Being a baby boomer I barrage John Erwin, owner of John Erwin Remodeling with questions about the changes to our home that will allow us to stay there as we get older. Today it is called “aging in place”.
John Erwin is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), one of the first in Washington State to earn his certification a decade ago. I am thinking I hit the mother lode of advice for staying in our one-story home and never having to move again. With nearly a third of the population in Thurston County over 55, there are probably many who feel the same way.
“These simple home solutions for seniors can allow them to safely live in their home independently,” says Erwin. “There is one that is the simplest in the world,” Erwin smiles broadly. “You are going to laugh. C’mon.”
John Erwin leads the way through the company’s showroom and offices. I am intrigued. As we enter the office bathroom, he points out the bathroom door with offset hinges so it opens wider, a great idea for seniors with a walker or wheelchair.
“But that’s not the simplest thing in the world,” John reassures me. The suspense is killing me.
Erwin, past president of the Olympia Master Builders and owner of the award winning company, easily slips a toilet paper roll off a metal holder with an open end. “No dropping and fumbling. How many times have you tried to change the roll and dropped it?” Yep, he’s right.
“But the most important thing in any home is to eliminate trip hazards, the land mines, like big, thick rugs,” Erwin continues. “Falls are more frequent in the dark, so seniors need a light switch by their bed.”
Eliminating steps is another key John advises. “When you only have one step up in front of your house it is easy to pour concrete for a gradual ramp. You wouldn’t even know it was a ramp.”
As he talks, I think, “I want John Erwin to walk through our home and show us what we can do to age in place.” Turns out, they do that kind of assessment.
I’m holding off on the boxes and moving trucks.
Call John Erwin Remodeling, Inc for a quote at (360) 705-2938. Visit their website at John Erwin Remodeling, Inc.