Many elderly Americans are planning to “age in place" but do not anticipate the need to make accessibility modifications to their homes.
A new complimentary Accessibility Consultation service from Big “I" Markets partner Chubb includes advice from a team of experts in the U.S. and Canada trained in universal design. The team can advise you and your clients on how to update the home while maintaining value and beauty.
Here are a few tips to consider when it comes to universal home design and accessibility:
Circulation path. Install hard-surface flooring. Avoid throw rugs in the circulation path or tack them down to make them secure. Also, arrange furniture to allow for turning space and circulation.
Provide support. In the bathroom, install grab bars, a shower bench and a toilet riser.
Entry. Eliminate stairs and install ramps or lifts both outside and inside the home. Consider the slope from the parking area to the home. Provide a level threshold or one that does not stand up more than half an inch from the floor.
Operational controls. Choose door hardware, faucets and appliances that can be easily operated with one hand and limited hand function. Avoid any that require pinching or turning.
Doors. Widen doorways to at least 32 inches and consider sliding or pocket doors where applicable. Also, consider removing closet doors.
Ease of access. Make things easily reachable by installing pullout shelves in cabinets, installing a hand-held shower, moving electrical outlets within reach and placing commonly used items in easy-to-reach places. Additionally, install a low counter for seated users, install appliances with front or side controls and replace bathtubs with low-threshold showers.
The Chubb Masterpiece Program is available to registered Big “I" members in all states except auto in HI, KY, MA, NC, SC and VA, where products are being placed in the legacy ACE system. Additionally, NJ auto and NC home business are being written in the Chubb non-Masterpiece environment.
To learn more, log in to Big “I" Markets and select Affluent Program - New Business from the drop-down menu.