Senior Citizen's Guide digital books
Senior Citizen's Guide to Chicago

Make Every Day Independence Day!

Most parents can clearly remember the first years of their child’s life - patiently waiting for those first steps and making sure to hover close by in case of a fall, guarding against slips in the bathtub, and eventually helping with navigation of the dreaded stairs. It’s in our nature to make sure that those we love are safe, but “I can do it myself” was the familiar cry that told us how badly they wanted to be independent.

Those days are long gone and now, as the “Golden Years” approach, it may be those same children who worry about YOUR safety. The slippery bathtub or going up and down the stairs pose the same dangers for you as they once did for your children. Unfortunately, your adult children are not always able to remain close by as you did years ago, guarding against falls and injuries. Their concern is also for your safety, but may sometimes feel like an intrusion as you face the fact that you are no longer completely independent.

Your children may try to make decisions for you that they feel are in your best interest, but think of your safety rather than your hopes and wishes. While moving to an assisted living facility or moving in with family members may solve the safety issues, it also means leaving the home that you love and the community of friends and neighbors that have become so important to you.

However, with a few small modifications, you have the perfect solution – staying in the home that you love, while maintaining your independence and your safety (and your loved ones’ peace of mind).

When stairs become challenging, a stairlift can easily be installed so that you can simply sit, push a button, and be transported to another floor (and they are a great way to transport laundry or other heavy items). Battery operated for safety during a power outage, stairlifts are attached to the stairs in your home and can easily be removed when no longer needed. Comfortable, convenient and attractive – a stairlift will make your whole house accessible!

Bathroom modifications can range from simply installing grab bars to steady yourself, to creating a completely wheelchair accessible shower area. If a wheelchair becomes necessary on a long-term basis, a vertical platform lift can easily transport you between levels, both inside and outside the house (and they even withstand Chicago winters!). Similar to an elevator, a vertical platform lift does not have an enclosed cab, but travels vertically on a tower. They can be used as a “porch-lift” to take you from ground level to the home’s entrance, or within the home from floor to floor.

With many people who are planning to “Age In Place” in their homes, a home elevator is an economical alternative to moving that will provide you with added convenience and comfort, while also adding to the market value of your home. While once considered a luxury item, home elevators have become increasingly popular in homes of all sizes and price ranges. A great convenience for transporting anything from luggage to groceries, a home elevator will provide you with the peace of mind in knowing that mobility in the coming years will never present a problem.

A Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) is a professional that specializes in designing and creating environments that will maximize your safety and provide you with complete access to all the areas of your home. Coordinating the plans of a CAPS professional with an accessibility contractor will provide you with the expertise and skills to create the best possible solution for you, and allow you to stay in the home you love, safely and independently, for years to come!

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