Page 5 - Hawaii Renovation - July 4, 2021
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As we celebrate Fourth of July today, many Americans will be
thinking about freedom.
The word, like the day, has tremendous significance for many people. For some, it raises images of colonists signing the Declaration of Independence. For others, it represents long-awaited family gatherings and glori-
ous firework displays.
And for many people, the
word represents the ability
to live independently in one’s own home, the freedom to set one’s own schedule, to entertain guests and enjoy family members — and most of all, freedom from the high cost of nursing homes.
For the first time in history, the U.S. Census Bureau proj- ects there will be more elders than children in the U.S. in less than 10 years. The cost of care in an assisted living facility rose by more than 79% between 2006 and 2020.
“Median monthly costs in Hawaii now range from $1,582 for adult day healthcare to $13,323 for a private room in a nursing home,” reports Bon- nie Oda, director of client care for Graham Builders.
The move itself can be traumatic.
“Most seniors want to live in their own homes for as long as they possibly can, living their lives as they’ve always done,” she continues. “And in Hawaii, culturally and tra- ditionally, families like to take care of their elders at home
“When Graham Builders designs or remodels a home for a family with members from several generations, special attention is paid to kupuna and any family mem- bers with limited mobility or special needs, no matter their ages,” says Oda. “It’s re- ally important for people to be able to manage their own personal care.”
The firm’s accommodat- ing designs include comfort- height toilets and low-step showers wide enough to hold wheelchairs, as well as closets with accessible rods and shelves. Along with wider hallways and doorways, other modifications might include the creation of a full acces- sible bathroom and bedroom on the ground floor of a two- story home.
The company has devel- oped a new concept called AGE-ilityTM to promote de- sign/build services specifi- cally for aging in place. As Certified Aging-in-Place Spe- cialists (CAPS), a designation awarded by the National As-
sociation of Homebuilders, Oda and several other Gra- ham Builders employees have extensive training in the de- sign of homes that can quick- ly adapt for family members with reduced mobility.
Families whose members hope to age at home should begin adapting their homes as soon as possible, Oda sug- gests, especially if the homes are older.
“The sooner the better, if you know you’ll just need to do it later anyway,” she says. “Planning and making changes to your home takes time, and costs are escalating. It makes sense to take action now.”
For more than three de- cades Graham Builders has been helping Hawaii fami- lies design, build and modify residences to accommodate disabilities. You are invited to register for the company’s free virtual “Building Your Home for Life” seminar on Saturday, July 10, at graham-, or call 808-593-2808.
for as long as possible.”
But homes must be made comfortable, safe and barrier- free. Many island residences, especially those built before 1960, simply don’t meet the criteria. When they were constructed, designers and builders weren’t thinking about accommodating peo- ple with limited mobility and
other health issues.
“As an example, Hawaii’s
older homes typically have doorways between 24 and 26 inches wide,” Oda ob- serves. “Hinges reduce the width by a couple of inches. Many wheelchairs wouldn’t fit through such a door.”
Historically, Oda adds, ku- puna who lost mobility were often moved into care facili- ties, where they stayed till the end of their lives.
“Thankfully, these days, things can be different.”
As humans age, we’re typi- cally challenged by health is- sues that limit mobility and compromise safety, espe- cially for those of us who live in older homes. Common is- sues range from sleep depri- vation, high blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis to hip and knee replacements, strokes, and Parkinson’s dis- ease.
CONTACT 808-593-2808
ADDRESS 1144 Young St., Honolulu WEB

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