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Aging in Place, Do you have Arthritis or is your Sofa too Low?

November 1, 2011


Tight Back Firm Cushion Sofa with Arms

This year baby boomers began turning 65 years old.  What does that mean? It means that a huge chunk of our populations is, shall we say, in the winter of their life. Census predicts that 13% of the population (over 39 million) people are or will be over the age of 65 in 2011.

 More than ever this population wants to stay in their homes as long as possible. No one wants to feel like they are a burden to others.   Taking an assessment of your present home may reveal the possibility of doing just that.

Here a few of many suggestions

  • Converting an unused room on the main floor of a two-story home into a bedroom
  • Buying new upholstered furniture with firm seats and tight backs for ease of getting out of
  • Changing out sockets on table or floor lamps so they may hold a larger watt bulb. You can also get more light at a much lower wattage if you convert to fluorescent bulbs
  • Converting a main floor closet into a bathroom
  • Moving laundry from basement to main floor access
  • Installing roll out shelving in kitchen cabinets and reorganizing items
  • Changing plush carpeting to firmer flooring for stability underfoot
  • Painting walls the opposite tone from flooring for better wayfinding
  • Lighting stairwells

 Sometimes small changes can make the biggest impact.  I recently picked out a new sofa for my Mom who lives in New York State. I spoke with her on the phone right after delivery and asked her if it was easier  to get off the new sofa compared to the old one.  There was a pause on the phone and she said, “I am up on a ladder.” “What the heck are you doing on a ladder, get off,” was my reply.  She then hesitated and blurted out, “For 20 years I thought I had bad arthritis, if I had only known it was my sofa.” She was now sitting high instead of in a hole. No longer does my mom have to do the rock and roll shuffle to get up and out of that way too low, way to soft sofa. She now can get up with the dignity she deserves.

 Oh and by the way my mom who is in her 80’s still works full-time and is my hero and mentor for aging in place.


Convert Closet into a BathroomEasy AccessMain Floor Laundry


Roll out Shelves


Main Floor Laundry

Thanks to the Following:
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