The concept of “age in place” has been around for a little while, and with the population of Americans over the age of 65 expected to reach over 70 million in the next decade, this concept is probably here to stay. Some key features of this concept include the following:
· Building or buying a single-story or one and a half story house. By putting all of the main areas of a house (kitchen, master suite, living room) on one floor of the house, residents can reduce or eliminate the need to climb stairs – something that could become troublesome as we age. Fortunately, in Texas, many home designs already have the master suite located on the first floor.
· Laundry rooms on the main floor. Again, with concerns about stairs, having the laundry room on the main floor can make life a lot easier.
· In the bathroom, having shower stalls with a zero-threshold entry is perfect for easing into aging at home. Stepping over a slippery ledge to get in and out of the shower can cause problems, and slip and fall accidents are a big risk. Existing shower stalls can be remodeled with a gently-sloped floor to keep water inside without having to step over the ledge. Placing decorative grab rails and having room inside the shower for a portable (or designing a built-in) shower chair will also come in handy down the road, as will hand-held faucets and fixtures. Another consideration in the bathroom is the installation of taller height toilets.
· Kitchen features to make life easier include a raised dishwasher so you do not have to bend over as far to load and unload. Microwaves built into a lower-level cabinet are easier to reach if wheelchair access is ever needed. Installing pull out shelves in your cabinets will make accessing the back corners much simpler.
· Lever-style doorknobs are easier to grip while still being quite stylish. Handles on cabinets should be D-style instead of round.
The perfect recipe for an outdoor summer get together or a late afternoon snack. This grilled mozzarella sandwich takes inspiration from the classic grilled cheese and brings comfort food to the next level. Complete with homemade pesto, these sandwiches are bursting with flavor and are sure to please any crowd!
4 slices sourdough bread
4- ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 large tomato, sliced
2- ounces roasted red peppers
Homemade Pesto Ingredients
½ cup fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons walnuts
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
- To make the pesto, add the basil, garlic, walnuts, and parmesan cheese in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and blend. While you’re blending, slowly pour in the olive oil, as to allow it to emulsify.
- Spread the pesto evenly onto the 4 slices of bread, then place the bread into a toaster oven, grill pan, or panini maker for about 2 minutes, until it’s slightly crispy and golden in color.
- With the bread still the crisper of your choice, start building your sandwich. Place your mozzarella, tomatoes and red peppers on top of the bread slices, allowing the cheese to melt slightly and the veggies to soften.
- Once the cheese has begun to melt, carefully close the sandwich and press on it lightly. Cut and serve!
Tip- any leftover pesto can be covered and kept in the fridge for up to a week, making it easy to throw these sandwiches together for quick meals.
Thinking of downsizing your house? Lots of empty-nesters think of downsizing as an unfortunate side effect of having grown children but think of it this way – it’s an opportunity to “right-size” your space to fit your lifestyle. Here are the top 10 benefits of downsizing and why it might be right for you.
- Downsizing your house may mean downsizing your mortgage payment (or eliminating it!) and who doesn’t want to save money?
- A smaller house means smaller utility bills and possibly a smaller annual property tax bill, too.
- If you’re going to move anyway, moving to a smaller house will allow you to furnish it entirely with your existing belongings, eliminating the additional expenses of new furniture and decorations.
- With the money you’ve saved in 1 – 3 above, you could travel more!
- Fewer bedrooms and bathrooms mean “cleaning day” goes a lot faster, so maybe it simply becomes “cleaning morning” instead so you can spend the rest of the day relaxing.
- Less space means less room for clutter, making a downsizing move the perfect opportunity to take Marie Kondo’s advice and get rid of what you don’t really need.
- Smaller homes require less upkeep – let’s face it, there are fewer sinks to clog up and less opportunity for a broken window when you don’t have that many.
- A smaller house could also mean a smaller yard, which leads to less time spent mowing and gardening, leaving you free to spend your weekends doing other things you enjoy.
- Your level of consumption will go down if you don’t have the space to put extra things you buy at the store. Trips to Target will become less expensive and you won’t be overwhelmed by “stuff” which can be a source of anxiety.
- All of the benefits listed above add up to less stress in your life, which equals a happier you!