or apartments. The streets are hilly, and I see very old women charging up and down all the time. But if they should be disabled, either permanently of more likely temporarily, they can often stay home.

They do not depend on the inside of their houses for their physical activity.

Ha
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:42 PM   #49
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We are getting ready to buy a home, but are not thinking of it as the last home we'll own. At 51 & 48, we feel we're too young to prioritize old age issues in our home buying decision. However, we have decided that this is the city we'll age in.

That got me to thinking - at what age does one need to start worrying about making your home old-age ready ?
We're 6 years older than you and feel much the same, also expect to buy a new home and maybe relocate in the next year or two. While we won't buy a home equipped for our later years, this thread has made me think. I will think about how readily the next home can be modified for our later years before we buy, some homes are much more difficult to change. So the thread was instructive for me, a good thing.

I don't want to rely on future gadgets, though there will undoubtedly be some.
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:19 PM   #50
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...(snip)...
There are implications to making your physical life to easy at an early age - use it or lose it. If you don't climb stairs, you'll lose the ability to climb them (or so I think). Obviously, all this is very dependent on the individual.
That must be why I do my own gardening including mowing the lawn and digging holes in adobe soil to plant those bushes.

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See some of the developments on exoskeleton devices & home delivery services. Medical advances may make it easier to keep senility at bay which should enable us to crunch our spreadsheets even longer.

For now, our plan is to stay fit - physically & mentally and be realistic in gauging our near future capabilities.
Great plan. I looked up "stair elevator", that's one way to cope with a second level in a house. Or maybe an exoskeleton that lets your arms help your legs get up those stairs? Seems a good thing for someone to work on.
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:44 PM   #51
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When we remodeled both bathrooms 3 years ago, I kept that in mind. "Universal design" and all that. I love the bathrooms; they turned out just like I hoped, and we should be able to use them comfortably for quite a while. The main things I did were to place grab bars in the combo bath/shower and in the master shower, a full ceramic bench in our shower, small hex ceramic tile floor in our shower (extremely grippy), a hand shower as well as a fixed one, towel hooks instead of bars (much easier to use). We put in lever faucet handles and soap dispensers inset in the granite tops. Oh and lever door handles throughout the house. We're not set for wheelchair use, but that would have added a lot of expense; hopefully we won't need to do it here.
I forgot one of my favorite Universal design bathroom items - "comfort height" toilets. Seriously - they should be everywhere. Most of us aren't 4'10".

I don't consider Universal design to be opposite to the "use it or lose it" mantra. Just common sense. I get plenty of exercise outside of the bathroom.
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:56 PM   #52
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I forgot one of my favorite Universal design bathroom items - "comfort height" toilets. Seriously - they should be everywhere. Most of us aren't 4'10".

I don't consider Universal design to be opposite to the "use it or lose it" mantra. Just common sense. I get plenty of exercise outside of the bathroom.
Ooooooooo.....taller toilets. I know what is on my Christmas wish list now! ................
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:05 PM   #53
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When we remodeled both bathrooms 3 years ago, I kept that in mind. "Universal design" and all that. I love the bathrooms; they turned out just like I hoped, and we should be able to use them comfortably for quite a while. The main things I did were to place grab bars in the combo bath/shower and in the master shower, a full ceramic bench in our shower, small hex ceramic tile floor in our shower (extremely grippy), a hand shower as well as a fixed one, towel hooks instead of bars (much easier to use). We put in lever faucet handles and soap dispensers inset in the granite tops. Oh and lever door handles throughout the house. We're not set for wheelchair use, but that would have added a lot of expense; hopefully we won't need to do it here.

Our home isn't too large for us and is only one level. We would have to hire gardeners (DH has always done it), but we hope to do some landscaping in the next few years that will cut down considerably on upkeep. We still have a kitchen remodel ahead of us.

A small thing we changed is to install light switches with built-in nightlights in the bathrooms. Makes a huge difference for those more frequent night trips. Also put a lit switch in the hallway.
I love your bathroom ideas and they seem unusually well thought out. I dream of having a bathroom remodel like that some day. Right now all I have out of your list is lever faucet and door handles. I don't have arthritis in my hands, but they were there when I bought my house. They don't bother me at all and I like the look, so I really like having them, just in case.

It never occurred to me that the small hex ceramic tile floors are more grippy. I do know that I love the way they feel on my feet, and that how flooring feels on my feet is a Big Deal to me for some reason.

I like your idea of having built-in nightlights in the bathrooms. Right now, I have dimmer switches and just use the regular bulbs greatly dimmed at bedtime. However, built-in nightlights make more sense in the long run.

I could get nearly anywhere in my house in a wheelchair if necessary, except through the master_bedroom/dressing_room/bathroom doors which are right next to one another. So, if I eventually re-do that part of my house to remodel the bathroom then I could tear all that out and widen those doorways at the same time.

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Ooooooooo.....taller toilets. I know what is on my Christmas wish list now! ................
Sound nice, don't they? Right now I have one normal height and one a little shorter. I am a tall person, too.
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:21 PM   #54
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...(snip)...
It never occurred to me that the small hex ceramic tile floors are more grippy. I do know that I love the way they feel on my feet, and that how flooring feels on my feet is a Big Deal to me for some reason.

I like your idea of having built-in nightlights in the bathrooms. Right now, I have dimmer switches and just use the regular bulbs greatly dimmed at bedtime. However, built-in nightlights make more sense in the long run.
...
A few comments. We have tile floors in the bathroom. Both of us always use thongs when showering. The shower is one of those "European" types with no door. We also have an oriental rug over the tile in front of the sinks. The rug has a good quality rubberized pad under it. Looks classy and is functional.

Nightlights tend to wake me up too much when I use the toilet. So DW has one of those nice LED flashlights for night excursions. We happen to have skylights so there is almost always some ambient light for me.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:01 PM   #55
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OK! It just took me a while to remember that thongs=flip-flops! My mind was getting blown there for a minute......
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:12 PM   #56
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OK! It just took me a while to remember that thongs=flip-flops! My mind was getting blown there for a minute......
Yeah, when I'm showering I usually use shampoo and a washcloth...
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:38 PM   #57
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Thongs = flip-flops, right! None of that skimpy underwear for me or DW. Looks good on models though.

BTW, it appears that "Walking Assist Devices" is an active area of research. See the Honda demo here: Honda demo Walking Assist exoskeleton for elderly & disabled - SlashGear
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:02 PM   #58
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I love your bathroom ideas and they seem unusually well thought out. I dream of having a bathroom remodel like that some day. Right now all I have out of your list is lever faucet and door handles. I don't have arthritis in my hands, but they were there when I bought my house. They don't bother me at all and I like the look, so I really like having them, just in case.

It never occurred to me that the small hex ceramic tile floors are more grippy. I do know that I love the way they feel on my feet, and that how flooring feels on my feet is a Big Deal to me for some reason.

I like your idea of having built-in nightlights in the bathrooms. Right now, I have dimmer switches and just use the regular bulbs greatly dimmed at bedtime. However, built-in nightlights make more sense in the long run.

I could get nearly anywhere in my house in a wheelchair if necessary, except through the master_bedroom/dressing_room/bathroom doors which are right next to one another. So, if I eventually re-do that part of my house to remodel the bathroom then I could tear all that out and widen those doorways at the same time.



Sound nice, don't they? Right now I have one normal height and one a little shorter. I am a tall person, too.
Thanks for the compliments! Our bathrooms were 50 years old and pretty awful and I spent a lot of time researching and planning. I got wonderful ideas and help from the GardenWeb bath forum; things I would never have figured out on my own. Like how laying the floor tiles on the diagonal makes the room feel much larger, and what kind of exhaust fan is best. There were many hours spent in showrooms and warehouses, and many more hours online. We had a contractor do the work, but we bought everything ourselves. I had one Hansgrohe faucet a year ahead of time - it was what I really wanted and was discontinued; got it for a great price. I even bought some stuff on eBay, like Ginger grab bars, which I got for about 1/3 of retail, and a Restoration Hardware light fixture. One of my favorite finds was an automatic timer switch (WattStopper RT50W - White Universal Time Controlled Wall Switch | 1000Bulbs.com) for the exhaust fan that matches the light switch - six buttons for 1-60 minutes. Push the button when you get in the shower, and it goes off 30 minutes later. No more forgetting to turn it off -- we have a lot less mildew than we did before.

Here's the nightlight switch we have. Since we're in California, land of regulation, we had to comply with Title 24 residential energy code, so we have to have an occupancy sensor that will turn the lights off after 30 minutes of non-occupancy. Watt Stopper - Legrand RS150BANW - Vacancy Sensor Wall Switch with Nightlight - White | 1000Bulbs.com

Now if I can do as well when we remodel the kitchen....
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:11 AM   #59
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OK! It just took me a while to remember that thongs=flip-flops! My mind was getting blown there for a minute......
I never heard that eqiuvalence before (slippers, yes, thongs no). I was stuck with an awkward image until I read down through the thread. Oddly, the mental image was a sexy one -- not what we old pharts would actually look like in thongs.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:04 PM   #60
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I really don't look that bad with just wearing thongs (flip-flops) but would never claim to be sexy at my age.

Maybe I should post a picture? Ha, dream on.
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