Our bedrooms are our sanctuaries – a place for rest, relaxation and recharging after busy days. Despite the fact we spend one-third of our lives in this room, we often overlook it when thinking about safety and accessibility. For best accessibility, a bedroom should be on the ground floor. Many homes were not built with downstairs bedrooms, so this may not be an option. Stairlifts can be added for accessing bedrooms if necessary or a den or other downstairs room can be converted to a bedroom in a pinch.
Keep the mood restful in the bedroom by choosing soothing colors. Shades of blue, green and lavender are ideal... Read the rest
There is one household item that tends to linger far longer than most. It usually lurks in a cabinet in the dark. We spend a lot of money for it, so we want to keep it around just in case. What we don’t realize is that this item can cause great harm, even death, to anyone accidentally consuming it. What is this dangerous item? Prescription medication.
Americans take a lot of medications today, far more than any other country. In fact, the total number of prescriptions filled has increased by 85% in the past two decades, according to Consumer Reports. Statistica.com estimates 4.25 billion prescriptions will be filled this year in the U.S... Read the rest
Today’s homes are filled with chemicals. There are detergents, cleaners, polishes, paints, solvents, pesticides, automotive and garden chemicals. Just how dangerous are these products? Consumers need to carefully read the labels to find out. Look for the signal words. The most dangerous is poison, followed by danger, warning and caution. A product is considered hazardous if it has one of the following properties:
Flammable/Combustible: can be easily set on fire
Explosive/Reactive: can detonate or explode
Corrosive/Caustic: can burn and destroy living tissues
Toxic/Poisonous: can cause injury or death if ingested, inhaled or absorbed
Radioactive: can destroy cells and their chromosomes
Chemicals and off-gassing from chemicals in home products (carpet, draperies, furnishings, etc.) is important to note.
The most popular home remodeling projects are kitchens and bathrooms, according to surveys from the National Association of Home Builders. Homeowners want to improve areas of their home that will give them the greatest return upon resale, but will also benefit them in the meantime. With kitchen remodeling, cabinets are one of the features that people want to change most.
Older cabinets were not primarily designed for function or accessibility, but for style. They had many “dead” spaces that defied access. The shelves were too high or too low or were unreachable black holes in corners. Newer, accessible cabinet designs remedy this with an “Optimum Reach Zone” or ORZ... Read the rest
The beginning of the year is a good time to take inventory of your home and just how safe it is. There are many home security devices and systems on the market, ranging from a simple lock to a full-blown “safe room.” Choices exist for every particular need and budget. New door camera devices like Ring, Remo DoorCam, and Z Modo can alert you to who is at your door whether or not you are home. You can also integrate your home security apps with Alexa, Nest and even your Apple watch. There are also many security services that can monitor your home for a monthly fee... Read the rest
Welcome to 2019! If you’re like most Americans you have made resolutions to exercise more, lose weight and get organized. Why is getting organized so high on the list of things to accomplish? It could be because it has been nagging at you for so long. You know you could do more if only you didn’t have to contend with so much clutter and disorder. Studies support this. Neuroscientists at Princeton have shown that clutter has a negative impact on your ability to be productive and focus. It bombards the brain with unimportant information. Psychologists at UCLA confirmed this with a study of families and their clutter... Read the rest
We are headed into those dreaded dark winter months. Our mood grows gloomy and we feel tired and lack energy. Lighting is often overlooked in the realm of accessibility even though it is critically important. Without light, there is no perception, no color, no style to guide you. A lack of lighting can lead to falls and it also adversely impacts our mood. People most profoundly affected may develop Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or other health problems associated with insufficient natural light.
The older you get, the more important light becomes. The lens of the eye yellows over time and eye muscles weaken... Read the rest
We all want our homes to be warm and welcoming. We want our friends and relatives to be able to visit and have access to everything they need but what if your friend is in a wheelchair or uses a walker? Would the person be able to visit your home? Would he or she be able to enter the home, have access to the main floor and visit the bathroom? These are all important questions and sometimes we honestly have to respond, “No.” In the field of home accessibility, this is called visitability. Although it usually refers to indoor features, it can also refer to outside qualities of your home, too... Read the rest
One of the most important aspects to home safety is the ability of first responders to find your home during an emergency. The house or apartment number must be visible both day and night. If a person is in a medical crisis or there is a fire or a break-in, you don’t want emergency personnel confused by a lack of house numbers. Go to the street in front of your home. Are your house numbers located in plain sight? Are they covered by plants? Have they faded over the years? Are numbers missing?
For ease of visibility, make sure that the numbers are large enough and contrast with the background... Read the rest