The Transfer of Intergenerational Wealth

"Families need to be aware that what we are talking about here is the transfer of intergenerational wealth, not to families, but into the pockets of large multi-nationals.

Shame about elderly people not having enough money for aged care."

Tom Gait, Retirement Village Residents Association.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Aging in Place Home Modifications for Senior Accessibility


Aging in Place: Home Modifications for Senior Accessibility

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

According to AARP, the vast majority of elderly Americans are intent on remaining in their homes and statistics bear that out: 90 percent of them have a plan for aging in place. While many may eventually require some form of assisted living or residence in a care facility, older adults can remain and thrive in their homes with a few accessibility modifications that can help eliminate the potential for falls and other injuries. In addition to safety, such modifications can add comfort and convenience and make activities of daily living easier to perform for seniors who may struggle with activities that once came easily to them.

Doorways

If you or a loved one has need for a wheelchair, it’s important for their accessibility to ensure that doorways and hallways are wide enough to allow for easy passage and maneuverability. It can be an expensive and time-consuming proposition and requires the involvement of a contractor in many such cases. Entryways should be from 32 to 36 inches wide with hallways at least 36 inches across so a wheelchair can be turned around.

Ramps

Threshold ramps can be very helpful in transitional areas where flooring surfaces are not even. They’re usually made of rubber and are easily adjustable to the height of the step or door jamb to be negotiated. Licensed contractors are trained in how to install threshold ramps to the correct height. An exterior wheelchair ramp may also be necessary for ready and convenient access to a home’s front door entryway.

Bathroom and toilet modifications
The bathroom is the site of most in-home accidents and should be carefully modified for a senior with mobility challenges to age in place safely. Bathing and toileting can be major problems for an elderly individual who has trouble getting around. To make bathing easier, a bathtub can be replaced with a walk-in or roll-in shower, which is considerably safer than a conventional bathtub. In some cases, a bathtub can be made safer for an elderly individual with grab rails and safety strips that prevent falls. Some seniors find a bathtub transfer bench preferable because it’s an inexpensive modification. It straddles the side of the bathtub, allowing the individual to be seated while lifting each leg, one at a time, over the side of the tub. Another option is to install a chair, which sits completely inside the tub. The toilet bowl should be from 17 to 19 inches off the floor for safe transfer from a wheelchair, with grab rails installed alongside for safety.

Kitchen upgrades

Convenience and mobility can be a problem for aging seniors in the kitchen. Appliances may become difficult to reach and use and countertops and cabinets may be too high to reach, especially for someone in a wheelchair. Counter and cabinet heights can be adjusted by a contractor (many are experienced at making senior-accessible modifications), as well as the height of the sink. The microwave and other appliances may also need to be repositioned for ease of use.

Fall prevention

Falls are a major concern for seniors living at home. Six of 10 falls take place in the home and more than a third of seniors over 65 fall every year, so fall prevention is a major aging-in-place. Improved lighting, grab rails, and slip-proof mats are some of the most common means of preventing falls throughout the home.

Technology and a thorough knowledge of what causes safety problems in the home are making it easier than ever for elderly individuals to age in place. Fortunately, many of the modifications that need to be made can be done inexpensively and without gutting the home. As long as an elderly individual’s comfort, convenience and, above all, safety are accounted for, aging in place is a possibility for many seniors.


Lydia Chan

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Function of Government

The role of government is to create an environment for commerce to function whilst at the same time protecting retirees and particularly vulnerable retirees from both financial and emotional harm emanating from that function.

The Victorian Retirement Villages Act 1986 provides the environment for commerce to function but fails to fully protect retirees from financial and emotional harm as a result of it.

The Victorian legislative definition of a retirement village in demanding the payment of an 'in-going' amount without the transfer of property ownership is a major contributor to that financial and emotional harm suffered by retirees.


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