Remodeling for Pain Management [Text]
If your back hurts every time you bend over to load the dishwasher or constantly worry about stepping up and over your tub, it might be time for an update.
The older we get, the less our bodies like to bend, stoop and climb, and for anyone who has even a little trouble getting around, who suffers from arthritis or who is well into their golden years, those simple activities can be downright painful.
Believe it or not, remodeling your home can help relieve your pain.
Laundry room. Elevate your laundry machines onto a pedestal that lifts the front door to a comfortable level, so you can load up without bending or reaching. Most manufacturers make matching pedestals. Or, you can ask your remodeler to build one that goes with the décor of your laundry room.
Kitchen. If your family is grown and gone, consider replacing your traditional dishwasher with a dish drawer. It installs a counter level, but all of your dishes go into a single drawer, which holds more than the top rack of a regular dishwasher but is still smaller than a full-size unit and requires no bending.
Or, have a remodeler raise the dishwasher a foot off of the floor like the washer and dryer.
Bathroom. If you are like most people and can’t remember the last time you had a bath, convert the bathtub to a walk-in shower. Few people whose homes have a tub/shower combination use the tub. If it’s making you uncomfortable, trade it in. While you’re updating your bathroom, go ahead and add sturdy grab bars inside the shower and next to the toilet.
Patio. A cramped shower/tub combo might not be roomy enough for a long soak, but a hot tub on the deck is. Hot swirling water can quiet a multitude of ailments, from stress to sore muscles to arthritis.
Bedroom. Climbing stairs is no fun for someone with aches and pains. It can be impossible for someone with a walker or wheelchair. Convert your first-floor formal dining room into an easily accessible master bedroom.
Spare room. How about converting an unused bedroom or den into a home gym, where you can exercise in privacy and at your own pace? If you’re slowing down but not ready to stop, a home gym can entice you to work out more often and help you stay limber.
Storage. Built-in cabinets can help solve a clutter problem by adding organization for things you use often but want to keep neat. Choose shelves that pull out, up or down so you won’t have to reach and stretch and bend to get to pots and pans, linens or whatever you stow in your new space.
Jeb Breithaupt, B. Arch., MBA, has been president of JEB Design/Build in Shreveport since 1983. You can contact him at 318-865-4914.