NORMAN — As our nation’s population gets older, there is increasing pressure to find appropriate housing for its aging population.
Senior citizen centers, nursing homes and similar facilities offer one alternative, but many seniors would prefer to remain in their own home.
Unfortunately, these older homes may not be suitable for their owners as various physical limitations begin to inhibit normal activities of daily living. Adults with developmental disabilities live in the community and experience the same difficulties.
A group of local professionals are about to see if they can change that dilemma. Home Mods by Therapists began their newest home modification demonstration project in Norman. The company is remodeling an older home to meet the requirements of the ABLE (Adults with Developmental Disabilities) clientele.
“We already have three people in mind that would benefit from having their own place,” said Kaylee Finneran, community program director for the Norman area.
Home Mods by Therapists is a locally owned company that specializes in design solutions for obstacles within the home. Jeri Gill McKenzie and Kendra Orcutt are co-owners.
McKenzie is a physical therapist and Orcutt is an occupational therapist. Both have years of experience treating patients in multiple settings. After seeing the challenges the home environment can cause for some of their patients, they decided to explore how these needs were being addressed.
The owners are Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) and have joined with a nonprofit called Oklahoma Independent Living Resources. This group includes multiple professions that help solve the puzzle of how residents can remain in homes for their entire life spans.
Some of the members have donated their expertise to ensure these clients get the best possible home within the budget.
As an architect and associate professor of architecture at the University of Oklahoma, I have provided some input on the layout and design of the plan and helped evaluate the structural needs for some of the changes.