Monday, March 16, 2009

Adjust rooms as you age

Changing office as you age ...

"No matter what anyone says, turning 60 is no fun. Some 58 million baby boomers no longer find it as appealing when they hear The Who's Roger Daltrey sing the line from "My Generation": "I hope I die before I get old."

Despite the popular media images of a more vibrant senior population, physical needs will change for most of us as we age. One thing that becomes apparent is that our bodies don't work in the same splendid way they did when we were warning each other not to trust anyone over 30.

Even with increased awareness of the benefits of exercise, not everyone is forever blessed with flexibility and muscle strength. So one of the great things about downsizing and designing a new home for your retirement years is the opportunity to build comfort and ease into the plans.

Once you boil a task down to its essence, you might find you can do it in less space. Rooms that are work centers — kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and even garages — rate extra focus. Just because you have lived with things arranged in a certain way for 40 years doesn't mean that this is the gold standard. Over time, we sometimes just get used to a little awkwardness.

When you're trying to streamline, there are a few common kitchen chores that ought to be considered. They include loading and unloading the dishwasher, placing food in and taking it out of the oven and microwave, unloading groceries, and accessing cooking equipment.

When you design your own kitchen cabinets, there is no law that forbids you from placing a door at your optimum work height. Think of how wonderful it would be to load and unload the dishwasher without bending over. The same is true in our photo for the oven height.

Any kitchen and bath specialist will tell you the secret is to measure using your own body. What is the most comfortable height for you to stretch out your arms in front of you to place a heavy roast in the oven? Can you and your partner use the same dimensions, or do you need to establish some kind of compromise height?

Instead of squatting on your knees, which might be impossible at your age, seek the convenience of smooth drawer hardware that allows for easy pullout storage drawers."    (Continued via The Courier-Journal)    [Ergonomics Resources]

Changing Office with Aging - Ergonomics

Changing Office with Aging

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