According to most gerontologists, personal happiness in later life is the direct result of an individual's continued physical activity and involvement in everyday life. But for some of us, diminishing physical abilities can make daily routines difficult to manage. Climbing stairs, bathing, meal preparation, or household repairs can become complicated as our bodies change with age.
This book is designed to help you overcome the problems you might encounter in your home as you grow older. It provides the information you'll need to make your home more liveable if you or others who live with you develop limitations in movement, strength, dexterity, eyesight, or hearing.
The text includes ideas, examples, and resources that tell you how to make changes in your house or apartment, and how to arrange for a designer or contractor. The accompanying illustrations show you how to make your own modifications (if you're handy). They'll also serve as an effective guide for a designer or building contractor.
Thanks to the Barrier-Free Design movement and the current surge in home remodeling, the tools and expertise for making home changes are readily available. In addition, many of the modifications are easy and inexpensive to accomplish.
For example, most of the devices mentioned in this book (kickplates, hand levers, etc.) are available at local hardware stores. You can obtain other items from the sources listed in the Resource chapter. But before you start any home modifications, read through the entire book to make sure you understand your needs and options. Then decide which modifications are most necessary, useful, and cost-effective.