-There are many benefits to staying at home as we age or become physically challenged and at the top of those benefits is the overall sense of wellbeing we can retain by staying home, near neighbors and family and favorite activities. Retrofitting the electrical system is one way to make staying at home easier, and the team from San Luis Obispo’s Electricraft, Inc., has recently released the report ‘Electrical improvements for aging in place and mobility limitations.”
When individuals and their families start thinking about redesigning the home to make it easier and safer to get around, the topic usually centers on structural remodeling, such as widening doorways, installing ramps, or bathroom modifications.
Visibility and the ability to access switches, electrical outlets, and operate appliances is just as important as structural modifications. It’s important to be able to see clearly when traveling down a hallway, or from the bedroom to the bathroom, or getting around the house and yard in general.
None of the work needs to be extravagantly expensive and it’s always best to start with a plan. Decide what the important issues are, the create a plan of where to reposition or install the improvements. The top electrical issues that the San Luis Obispo electricians can help address include:
- Quality of lighting is important for improving visibility to avoid tripping, falling and bumping into furniture. Something as simple as well-positioned night lights can improve visibility. However, night lights that plug into electrical outlets are generally not going to provide enough strategic lighting in hallways or around furniture. Lighting needs to brighten a room as well as the floor of frequently traveled after-dark paths, such as from the bedroom to the bathroom. Keep in mind that overhead lighting can cast shadows makes it harder to see where the feet are going.
LED lighting is an option for nighttime lighting that brighten up dark spaces. Placing lighting where it can do the most benefit might require installing additional electrical outlets and easily accessible switches.
Remember! There may be areas of the home, yard and garage that don’t have good visibility in the daytime. There are lighting options for those spaces as well and a consultation with the experts at Electricraft, Inc., is going to solve any problems with daytime visibility.
Think about replicating sunlight as much as possible for those who spend a lot of time indoors. The more full-spectrum light we are exposed to, the better our moods and overall sense of wellbeing.
- Light switches need to be low enough to reach from a wheel chair, but still high enough for an elder to avoid bending over and risk losing balance, and in convenient locations. For example, a light switch that controls lights in the bedroom, hallway and bathroom might be beneficial when placed where it is easily reached from bed.
Motion detecting switches are another consideration providing they are set to stay on long enough to get to and from the destination.
- Electrical outlets also need to be placed where they are at convenient heights. Not every outlet in the house needs to be moved, but additional outlets may need to be added in the bathroom for a hair dryer, in the office, bedroom or living room to plug in electronics, or even the vacuum cleaner and coffee maker. Remember, the ability to unplug an appliance is just as important as the ability to plug it in!
- Appliance controls that connect to easy-to-reach switches and remote controls are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for air conditioning and heating, ceiling fans and lighting. The ADA doesn’t require controls for kitchen appliances. However, some appliance manufacturers have a wide range of appliances that are accessible to people in sitting positions. In many cases, these appliance controls and appliances are going to benefit those who choose to age in place, too.
Retrofitting electrical systems is not a do-it-yourself project for Uncle Harry, unless he happens to be a licensed electrician. It’s important to work with licensed, skilled, and experienced electricians who understand national, state and local codes.
The San Luis Obispo electricians from Electricraft, Inc., have been serving the Central Coast since 1984. the family-owned business provides superior quality service, repair and construction while keeping up to date on ever-changing technology.
The focus at Electricraft, Inc. is to provide superior quality service, repair and construction insuring complete satisfaction to their customers for the long term. Through continued education, hands-on experience and staying in tune with ever-changing electrical technologies the team will continue to excel in the electrical energy industry.
200 Suburban Rd., Suite A
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401