Your ADA Home?
Why would anyone want to buy a home compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act? What if we all got older each year and are more likely to have trouble in homes designed for Olympic athletes? What if we have an accident, like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window Rear Window (1954) - IMDb and are confined to a wheel chair for a just a few weeks? Can we live and take care of ourselves in our own homes? The alternative of a convalescent hospital starts at $1,500/month with a shared room the last time I checked.
The book Building for a Lifetime Building for a Lifetime: The Design and Construction of Fully Accessible Ho: Wylde, Margaret, Clark, Sam, Baron-Robbins, Adrian: 9781561580361: Amazon.com: Books discusses that great many factors to consider whether building a house or remodeling a kitchen or bathroom.
Yes, the lever style door knobs allow us aging dinosaurs to open a door even when our hands are sweaty or wet from shaving or washing dishes. Designing a door that can be opened from either direction and passed through by a person in a wheel chair might be considerably more challenging. A pocket door that slides into the wall might be easiest to build from the ground up as opposed to retrofitting later. My medium size bedroom has a regular door that could not open very widely with a double bed in the center position.
Gentle ramps should lead to the home from the drive. Electrical outlets should be reachable from the seated position. Kitchen ranges might be placed so knees can fit underneath. I can't stand all day like when I was twenty.
When my mother started burning pots (by going to sit down), I cut off gas to the stove and bought special cups for cooking her breakfast egg in the microwave. When I figured out she was having trouble with the over-stove microwave and it's tiny numbers, I bought her a counter-top model with a dial timer she could just twist to the proper time for heating coffee.
The book goes on to discuss everything from the easiest windows to operate to which appliances are least confusing to operate. When your pot is burning, you don't want to reach across the flames to turn off the burner. You might also want a frying pan hanging handy to cover the flames.
Your home is likely your biggest investment and you should be able to live in it for a lifetime.
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Rick Kester is a Viet Nam era veteran living in Northern California with his wife Nancy.