Home Modification: Is it Right For You?

By Tammy Kaplan, CID, CAPS and Dina Leyden, PT, CAPS

You are concerned about an aging relative, let’s say, your mom. Perhaps you have even suggested that she consider options such as assisted living, hiring an aide or moving in with your family.

The conversation goes like this: “I’m not moving into a home! I like my independence. And I don’t want strangers coming in here.”

Mother talking with adult daughterYou offer your own home.

“No, you have enough on your hands with your own family.”

Money is not even the issue; she just likes it where she is. Or maybe she is worried she’ll outlive her money, regardless of her circumstances. Rational or not, many seniors have these fears.

At AIP Design, we know the options may not be ideal. Something has to give, whether it’s the disruption of moving, the expense of in-home care or assisted living, or a bit of your mom’s cherished independence and privacy.

Difficult decisions, we know, so we offer a full home assessment to assess not only the obstacles and possible design solutions in your current home, but which includes a professional fall risk assessment—which is possible because one of us has medical expertise acquired through physical therapy training.

This expertise is what sets AIP Designs apart from other CAPS designated providers. Our recommendations may include suggestions for possible physical therapy to lower the risk of falling, a common, and sometimes deadly occurrence, for seniors.

Our goal is to find the best possible solution for your budget. A possible outcome of our assessment may be that it doesn’t make economic sense to modify your current home and that moving would be a better option.

Types of scenarios we can help with are:

  • You are moving a relative into your home but the available space is not very large. Are there ways to maximize your options while preserving safety and accessibility?
  • You are concerned about a recent fall or hospitalization that your relative has undergone. He dismisses your concerns, maybe even blaming himself. “I’m fine. It was my fault for not paying attention. I’ll be more careful from now on.”
  • You live in another state, your loved one lives alone in New Jersey and there is no one to check on him on a regular basis. You can give him a monitor, yes, but what if his home just isn’t safe? Some basic accommodations can give you peace of mind.
  • You have a frequent visitor whose disability limits her. She would visit more often if your home was more accessible. You want to change some things, but you don’t want to do anything that will turn off potential buyers. You’ve carefully put together a beautiful home—you fear it will end up looking like a hospital!

We spend approximately two hours doing each assessment, which gives time to ask and answer questions, assess the specific needs of residents and visitors and to carefully examine the environment. We determine what challenges may exist now or in the future, and discuss different options for mitigating risk.

Our training in interior design also helps us to devise an attractive, as well as functional, space.

Many of our clients who were initially skeptical have been surprised at how helpful the thorough home assessment was in simplifying these complicated decisions.

After the assessment, you decide whether or not having us create a plan makes sense, based on our report’s findings. Several clients have either done the work themselves or hired another company at some point in the process. We can recommend professionals or you can select your own. You may decide that moving is your best option.

Our goal is to ensure you can make an informed decision. You should be able to enjoy living in comfort and safety, for as long as you or your loved one desires to stay at home.

Are you wondering if home assessment is for you? Comment or contact us directly at AIP Designs to discuss your options.




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