Ceiling Lifts – “High Efficiency” Mobility for Special Needs

  If you are looking for a ceiling lift in Austin, Texas for your loved one with special needs, then trust the experts at Ageless Spaces to help you select the appropriate ceiling lift system for your home. If your loved one needs help moving around the house to accomplish routine activities, a ceiling lift can help her live more freely and efficiently and feel capable again. Here are some of the ways a ceiling lift can help. Ease of Use A ceiling lift is, in many cases, the best possible mobility aid for a disabled person for moving efficiently in a home or nursing environment. It is a low-maintenance piece of machinery anchored in the ceiling used to lift a patient from a seated or lying position into a more upright position, or vice versa, or from one location in the home to another. Once installed, it requires no prior setup; just secure your patient in the sling, activate the lift motor, and move your loved one to the desired location.  Floor space remains uncluttered, so caregivers may move around freely, safely, and efficiently.  The ceiling lift is designed and installed to reach every position in the room – and throughout the house – without furniture posing a hindrance. Safety for Both Caregiver and Love One Brings Peace of Mind Use of a ceiling lift reduces the risk of caregiver injury due to heavy lifting.  The foremost advantage in minimizing manual lifting is the reduction of heavy strain on the body. The person you are caring for will feel stronger knowing that they are not causing you physical strain and that they can be lifted, moved, and re-positioned with little time and effort. Use of a ceiling lift also reduces the risk of injury to the patient during transfers. Freedom from physical strain and freedom from worry of injury bring peace of mind beyond measure!    Cost Savings A ceiling lift saves money by reducing the need for extensive renovations often necessary to retrofit the home for accessibility. Most homes aren’t built to be accessible to a disabled person.  Extensive remodeling is typically required to enable access to important rooms of the house – especially bathrooms.  A ceiling lift system can greatly reduce the amount of remodeling needed to make the home accessible – at a great cost savings. The use of a ceiling lift reduces the number of home...

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Just What is Universal Design?

Universal design homes are beautiful, functional, comfortable, flexible, safe, and accessible. Looking beyond the requirements for barrier-free design, a predominately disability-focused movement, universal design brings openness, light, and ease to the environment.  Unlike the majority of our existing homes that have physical barriers to mobility, universal design homes improve the livability of the space, not just for the elderly and the disabled, but for everyone – that’s why it’s called universal. There are seven principles of universal design (probably not of particular interest or use to the reader of this article, but if you happen to be curious, there’s plenty to explore here. The principles, as they apply to our work in residential remodeling, are focused on three main areas of the home: entry ways – at least one zero-step entry; adequate maneuvering space – particularly interior doorways of adequate width to accommodate a wheelchair; and bathrooms with level-entry showers. We are always mindful of the aesthetics of the environment – an essential and integral element of universal design. One doesn’t have to embark on a major remodeling project to incorporate universal design principles and to make the home safer and more amenable to independent living.  Here are some modifications that can be accomplished relatively quickly to facilitate graceful living—with minimal expenditure. For the Bathroom Add a shower seat —while the ideal may be a beautiful, tile level-entry shower, it may not be the most practical solution today. There are many shower seats available today, and some are quite beautiful! Keep in mind that you want a seat that will provide comfort and stability. Replace a stationary shower head with a hand held shower head on a slide bar. Install grab bars. Color and style options are available today, so you’re not locked in to the same ol’ stainless steel look. Consider contrasting color for improved visibility. Replace two-handle faucets with single-lever faucets. Replace standard toilet with “comfort height” toilet. The importance of adequate light, and good quality light, are often overlooked.  Replace low-watt bulbs with higher wattage, where possible, or upgrade fixtures if needed. LED lights increase light intensity and reduce energy use over “old-style” bulbs.                 Other Areas Lower upper cabinet shelves where possible, and place most often used items on the most easily reachable shelves. Replace cabinet knobs with ‘D’ shaped pulls (or latches that open to the touch). The...

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Kudos to Austin City Council for assuring a more “visitable” Austin

Despite the fact that my word processor’s spell check doesn’t know the word visitable, it is indeed a word that has come into use in our modern day, although admittedly not yet common to our vernacular. Visitability is a concept that has grown out of the disability rights movement, and is about basic access for everyone. The term was coined in Europe, and later adopted for use stateside by Georgia’s Eleanor Smith, founder of Concrete Change. It is most broadly defined by homes meeting the following three basic requirements: at least one zero-step entrance, doors with 32 inches of clear passage space, and at least one bathroom (or half bath) on the ground floor that’s wheelchair accessible. Austin City Council recently passed a new visitability ordinance for new residential construction (single family houses and duplexes).  See the report at KUT.org for more information on the Austin...

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Austin Home & Garden Show

A new adventure for Ageless Spaces!  We will be exhibiting at the Austin Home & Garden Show this weekend for the very first time. We will be featuring Best Bath Systems products, complete with a walk-in tub on display at our booth. This is a great opportunity to come and see the unsurpassed quality of the BBS products. We’ll be offering a Home & Garden Special: $500 off barrier-free showers or 10% off walk-in bath tubs. Click below for sample pricing: Walk-in tub ADL Spa Tub Barrier-free shower We’ll also have a sampling of “designer” grab bars, and lots and lots of photos and information. Show hours are Friday 2pm-7pm, Saturday 10am-7pm, and Sunday 11am-5pm. Come and see...

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The Washington Post just ran a great article on home modifications and “Villages” in the Washington DC area. The article highlights an 88-year widower with post polio syndrome in Northern Virginia, who made modifications to his home (including installing an elevator), and joined one of the  Villagesin his area so that he can retain his independence at home. Stay tuned for our upcoming post featuring Austin’s Capital City Village, the first Village in...

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We’re Excited!

We’re excited about our new web site and blog at Ageless Spaces! If you’ve ever authored a web site, you know that its creation is a process – and I’m pretty sure it’s never finished. I actually see this as a good thing. We want the Ageless Spaces web site and blog to be a continually evolving source of information. As we learn about new products and services available in the remodeling industry – especially those that support independence and safety in the home for people of different ages and physical abilities – we’ll let you know. We want this to be a go-to resource for information about universal design, remodeling for aging in place, and more. There’s a lot we’re still learning about the web site and blogging platform, and we appreciate your patience while we get our bearings in this little corner of cyberspace. While we’re finding our way, we invite your thoughts, ideas, and questions – what would you like to see featured? what kinds of information would you find useful? Let us hear from...

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Love begins at home.
- Mother Teresa