ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC
The name of this company is ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC
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ADAIN Blog

by Richard Acree of ADA Inspections Nationwide, LLC

Aging in Place Home Modifications for People Living with Angelman Syndrome

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Home modifications planned by a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) can make living with Angelman Syndrome easier and safer.

According to the National Library of Medicine, Angelman Syndrome is a complex genetic disorder that primarily affects the nervous system. Characteristic features of this syndrome include delayed development, intellectual disability such as fascination with water, severe speech impairment, sleep disorders, seizures (epilepsy), problems with movement and balance (ataxia), and a small head size (microcephaly).

Examples of aging-in-place home modifications specific for people living with Angelman Syndrome includes:

  • Turn off water faucets using shut-offs

  • Use automatic faucets or other variations that turn off water automatically

  • Turn water heater down and/or install anti-scald faucets (or thermostat controlled faucets)

  • Remove drain plugs to prevent child filling sink or tubs

  • Create a water resistant play area inside/outside

  • Don’t have a large unmonitored swimming pool

  • Additional handrails or grab bars at entrances, toilet and bathing areas, stairs, and in hallways

  • Nonslip surfaces on stairs and steps

  • Remove hazards in walking areas such as rugs and different elevations

  • Clearly mark changes in walking surface to be easily visible

  • Non-skid floor or mat in the bathtub or shower

  • Water-resistant and slip resistant flooring in any potentially wet areas

  • Ensure a place for hands to hold (ex. handrail) at all steps, stairs, or uneven surfaces, as well as at places that challenge balance such as getting into the tub or off the toilet

  • Video monitors in bedroom

  • Room for specialty bed if needed

  • Avoid sharp corners or edges, use rounded corners

  • Remove stone around fireplaces, or padded covers

  • Remove locks on doors and have door open outward for safety, especially in bathroom

The home modifications listed above are representative. Please note that every child, every family, and every home is different, with unique needs. Every idea does not apply to every child, family, or home. This list does not replace having a home modification assessment for your family; nor does it replace the need for a skilled Occupational Therapist to work in-person with you and your building team. All ideas are implemented at your own risk; please use caution and judgment. Consult with a CAPS advisor. Home modifications can greatly improve quality of life, but should be combined with the direct services of skilled professionals, such as therapists, doctors, and social workers.

If someone you know suffers from a genetic syndrome such as Angelman Syndrome please call Richard at 615-752-0060 to discuss the needs for a home safety inspection and home modification. For more information about the services Richard provides please see Residential Accessibility.

Thank you.