March Newsletter –
“Sometimes Life Gets in the Way”
I’m sending this newsletter to acknowledge the recent gap in new Design Tips. It doesn’t mean I’m out of ideas! It’s just that sometimes “Life gets in the way.” In my case, it was two things.
It started in October with a fun, temporary Christmas job that involved decorating. I enjoyed the work but it took more time than I anticipated. It also reminded me of why I’m a designer – not a decorator. “How to Know When YOU Need a Decorator or a Designer” describes the differences and how they fill specific needs. In spite of meeting new people and designing beautiful home and yard décor…my calling is to make people safe in their homes as they age.
Here’s the second “life event” that reinforced this belief.
Several years ago, my mother-in-law asked me to up-date her kitchen. As a widow in her 80’s, she lived on her own and loved to bake cookies. However, her 1970’s kitchen design made this increasingly difficult. (Not surprisingly, it was built for our “average guy.” You know the one – the 5-foot, 10-inch tall man between 20 and 40.)
We already know women in their 80’s don’t mirror the average guy. My mother-in-law was no exception. “Aging” her kitchen made the difference. In fact, up until this past December, she routinely made cookies for friends and family. Needless to say, we delighted in being among those recipients!
But time did catch up with her and at 99, she fell. Falls hurt us at any age. At 99 – they change our lives. She spent two days in the hospital but returning home was impossible. Initially she lived with us until we found an assisted living location where she could get the care she needed. Part of that care was one martini a day.
Coming from a generation who did cocktails before dinner, having a pre-dinner drink was one of her greatest pleasures. At that age, why would we try to change that? In fact, her doctor actually wrote a prescription so she could enjoy one each afternoon.
Unfortunately, that too has passed.
I’m sorry to say she’s currently in Hospice and we know we’ll lose her any day. Yet we have to acknowledge
the fact that she’s lived on her own longer than so many others. And who knows how many cookies she baked and doled out over those years? The take-away here is that living independently (and with joy) was due to her ability to live and bake safely in her home.
This brings me full circle to the Safety Tips series I started back in the fall. We can’t predict when life alters our ability to take care of ourselves. What’s possible is make our homes as safe as possible.
The tips already published (and still to come) show you what steps will increase your odds of staying in control of your life. From entering the front door (HOME SAFETY – how to “Ramp” it up”) and easy passage through all doors (“How wide is your door?”) you see how free movement is one key to living safely. Coming up are actions like:
- How to create more space.
- Ways to transport between floors.
- Bringing the outdoors in.
- The best arrangements for items you routinely use…and more.
Before the year is up, I’ll be publishing a book to show how safe homes not only keep you safe and happy, but extend your retirement dollars so you don’t outlive your money.
Thank you for your patience and stay tuned. There’s a lot more ahead!
P.S. To learn more about our design philosophy and why we do it, READ MORE by following the links below.
- “What is Universal Design? It’s Design for EVERYONE!” >>
- “What is Design For AGING IN PLACE?” And why You Should Care! >>
- “TOE TAG HOMES™ – What ARE They?”
We’re excited to announce a new book in the works! It’s about how safe homes not only keep you safe and happy, but extend your retirement dollars so you don’t outlive your money. To stay informed, click photo or fill in signup form below.