The Norman Transcript

Features

December 29, 2013

What you need to know about building a house for all ages

(Continued)

NORMAN —

That has all changed. I have recovered well from my three surgeries, but I can tell the difference in walking stairs, in that I now have discomfort in the vertical movement of my legs and bending my knee.

When I was recovering from the surgeries, walking up and down the stairs to get a shower took a lot of work and assistance. Since the only bath downstairs had a sink and a toilet, the alternative was a wash cloth, a bar of soap and standing in front of the sink to wash.

So now the design of the new house is addressing these issues. It will have all the standard ADA design requirements and suggestions: hard and easily maneuverable floor surfaces, outlets at 24 inches above the floor lever-type door handles and faucets at no higher than 48-inches, halls at least 48 inches wide, doors at least 32 inches wide and preferably 36-inch-wide cabinets with shelving that is designed not to have to reach in under a counter or that brings shelves down to a level where you don’t have to get on a stool to access stuff. The list goes on and on.

We also are designing for our grandkids when we will have those coming to visit, so they can feel independent at accessing, using and maneuvering through the house.

This is the first in a series of two to three articles about the development of an age-friendly house and how it will be a prototype for what I hope will be more age-friendly homes in Norman.

By investing in the development of new homes as well as renovating existing ones, those who want to can “age in place.” This basically means Norman residents, with a home and a community that supports healthy aging, can maintain the independence and support to continue living in the homes they love in the neighborhoods where they feel secure and are supported by long-standing personal relationships with their friends, family and neighbors.

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