This is the first edition of Housing Matters, which will appear here in Senior News and address matters of housing, especially as they relate to seniors and the aging process. My name is Chris Moore. I am the founder and president of Solid Rock Enterprises, Inc., a Class A contractor located in Salem. I have over 23 years of experience in the housing industry and I will bring this experience and perspective into play as I write this column.

I hope to address the questions and concerns that many of you have about housing in this column.  I will look at how housing needs change as we age and how we can modify our homes to be more convenient to us as we age. A lot has changed in housing over the years. For years the average size of new homes got larger and larger, but recently, due primarily to economic reasons, smaller homes are again in demand.  Many people downsize from the home they raised their children in to one that is more suited to a smaller family.  Many older homes are designed with narrow hallways, steep stairs, and small kitchens and bathrooms that are difficult to navigate.  I’ll talk about designing spaces that are universally accessible.  I’ll talk about some of the questions and concerns you may have if you decide to remodel, and how to make the process as smooth as possible. I’d like to hear your questions and concerns about housing matters, and what matters to you.

In this initial column, I will address some of the common housing concerns that many people have as they age and some of the solutions that are available to address these concerns. Many of us face decreasing mobility as we age. The homes we have lived in for years and in which we have created many wonderful memories now create barriers to our daily lives. Maybe you’re thinking of downsizing and you want to make sure that your new home will meet your needs for many years to come. Whether you’re contemplating staying in your current home or a making a change there are many things you can do to make your life more comfortable and enjoyable.

For many elderly people, the option to stay home simply involves some changes to your routine and environment. There are many organizations that offer in home services that range from nursing care to errands but many times your home itself needs to be modified in order to meet your changing needs. The addition of ramps or lifts can make access to different levels of your home easier. Widening doorways and hallways can make getting around more practical and safer. Some of the biggest changes are often centered in the kitchen and bathroom. Making these areas safer and more accessible can often mean the difference between a home that works for you and one that does not. Grab bars can be located where needed for safety and confidence throughout the house.

I would be delighted to meet with you or your loved one in your home to perform a Housing Needs Assessment. During this assessment I will take the time to talk with you and determine how we can improve your quality of life by making modifications to your home. I will present you with a comprehensive proposal to make the changes needed so that your home will serve your needs for many years to come. Just call 540-384-2064 or log on to  www.solidrockenterprises.com for more information or to make an appointment.

By Chris Moore

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