Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. What does Living Solutions do?
Living Solutions provides paid services to allow seniors and people with disabilities to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for longer. Our services include Home Safety and Accessibility Assessments with a plan of specific steps (including free, low cost, mid-range, and higher range modifications) to make the home more safe and accessible. Living Solutions also works with clients to identify their assistive device needs, purchase the devices, and learn how to use them for maximum benefit.
Q. I’m healthy now, why would I want to hire Living Solutions?
Americans are living longer. Planning ahead and making your home more safe and accessible before you have significant disabilities helps keep you in control. You can also reduce your chance of injury by making your home more safe. The number one cause of injury to seniors in their homes is falls, so by reducing fall hazards in your home you can reduce your most significant risk of injury. Living Solutions also provides referrals to other planning resources such as financial and legal planners.
Q. What is Aging in Place?
Aging-in-Place is the concept that people can continue to live in their own homes and communities as they age, as opposed to being forced to more to assisted living or nursing homes or moving in with family members. Aging-in-Place often requires modifications to the home to accommodate changes that come with age such as medical conditions, disabilities, and decreases in strength.
Q. Why would I need a home assessment? I know what I need.
Many savvy consumers have read a great deal about Home Modifications. However, not every modification is appropriate for every level of ability, medical condition, or house. In addition, there are hundreds of specialty items that you may not be aware of. Many of these are more cost effective than the most commonly-know options. Living Solutions spends a great deal of time researching the latest advances in Home Modifications and Assistive Devices and has the most up to date knowledge on options. Home assessments, such as Living Solutions’ Independent Living Plan usually save clients money because they prevent them from buying unnecessary equipment or higher priced options. An Independent Living Plan can also help you prepare for your changing needs beyond the limitations of any single product.
Q. What are the advantages of a Tubcut over a roll-in shower?
A Tubcut (link) is the most cost effective way of creating an accessible shower. The process removes the side wall of the tub and allows the user to walk straight in rather than having to step over the wall of the tub. Roll-in showers allow someone using a wheelchair to enter the shower directly and represent the highest level of bathing accessibility. However, the Tubcut has several advantages over roll-in showers: 1) price, 2) installation time, and 3) reversibility.
Price: A Tubcut costs less than $900 whereas even a budget roll-in shower will cost at least $5,000 to install, with typical jobs costing between $10,000 to $15,000.
Installation time: A Tubcut takes half a day to install and can be used the next day. Installing a roll-in-shower requires removing the old tub and enclosure, refitting the plumbing, often redoing the flooring, then installing the roll-in shower pan and enclosure. This process can take one to two weeks depending on the size of the bathroom and the complexity of the job. Lack of access to the bathroom for a week is more of a disruption than many seniors would like to have.
Reversibility: The Tubcut is completely reversible and can be reversed in a day. A tub that has been reversed retains its original strength and appearance, can be sat on, and can be filled to the top once more. The reversibility of the Tubcut is a good option for renters because it is considered a reasonable modification under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and must be allowed by landlords. For those considering selling their house, the Tubcut also allows the bathroom to be reversed in the buyers want a full tub.
Q. Why should grab bars be installed by a Home Modifications specialist?
Grab bars are deceptively simple devices. Many dutiful sons or well-meaning handymen have installed a grab bar only to find out that it caused water to leak into the wall or failed the user when they grabbed the bar during a fall. Living Solutions specializes in home modifications for seniors and people with disabilities and we have installed thousands of grab bars. We install all our grab bars to federal ADA guidelines so that they can hold up to 250 pounds of force. In addition to catching falls, grab bars prevent falls by serving as a guide and support while getting up and down or stepping over the wall of a tub. But a grab bar can only serve this function if it has been placed correctly in accordance with the height and body type of the user and the particular design of the bathroom. Grab bars are only helpful if they are placed and installed properly and Living Solutions is the leading specialty installer of grab bars in the DC metropolitan area.
Q. What is Retrofitting
A. Living Solutions offers services to modify your existing home to meet Universal Design compliance through a process know as “retrofitting." Depending on the original design of the home, these modifications can be minor, simple ones that you can do yourself or extensive changes that require an architect and contractor.
Q. What is Universal Design?
A. Universal Design is a set of standards used to make new and existing homes accessible, safe, and usable for all people from children to retired adults and people with disabilities.