The holiday season is upon us, which can be a crazy and hectic time for anyone at any age. Whether it involves traveling to see family members, running around completing errands, or baking and decorating your home, the holidays are always overwhelming. But what if you add renovating your home to the mix? Home renovations can be stressful at any time of year, so it’s safe to say that stress levels could be through the roof, especially for someone who is in their 80’s and considering a major home renovation during the holiday season.
This week we are excited to share a story about a current wonderful client, and her home renovation project. Our client is an 82 year old woman, who is currently living on her own in the home she has occupied for over 50 years. She purchased the house with her husband shortly after marrying in 1965, raised their son, created memories and a life there. Her husband passed away in the last year, and her son contacted us to design and plan a home for his mom to live in now and for years to come that will not only allow her to age in place safely, but also to create an updated environment that is comfortable, warm and beautiful. It takes courage and energy to consider any home remodeling project, but it takes a very special person to prepare a home in advance for mobility, accessibility, and safety issues which may or may not occur.
Deciding to take on any project is a big decision at any age, and certainly, it can be more difficult for the elderly to accept needed changes to their home. However, our client is different. She has been open to every discussion, decision, and plan. With the help of our “chief organizer”, she has been decluttering, organizing, and eliminating things from her space in preparation for the work that needs to be done. The work planned will be carried out in two phases. The first phase is to freshen up the second floor so that she can remain upstairs, while the second phase of the renovations focused on the first floor occur. The primary purpose of the renovations are to create a first floor master bedroom level with the rest of the house, to create an accessible bathroom adjacent to the bedroom, create an accessible kitchen and barrier free garage entry, and provide for a living space that creates more light and access to fresh air through the addition of a three season room.
We have been working on this for a couple of months, and finally getting closer to being able to start the work, which of course, is right at the holidays. Our client has been working so hard to get ready for the changes and are now so excited about the new space, that they were eager to start the renovations and get phase one completed before the holidays begin. However, with the hectic nature of remodeling, plus the added stress of the holiday season, we had to advise our client on how this disruption would effect her daily routine and her general well-being such as:
- Anxiety. Towards the major changes that will occur in her home, as well as, the new faces of those who will be making those changes. Along with fear of the unknown, since she has not been through this before. What if it last longer than expected?
- Change of Routine. The work will require that she be temporarily placed upstairs while the renovations occur to the first floor, and having the house buzzing with activity and people.
- Lack of Comfort. Physical pertaining to having to sleep and live in an area of the home that she hasn’t for a few years, and emotional pertaining to the loud noises of construction that will be all around her daily.
- Privacy. Having strangers in and out of her home on a daily basis for months.
- Health. Construction fumes and dust are a major health consideration affecting how she breathes and feels.
After voicing these concerns with her and her son, as well as, describing how the holidays can be an extra emotional time of year, we were able to convince them to begin the construction process at the start of the new year. The end of 2017 is already going to be emotional for our client. It is their first Christmas holiday season, not having her lifelong partner by her side, as she embarks on changing the home she has occupied for a lifetime.
So, our advice is to think twice before starting a new project in the holiday season. We can see a new year with this new project on the horizon; which means many more memories to be shared and stories to come in 2018!