Page 114 - Cityview May-June 2017
P. 114

require such a thing. And anyone could benefit from easy, push-button style light switches.
“One thing I always present to a couple, especially if they’re nearing retirement age, is an elevator or a future elevator,” says Davis. He’s been surprised by the number of requests he gets for single-level homes over 3,000 sq. ft. Many people assume that if they no longer want to negotiate a staircase, their only option is a single-level home. But, because of the large footprint, these are typically far more expensive to build. “The elevator is relatively inexpensive. You can put a nice elevator in for two or three levels for $22,000- $25,000.” Davis believes that building
a multi-story house with an elevator is almost always going to be less expensive than building a sprawling, single-level home. “You save that $25,000 and so much more,” he says.
Nor do you even have to commit
to installing the elevator. If you’re planning ahead, you can put in walk-in closets, one above the other, on each floor of the house. Instead of the costly nightmare that is trying to put an elevator in a home never designed for one, it’s a straightforward process to convert these closets into an elevator shaft should you ever need it.
When the Time Comes
Although you’re likely to be better off if you’ve planned ahead, many
necessary modifications can’t be foreseen and can only be implemented as accommodations to specific needs. For instance, you might need roll-under sinks if you or your loved one becomes wheelchair bound. However, giving up the cabinet space when choosing an initial design might not make sense. Other options exist for those having to make accommodations. For example, an option helpful to those who are wheelchair bound is a motorized sink. One seller,, offers a kit for a little under $2,000 that enables conversion of your existing sink. This allows you to raise or lower your sink by pressing a button—without having to sacrifice the look you’ve chosen.
The Future of Aging in Place
“Old men have their powers of mind unimpaired, when they do not suspend their usual pursuits and their habits of industry.” — Cicero
Whoever says that new technologies are for the young hasn’t grasped the incredible benefits to be reaped by those whose mobility has been impaired. In fact, these are the people who stand to benefit the most from the arrival of such things as the automated home. HVAC, lighting, blinds, and even cooking devices can now be controlled remotely from a smartphone or tablet. Apple’s Home app bridges different makes
and models of devices and allows a homeowner to control many connected devices with their voice. Users can
also create “scenes” which allow
them to preset things such as lighting,
temperature, fan speed, and even humidity level based on the time of day or a voice command. Smart plugs allow a user to turn on or off any connected device from a phone or tablet. Various sensors allow you to have your lights turn on when the front door opens, fans turn on when the temperature gets a
bit too warm, and lamps turn on or off based on ambient light levels in your home or when no motion is detected for a long period of time.
To keep you from having to fumble around for keys, Smart Locks can auto- lock behind you and auto-unlock as you approach. The August Lock replaces only the interior side of your deadbolt so that you can keep the door hardware you have. Their site boasts that with their lock, “You are the keymaster.” To friends, family, and visitors, you can assign digital keys that are valid for as little as a few minutes, or in perpetuity. You can grant specific people access at specific times on chosen dates. It’s easy to let in the friendly neighbor dropping off groceries or the care provider coming to help with medications or provide homemaker services. Doorbell cams even allow you to see and speak to whoever is at the door and, with your connected lock,
you can easily unlock the door from anywhere in your home. For the less mobile, the smart home is, well, smart.
Financing Your Future-Proofed Home
Those who qualify for Medicare and require the level of care typically pro- vided in a nursing home also qualify for the TennCare CHOICES Program. Not
MAY  JUNE 2017

   112   113   114   115   116