Frequently Asked Questions
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Aging In Place
Thrive By Design
Aging In Place
What is "Aging in Place"?
Aging In Place is the ability to remain comfortably and safely in one’s home over the years and to enjoy its familiar daily rituals and special events that enrich all our lives. In short, it is the ability to call a house a “home” for a lifetime.
There are many proven design strategies, techniques and research that THRIVE by Design can help you apply to your home so you can Age In Place. Subtle changes to room composition and layout, such as flooring, furniture placement, lighting and structure, can all have a profound impact on the way you function in your space and can keep you healthier and happier at home for longer. THRIVE can also undertake larger renovations, if necessary, to help you create the most attentive and supportive home space for your individual needs and routines.
Aging in Place is most effective when home environments are planned and prepared in advance of injuries or urgent needs. But it’s never too late to implement changes to your home that make it more usable and accommodating to your individual needs.
What is THRIVE by Design's Aging-In-Place Process?
THRIVE works with you to determine and implement the changes and modifications that will help to enhance your home space to make it more functional, safe and attentive to your needs over the long-term.
To ensure the appropriate modifications are implemented, THRIVE considers three things:
- First, THRIVE considers all aspects of your circumstances and lifestyle to create a safe and well-designed space that actually supports your independent and active lifestyle.
- Second, THRIVE uses evidence-based design research to incorporate the most suitable materials, lighting and colour to provide a nourishing space that supports and can enhance your intellectual and physical experience in your home.
- Third, THRIVE focuses heavily on design as well as sourcing the appropriate products to create an accessible home that is warm and inviting, rather than clinical and hospital-like.
THRIVE’s recommendations often include possible changes to lighting, flooring, furniture pieces and placement and other design elements to create a supportive and safe space that discreetly assists you in your daily routines and activities while maintaining your personal sense of design style. If grab bars or other more clinical devices are necessary, THRIVE’s focus on finding attractive supports and incorporating them into the overall design will help ensure these devices are integrated in the most appropriate and aesthetically pleasing manner.
Why would I benefit from Aging-In-Place Design?
If you are part of the more than 80% of people over the age of 50 years that want to age in their homes and don’t want to move, Aging In Place design can help.
One in three people fall every year. Almost half of these falls happen in the home. Falls can lead to injuries and can make the difference between remaining in your home or having to consider alternate living arrangements such as an institutionalized setting. Aging In Place design can greatly reduce the chances of falling at home.
In addition, Aging In Place design keeps people healthier and more independent over time by creating home spaces that support individuals in their daily routines and keep them more active. Studies have shown that Aging in Place has positive effects on your cognition, activity and health over time.
Proactively implementing home changes now provides an opportunity to create a functional, safe and enriching home to accommodate and support your current needs and demands – as well as any future challenges you may face. Planning earlier allows you to implement modifications in a more thoughtful and strategic way, leading to a more integrated and beautiful home re-design with minimal stress.
Home modifications don’t have to look stark, sterile or even clinical. THRIVE focuses on designing adaptable and attractive spaces that look and feel like home. Understanding you and your individual needs, we offer a full range of home re-design services to equip your home to grow with you over time.
What are some examples of Aging-In-Place modifications?
The examples below illustrate just a few of the many ways in which a home designed for Aging In Place may differ from a traditional home, promoting ease of use, accessibility, safety and improved visibility:
- Open, barrier-free pathways and room design to ensure easy navigation and minimize collisions
- Moving bedrooms or building bathrooms on the first level to reduce having to climb stairs
- Non-slip flooring and materials to prevent falls
- Custom level counter heights to ensure appropriate posture when cooking
- Appropriate use of colour on walls and in rooms to improve sightlines on eyes and minimize accidents
- Strategic lighting to make cooking, reading and daily routines safer and easier
I don't want my home to look institutional. Can you modify it without changing my current design?
At THRIVE, safety and functionality is an integrated feature; and not at the sacrifice of flexibility, customization – or elegance. Many of THRIVE's recommendations can be implemented discreetly and simply look like beautiful design.
Many individuals tend to avoid modifications and products designed for people over 55+ years because these they look too “clinical.” In recent years, however, consumer demand and new technologies have delivered redesigned, innovative and aesthetically pleasing products that can be seamlessly and discreetly integrated into the home. In addition, many of the changes may not require industrial products at all but rather an awareness about which type of everyday products to buy.
Do you look at the exterior of my home or just the interior?
THRIVE looks for ways to allow you and your guests to have the easiest possible access to your home – both inside and out. All modifications are created to work with your own design style.
When is a good time to consider modifications?
It’s never too soon to start creating a beautiful home that supports you now and will keep you healthier, happier and more vibrant for the long-term. A home designed for Aging in Place can provide a safer, more functional environment for guests and/or family members of all ages and abilities, without sacrificing customization, beauty, elegance – or your unique lifestyle and daily routine.
Instead of addressing difficult and potentially much more costly decisions at a later date, THRIVE can help you proactively explore your options and create a long-term plan that works with your budget, timelines and needs.
What types of questions should I ask my parent(s) or family members to determine whether Aging-in-Place modifications could benefit them?
In determining whether your parent or family member could benefit from Aging-in-Place modifications, it is first important to obtain their perspective on the following:
- Whether they want to stay in the current home
- Whether they want to remain close to family and other social networks, as well as familiar places
- The financial and psychological costs of remaining in the home versus other housing options
- Personal comfort level with new situations
If they wish to remain in their home, Aging In Place home re-design will likely be very beneficial for them.
An advocate for you, and your family, THRIVE can assist in the decision-making process.
What is a CAPS designation?
Beth Hirshfeld, President of THRIVE By Design, is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), trained by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in the unique needs of the older adult population, their barriers to remaining at home and possible Aging In Place home modification solutions.
Source: National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Thrive By Design
What kinds of services does THRIVE By Design offer?
THRIVE By Design offers a full range of home re-design services, including:
- A Home By Design Report – This Report assesses and outlines your home's potential opportunities and challenges in meeting – and continuing to meet – your needs. The Report includes short and long-term planning, as well as specific recommendations for implementing changes to enhance your living environment.
- Design and Implementation of Aging In Place Solutions for Your Home – THRIVE can oversee the implementation of any or all of the Home By Design Report or any requested individual Aging-In-Place solution, efficiently managing refinements in order to minimize your time, and maximize your peace of mind.
- Home Staging – If remaining in your home is not a viable or preferred option, our Certified Stagers can assist in beautifying your home for eventual sale.
- Consultations about Aging In Place Solutions for New Home Purchases – If you plan to move homes, THRIVE can help you determine the fundamentals to look for when purchasing a new home.
What types of clients do you have?
All types! THRIVE provides specialized, turn-key solutions to a broad range of homeowners and their families – from age group, to budget, to project scope and level of independence.
Clients includes proactive “Boomers” who want to create and enjoy the home of their dreams for the long-term; a family member responsible for a parent’s ongoing health and accessibility requirements; or a mature consumer wishing to “Age In Place” immediately.
Wherever you fall on this spectrum, our practical and aesthetically pleasing design enhancements, with a focus on Aging In Place strategies, can benefit people of all ages and capabilities.
What's involved in the Home By Design report?
To begin, THRIVE conducts a thorough, onsite assessment of your entire home, in tandem with your unique needs and particular tastes, to understand what you require from your home in order to support your lifestyle now and into the future. We consider all aspects, such as:
- How you and your guests use your home on a daily basis
- How your home is currently meeting your needs
- How long you wish to remain in your home
- Your budget and timelines for change
We examine all aspects and intricacies of your physical space, including accessibility, functionality, layout and lighting, to develop a customized and helpful route forward.
THRIVE then creates a Home By Design Report that includes:
- A detailed analysis of your home and its potential opportunities and challenges in meeting and continuing to meet your needs
- A recommended short and long-term Action Plan
- A suggested Implementation Plan
Depending on your home’s square footage, the initial assessment could take between 1 and 3 hours.
Will I have to move out of my home while the renovations are being made?
THRIVE will do its best to ensure that any renovation causes minimal disruption. We will work with you to determine the most convenient schedules and strategy to implement the changes in as easy, efficient and stress-free way as possible.
Do I have to oversee a contractor?
Depending on your wishes, THRIVE can manage the entire transformation of your home from initial consultation to completion, saving you time and money – and providing peace of mind.
We not only specialize in the design process, we will also arrange for contractors and the relevant specialists to complete the work. We ensure that contractors are fully educated in our proprietary processes, courteous, efficient – and, above all, address the specific needs of our customers.