You are probably thinking that this is an article about the childish behavior we currently have going on in Washington, but actually, this is about rational thinking and planning for the future right here in our own homes.  While politicians kick the can down the road, you and I can take matters into our own hands to ensure a more comfortable and extended life in our homes.

As many of us age we become more concerned with the future, and for a baby boomer like me, that includes making my home more user friendly and comfortable.  This is where the ideas from Universal Design and Aging-in –Place can be a tremendous help.

These disciplines can help us adapt our homes for when we may need the temporary or full time use of a wheelchair, an easily accessible bathtub, or easily manipulated door knobs.  And for those of you that refuse to think about aging, you may need these amenities long before you may think.  If you are not “old”, then you are playing tennis, softball, jogging, hiking, biking, etc., and could actually be more likely to have temporary injuries that require altered living conditions.  So don’t look at a grab bar in the shower as something for “old people”.   It is for those of us that refuse to “go gently into that good night”, and would rather kick and claw our way into later years while having a good time.  But having a good time can occasionally have consequences.

So here it is.  We grew up—deal with it!  Start thinking about how to adapt your home for a more comfortable future.  There are a lot of resources, designers and contractors out there that will work with you to accomplish this.  And here is the most important point of all—-so read it 3 times…….

When you suddenly need your home adapted for more comfortable use—it is too late!

Accidents happen in the blink of an eye, and now it will take weeks or months to have your home updated to Universal design standards.  There are even instances where a hospital or doctor will not release a patient to recover at home because there is not an acceptable way to care for them.

So let’s not follow the irresponsible behavior of those in Washington.  We are the Grown Ups.  Don’t just plan for your financial future, but plan for the comfortable long term use of your most important asset, your home.

See you out there on the tennis courts.

Brian Tarle