Is your home accessible and user-friendly? Ever wondered how comfortable your spaces feel for guests with disabilities? Or, do you hope to stay in your current home as you age? It may seem like a distant goal, but updating your home to maximize convenience and accessibility is a huge benefit.
You might not realize it, but your home most likely isn’t fully accessible for people with disabilities. We tend to think of the obvious obstacles, like stairs and narrow hallways, but even something as simple as window treatments can prove difficult or inoperable for a large portion of the population.
That’s why current ADA codes call for all controls to be easily handled, low, and accessible.
“Controls and operating mechanisms shall be operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. The forces required to activate controls shall be no greater than 5 lbf (22.2 N).”
ADA codes are technically for commercial buildings, but they serve as a good benchmark for creating an accessible, comfortable home for everyone. Keeping their standards is a huge plus for anyone who has been injured or gone through corrective surgery. It’s also helpful for older generations.
Imagine you had just had surgery on your shoulder and went to someone's home for the holidays. You were looking forward to taking it easy, but because of your surgery, you were unable to do simple tasks such as make a pot of coffee or even close the blinds at night.
Wouldn't that be a frustrating situation? Wouldn't you wish that there were things in place that made your visit easier? Not only that, but you might have even felt guilty for needing help.
Now imagine if you were the host. What if your houseguest used a walker? Perhaps it was your grandmother. How would you feel if you realized halfway through their visit that she actually couldn't open her blinds every day so she just left them closed — missing out on views and natural light because she didn’t want to bother you.
Updating your home to make it more accessible to people with disabilities or the elderly is a great idea no matter what stage of life you're in. You want your guests to be comfortable. And, you want a home that will function conveniently for you and your family no matter their age.
Most likely, your home can use some new upgrades to make its spaces more accessible and user-friendly. Make sure things are at a conveniently low level and no appliance controls are inaccessible. This could mean anything from thermostats to light switches — even your window treatments.
You'll also want to add plenty of safety features to make your space as safe as possible. Modern and customized window treatments are now available in the safest features including cordless blinds and shades, which address the danger posed by corded treatments to children and pets.
Cordless blinds and shades also come with motorization options, which will give you the control to open and close them at will. You can use a button, switch, remote control, or smart phone app to manipulate your blinds and shades without the inconvenience of physically lifting or manipulating them.
These modifications are beneficial to anyone from any generation — not just the elderly. This is perfect for anyone who has a disability, seniors who don't have their full range of motion, or anyone recovering from an injury or medical procedure.
It may seem far away but it's never too early to start thinking about your future plans. Many individuals nowadays are deciding to age in place, and with modern technologies, this concept is more attainable than ever.
Aging in place refers to independently living in your home as you age, instead of seeking alternative living arrangements. If this is something you see for your future, you’ll want to begin the process of making home modifications that will allow you to age in place safely, with minimal effort and inconvenience.
Updating and modifying your home now will save you time and stress later on. You'll be prepared no matter how your abilities and those of your loved ones may change over time. By making necessary switches now, you’ll have the peace of mind that everything is taken care of.
Embracing new technologies such as motorization or home automation will help clear a path for your future and that of your loved ones.
To begin the process of updating your space, you want to think about the current features of your home. Do you have furnishings blocking pathways? Do you have easy access to outlets? Is your heating and cooling system updated? These are all things you'll want to address.
Home automation systems are rising in popularity — and for good reason. They provide all the amenities and modern accessories that you would want at the touch of a button — or sometimes completely hands-free.
Automatic timers are available for many features that will leave you stress-free and relaxed. No need to remember to open and close the blinds and shades, no having to remind yourself to turn on the dishwasher. These everyday actions can be automatically done at the touch of a button. If you don’t feel like pushing a button every time, set a timer and your appliances will work for you on your schedule.
Climate control is something that people tend to forget about simply because it seems so normal to adjust the thermostat. However, for those with disabilities or for the elderly, this can cause a challenge. Is your thermostat high up on the wall? Is it set on an automatic timer or does it require you to adjust it every day? Is it reliable and is it convenient for you to deal with? If you think that there is a potential that you won't be happy with your current climate controls, opt for a home automated climate control system.
Safety features are another great home automation tool to help you age in place. You never want to feel unsafe in your home, and the best way to do that is with automatic features such as lock controls and cameras to make sure that your home is as safe as you could ever want.
Home furnishings and appliances, such as window treatments should be addressed as well. Install a motorized window treatment and connect it to your home automation system to give yourself climate control, light control, and more energy efficiency. As you age in place you'll no doubt be doing your best to keep your energy use consistent and not overwhelming.
Window treatments directly affect so many aspects of your home:
It's important to include window treatments in your list of updates for you to age in place gracefully. By selecting motorized window treatments, you and your loved ones can operate them with independence and ease.
Are you less concerned about yourself, and more concerned about a loved one? Your parents, friends, and loved ones deserve a life of convenience as they age.
Encourage the use of new modern technology and techniques that will allow them the independence and confidence to age in place without relying on others. They'll be happier in the long run, and so will their friends and family. Set them up for longer independent living so they can spend as much time in their home as possible.
Imagine living out your days in peace, conveniently accessing all the appliances in your home with ease.
Home automation comes to play yet again — it will give your loved ones control over things like washing and drying machines, light and sound equipment, and even their window treatments.
Window treatments in senior living areas and in all of our homes tend to not be utilized as often as they should. However, window treatments that are put on a timer or have the convenience of automatically opening and closing, and will provide light control and privacy at the same time.
This is one of the easiest ways to give them the tools to live their life the way they desire.
Even if full home automation doesn’t feel like the right choice, you can still enjoy easy-to-use window treatments with simple motorization. A remote or wall button makes it easy to raise and lower each window treatment whenever you want.
You may think that motorization limits your window treatment options, but that's not the case. At Stoneside, we offer many different kinds of motorized blinds and shades.
Within each of these options, there are many different color choices, fabrics, and styles so you are sure to find exactly what you want for a motorized window treatment. Many of these styles can be paired with home automation, so you can get the most convenience possible.
Motorized blinds and shades can also be controlled by different controls.
For those window treatments available for home automation, the window treatments will be accessible from your Smarthome hub, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home. All these controls are at your fingertips. Even with a handheld remote control, your remote can be mounted to a wall so it's never lost and never inaccessible.
No matter what happens, you want to be prepared for any situation. What better way to start than by updating your home with disability-friendly solutions and the best aging-in-place solutions before they’re needed?
At Stoneside, we have so many options for you to choose from. We support anyone looking to update their home for accessibility and aging in place.
Our expert design team is here to help — we want to help your goals become your reality. Make sure you let us know that accessibility is your goal, and we'll help you find the perfect window treatment to help you and your loved ones have everything they need for their space.
Once you reach out, we start with a simple, in-home consultation with one of our professional design team members who will be your main contact during the entire process. Their goal is to help you make the best decision for your home.
Once you’ve settled on your custom window treatment, we’ll place your order and double-check measurements to ensure a perfect fit on your windows.
Your window treatments will then be crafted right here in the USA. Once they’re crafted to perfection, we send our installers (not third-party contractors!) to your home to give you a professional white-glove installation.
We want you to get the exact style and the appropriate functionality in your new window treatments. That means making sure we’re there to help you from start to finish, no matter what you need. We help you with design, hands-on instructions, tutorials, and installation.
It’s why we consistently deliver such gorgeous, effortless results. And it’s why our clients consistently give us more 5-star ratings than any of our competitors.