Top 5 trends (desires) of individuals remodeling their home for Aging in Place living.

I am sure the list of most popular Aging in Place (AIP) remodeling projects for a contractor in Long Beach California doesn't look anything similar to the top list from a AIP remodeler in Concord New Hampshire.  You can probably understand that climate, culture, age of home, and many more elements determine the necessary modifications required to have a successful Aging in Place remodel.  Guess what, my list looks different also.  Following are the top 5 projects that I've performed in Chattanooga area homes for the past 18 months.

The first and most requested modification I've seen is to have a barrier free entryway into the home.  The following are a examples of the type of work I'm speaking of; platform lifts in the garage, excavating  & landscaping to produce a sidewalk that has a gradual incline to the front door( more aesthetically appealing than a ramp), pressure treated ramp into the back door, and building a minor transition ramp that takes away that 2" difference between the front porch and the door threshold. 


The next 2 projects that I frequently see pertain to the bathroom.  Installing a ADA / Comfort height toilet or raising an existing toilet is very common.  Also, replacing a standard tub/shower combo with either a barrier free shower or a walk-in tub.  Most appealing to my clients has been the method that we use to recess the shower floor resulting in a seamless (truly barrier free) transfer from the bathroom floor to the shower floor. 

Another  popular modification revolves around the ability to live entirely on the main floor of the home.  This type of project would entail widening of doorways and/or  transforming  a room, such as a formal living room or dining room, into a master suite. 

Coming in at #5 and the last trend I'll mention has to do with convenience items related to everyday living activities.  The 2 main locations where we make these modifications are the bathroom and kitchen.  For the bathroom it involves things like; adjusting counter heights, modifying cabinets to allow for seated use or wheelchairs,

replacing faucets and door knobs with ones that are easier to use, and installing grab bars for safety.  In the kitchen we have also adjusted counter tops, relocated or changed appliances, added light fixtures for enhanced vision, and installed devices which allow for use of all the cabinet area.


Now that you have an idea of the types of improvements that will assist with remaining independent and help improve the quality of live for you or a loved one,  WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?  Reach out today and start preparing for your retirement home. 

I know what you're thinking, "I don't need those things now, I'm not experiencing any challenges in my home."  Let me remind you of one thing, IT"S BETTER TO BE PROACTIVE NOT REACTIVE.  At a minimum, be sure to add Aging in Place planning into your retirement strategy.

Contact us for a free in-home assessment!  423.508.7868 or

That's my 2 cents!   

Receiving the most value when remodeling your home for retirement living.

Aging in Place.  It is the latest craze among today's "baby boomer"  generation.  89% of seniors surveyed state that they would like to keep living in the current homes rather  than having to move to a commercial living facility.  Those individuals desiring to remain independent  and age with grace & dignity share one common emotion - uncertainty.  They are uncertain about how aging in place can be done and who can assist in making it possible.  Let me try to offer some very important guidance.

First and foremost, reach out to the professionals.  Today's enormous interest in remaining independent and in control of daily activities has prompted AARP and the National Home Builders Association to jointly develop a specific educational program, CAPS - certified aging in place specialists, which identifies professionals who have educated themselves and are committed to fulfilling  the needs of today's aging population.   The in depth focus of the CAPS program allows specialized professionals to properly plan and design an environment that removes the many accessibility, mobility, and safety obstacles that exist in many of our homes.  Be extremely cautious not to fall victim to the unqualified individuals who are seeking fame and fortune on the silver wave of the aging population.

Another reason for securing the assistance of a CAPS professional is the advanced knowledge they bring for determining an effective and accurate scope of work.  The best foundation for achieving  successful independence is when a CAPS construction professional and a health care professional (Occupational therapist/Physical Therapist)combine training and experience.  The combination of these 2 experts will ensure a finished product that improves independence, reduces risk, and takes into consideration typical needs that continue to arise as we age..

Lastly, a CAPS professional will help with containing the cost of the necessary modifications.  Their specialized training and experience leads to a reduction of cosmetic work compared to beneficial modifications.    Cost containment addresses unnecessary expenditures, not strongly negotiated pricing dickering which often leads to corner cutting and inferior products and services.

The above examples demonstrate the importance of hiring a CAPS professional.  Aging in place is a viable choice for seniors not wanting to move from their home.  Again, key elements must be addressed for any Aging in Place remodel project to be beneficial so be sure to hire a professional and receive the most value for your investment. 

That's my 2 cents

1/29/14 - Extreme winter weather is a cause for concern

Outdoors we can see the nasty work of "Old Man Winter" and his friend "Ms. Polar Vortex".   

I want to remind everyone that the recent decline in weather can pose extreme hazards for our senior population, especially those who have decided to remain independent by Aging in Place.


People never cease to amaze, or I should say, disgust me!


Just now, as I research current senior living trends, I've become aware of a horrendous incident.  So appalling that I had to stop what I was doing and bring this tragedy to your attention.

Does the name "Lorraine Bayless" strike your memory?  Do you know how she has made a difference or how her life has made a difference?  The chapter of her story that will be with me from now on is unfortunately her final chapter.

So it happened one final day in February, at a so called "independent living facility" in California.  Ms. Bayless collapsed in the main dining room.   For more than seven minutes she laid there with no one coming to her aid.  Now understand, she was not alone!  Actually, a nurse had called 911 reporting the emergency.  To my and the 911 dispatcher's disbelief, this nurse refused to perform CPR , an elementary  procedure for her profession.  Even more disturbing, the dispatcher reports that she had pleaded with this nurse to give the phone to someone else so  she could give that individual instructions for CPR.  Tragically, Ms. Bayless could not be helped when the EMTs arrived.

The nurse stated  that at that time she was acting as a resident services director, not a nurse.  Also stating it would have been against company policy to administer any type of medical care because  her establishment was an independent living facility and "by law not licensed to perform medical care to any of its residents."         

Can you wrap your hands around that?

This mind boggling incident has sparked much controversy within the Elder Care community and is now being dissected by both legal and political professionals.  Ms. Bayless' family has expressed satisfaction with the care given to their loved one and are not pursuing any legal actions.


As I sit and scratch my noggin, I share a candid response from Mr. Lavine of the Hastings Law School concerning this ethical vs. moral debate.

 "The general rule in the U.S. is that you have no duty to rescue someone in a medical emergency except if you're a medical professional who's on the job and acting within the scope of your medical practice."

I hope this story reinforces  the importance of fully understanding the policies and procedures of any long term care facilities you may be considering.  Better yet, I pray that this story and my brief description of the events ignites some deep soul searching and your desire to make a difference in today's society.       


That's my 2 cents!

Do you or someone you know have a desire to age in place?

If so, I stress to you, consult a CAPS professional

Professionals provide SOLUTIONS.

I can hear you all thinking, "Dan's promoting his company again".  Well I say, "YES" and no.

"YES" Independent Lifestyle Solutions is a fully licensed, insured, and a recognized specialist (CAPS certified), ie. "professional". OK, there's my plug. 

Now, the point I am stressing is that with regards to Aging in Place, the true value of a product or service cannot be determined solely by themselves, you must look at the big picture.  Big picture meaning that we need SOLUTIONS not products to overcome obstacles.  Considering  that most seniors have to leave their existing homes due to an array of obstacles, you can see the importance of consulting with individuals that have been specifically educated and trained in developing solutions, not selling products.

Think of these personal examples, would a golf professional suggest that the latest golf clubs would fix what's missing in my game or do you think he would steer me towards more lessons, more practice, better focus, and possibly new equipment (or should I say a SOLUTION).  Then there's Lee, my son, who often thinks the lack of success in our duck hunting can be resolved with a new gun; not a SOLUTION such as skeet shooting practice, better camouflage, improved blind location, overall preparation, etc..

Professionals provide SOLUTIONS. Contractors/salesmen provide products.  People need SOLUTIONS.   Yes, we recommend particular products but that is only one ingredient in the grand recipe  that will produce the ability to remain in your home safely, comfortably, and independently as you enjoy the ending stages of your exciting ride through life.

Again, if you need a SOLUTION, I urge you to contact a CAPS certified professional.  And yes I would appreciate your call to Independent Lifestyle Solutions.

That my 2 cents!

"LIfe, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"

Folks, the revolution has started! 

They are demanding independence!

They are determined!

They are persistent!



  They are paving a new way of life!


Running the Torch

I can't believe it!  I am the first in the family to write a blog, my kids are so behind the times.  Ok, I'm not sure if this forum could be called a blog but it will be my attempt to keep everyone up to speed with issues pertaining to Aging in Place.