FRIDAY, APRIL 27: OBMI has recognized the need for expertise when it comes to modifying homes to suit future needs.
Our ‘Solutions for Seniors’ programme — a partnership between OBMI and Age Concern — is dedicated to linking seniors in Bermuda with a variety of healthcare services and home renovations (see www.ageconcern.bm).
Focused on offering seniors and their family members a much more stylish — and personalized — alternative to residential care housing, ‘Solutions for Seniors’ brings architects and interior designers into the client’s home, where they create plans to adapt the living spaces to meet the challenges of ageing.
These experts can also develop redesigning plans for pre-ageing adults considering home renovations as they prepare for the years to come.
This makes it possible for clients to remain in their cherished residence and provides them with the privacy and self-sufficiency that makes for truly golden retirement living.
The process begins with a personal consultation and home visit by OBMI to determine the best course of action based on each client’s needs.
This may include designing ramps, opening living room areas for better mobility, restructuring floor plans, rebuilding and redesigning the bathrooms or even transforming living rooms into bedrooms.
Along with the availability of well-designed institutional products and attention to living spaces, a once-difficult scenario becomes a safe, tasteful haven for the resident.
Modifying your home to meet your changing needs no longer means having your home look like a retirement home.
There are many options that will make your home work better for your changing needs without changing the overall look and feel.
Outdoor living in Bermuda is a given.
‘Solutions for Seniors’ integrates the expertise of OBMI’s landscape architects to plan and make suitable exterior modifications, such as creating pathways leading towards and around the house, installing adequate lighting, smoothing and levelling surfaces, eliminating stairs, and placing railings as needed.
Gardening options are also available, including raising flowerbeds and setting up outdoor sheds.
Because all changes are part of an integral master strategy agreed upon by the homeowner, the family and the design firm, the end result is aesthetically pleasing and completely harmonious.
Costs will vary depending on the client and the scope of work. Initial site visits with family members, fee proposals and cost estimates for a set scope of work are complimentary.
You have worked hard to have a home that is your own. You put much thought, time, energy and money into creating it.
Now may be the time to look at your home to determine what your future needs may be.
As we get older our lifestyle and needs change. That staircase leading up to the second floor can become a barrier or a hazard. That lovely deep tub in the bathroom can become dangerous to get into and out of.
The National Centre for Injury Prevention and Control states that falls are the number one cause of home injury, and studies suggest that a significant proportion of all falls are due to environmental factors. Someone who injures themselves in a fall is also likely to have another fall within six months.
There are three basic questions to ask yourself when considering changes in your home to reflect the needs of your changing lifestyle.
Have a full physical. Ensure your good health and take ownership of it.
How active are you? With the help of your physician, establish a daily physical routine that is sensible.
Consider prior and current injuries or ailments. Are they likely to cause you discomfort as you age?
How is your vision or hearing? Have they been a challenge on your everyday routine?
Condition of your home
Have a professional assessment done on your home for current marketplace value and possible modifications which could/ should be made.
Do you have stairs in your home? Do you have difficulties climbing them?
Are your bathrooms big enough to easily move around in?
Are your current living spaces adequate for your needs? Are your exterior surroundings too much to care for?
Are you safe and secure in case of an emergency?
To stay or to move?
Can you financially afford to modify your home to suit your needs?
Can your home be modified to suit your requirements? Are you prepared to make a change in your residence?
Once these questions are satisfied it should become apparent how to move forward and enjoy this new phase of life.
• Michele Smith is managing director of OBM International Bermuda. For more information 278-3550.