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Elders able to wait out home value slump safely

Older Americans can make their homes safer while aging in place and waiting for the real estate rebound with wheelchair ramps, portable showers, and more.

The collapse of the housing market has been especially devastating for elders who had planned to move to a setting where their needs would be met as they got older. That plan probably depended on selling their current home. But home sales are stagnant, and property values have dropped drastically.

For most elders, their homes are their most valuable assets. Older people cannot wait for the home sales market to rebound; it’s too far off, as the latest reports show:  Nationwide, February home sales hit their lowest level since 2002.  www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-21/u-s-february-existing-home-sales-fall-to-4-88-million-rate.html

Fortunately, more products and services are available to modify an older home in ways that will make it safe and comfortable for elders as their needs change.

One example is a ramp that makes it easy for seniors to access their homes in the event of a medical procedure or long-term issue that affects their mobility. Amramp rents and sells steel ramps that can be installed at any type of home on short notice.

If your plan to move has been thrown off course, you first need to survey your home to determine what’s needed to make it safer.

  • Grab bars are a must and easy to install.
  • A walk-in tub can be installed in an existing bathroom.
  • A portable shower can be rented from Amramp.
  • Scatter rugs should be removed, to avoid falls.
  • Lighting should be improved.
  • Books, magazines, and other items that can be tripped over should be put out of the way.

As the population ages, the number of services designed to help elders has grown. The cost can be affordable, and the amount of service offered can be flexible.

Housekeeping services abound; check local media or the web for local companies and national franchises.

  • Housekeeping services abound; check local media or the web for local companies and national franchises.
  • Homemaker services can help with medication and hygiene.
  • Meals on Wheels for those unable to prepare a hot meal.
  • Supermarket delivery services, some are free of charge.

Access outside and within the home is the most important factor for those who are “aging in place.” Amramp’s wheelchair ramps – and wide range of aging in place products – are ideal for people in wheelchairs and those who use walkers or canes. They can be rented for a day, a week, or longer or purchased.

Amramp also offers a wide range of aging-in-place products for sale, including:

  • Portable showers
  • Stair lifts
  • Automatic door openers
  • Vertical platform lifts
  • Pool lifts
  • Threshold ramps
  • Grab bars
  • Overhead patient lifts

Amramp’s patented steel-mesh platform does not collect moisture, allowing rain and snow to fall through. And because the ramps are modular, they are suited for all types of homes, including historic ones. They are far less expensive and obtrusive than permanent ramps, which can detract from a home’s appeal, for when the real estate market does come back.

      Guide for choosing a wheelchair ramp from Amramp, an accessibility company
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