Angie's List: Renovating for Seniors

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Seniors or those with limited mobility may have a hard time getting around their own homes.

In this Angie’s List report, News 4’s Tessa Darlington explains how changes can be made to homes to meet the specific needs of those living in them.

A lot has happened in the Einterz home. Frank and his wife, Cora, have raised thirteen children in the house they’ve had for thirty years. What happened last November would change their “home sweet home” forever.

"Frank had a stroke November 17th, and I knew that we would have to make some renovations to the house because there was no way he was going to be able to walk normally,” Cora said.

That’s when Kent McCool became the couple’s renovation hero. He modified the Einterz home so Frank could still get around and feel comfortable.

"Bathrooms seemed to be addressed a lot. That's where the falls happen. We want to prevent those falls so simple things like grab bars. You know the entrances and exits to your home, proper lighting,” McCool said. He is a certified aging-in-place specialist.

Changes like these weren’t even a thought for Frank or Cora, but professionals suggest maybe they should be.

"As we age we should always think about that. We are going to be in our house long-term. Even if you're in your 40's or 50's and are considering doing some remodeling you might want to consider some elements that might make it friendlier for you as you age,” Angie’s List founder, Angie Hicks, said.

In fact 37% of people responding to an Angie’s List poll are considering aging when it comes to remodeling. Instead of trying to guess at equipment with contractors, it’s best to go to a certified aging-in-place specialist like McCool.

"They understand exactly what needs to be done to make the home safe; what flooring needs to be in place, what hallways you need for wheelchair accessibility and even getting the bathroom retrofitted to be a safe place for the senior,” Hicks said.

While physical therapy and doctors’ visits aren’t at all benefits of having a stroke, Frank has found one positive aspect.

“The bathroom now is practical, convenient and absolutely useable for me,” Frank said.

While buying and installing this type of equipment can be expensive, some pieces can be rented instead of purchased.