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– Navigating Your – Home Modification Choices PPeople with limb loss don’t all have the same mobility challenges, so for those considering home modifications, some adaptations may work better than others. However, the best way to begin planning for home modifications is to first understand what the home structure already has, what can be adapted, and whether more extensive renovations would be better (or possible) than building new with built-in modifications. A checklist, such as the one provided by The National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modifications (homemods.org), can walk you through your modification needs for each room (homemods.org/ pages/safety-assess.shtml). First of all, it’s useful to understand some terminology. According to the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), home modifications should improve the following features of a home: Accessibility – This includes widening doorways, clearing spaces for wheelchair access, lowering countertops in kitchens and bathrooms and much more. This remodeling must comply with the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, the Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility guidelines, and American National Standards Institute regulations for accessibility. The work must also conform to state and local building codes. 32 inMotion Volume 24, Issue 4 July | August 2014 by Élan Young Related Resources ADA National Network adata.org Area Agencies on Aging n4a.org Department of Veterans Affairs benefits.va.gov/homeloans/ adaptedhousing.asp National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification homemods.org Adaptability – These are quick changes that can be made to accommodate the needs of those with disabilities or mobility limitations. Houses can be made adaptable without having to completely redesign the home or use different materials for essential fixtures. Examples include grab bars in bathroom walls and movable cabinets under the sink for those in wheelchairs. Universal design – These features are built into a home’s original blueprints. The features include appliances, fixtures and floor plans that can be adapted for almost any special need. To Remodel or build? Some questions to consider before you decide to remodel or build will, for most people, be a matter of budget. However, other considerations might include whether you actually enjoy where you live or whether children would have to be moved to a new school and other similar considerations. Architects with experience in redesigning homes for accessibility can be a useful resource when making this decision. Here are some important considerations when deciding whether to renovate or build new. National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association reversemortgage.org Rebuilding Together rebuildingtogether.org Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America resna.org


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