Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 4/30/2017

Injuries, physical disabilities, surgeries and bone density issues can make it difficult to be mobile. They can also make it challenging to get in and out of a home, including the home of a relative or friend. With a few changes, your home can present less of a challenge for people with unique physical needs. Ensure that banisters outside and inside your home are secure. When you pull on banisters or place weight on them, make sure that they don’t pull away from the ground or wall. This could keep people with physical disabilities safe. It could also help to keep children safe. Although banisters are often used by people who are injured, aging or disabled, ensuring that your banisters are sturdy isn't the only step that you can take to create a home that supports people with unique physical needs. Additional ways that you could create a home environment that supports people with physical disabilities include: Wide walkways – Walkways that are at least 36 inches wide offer added accessibility to your home. Exterior coverings should be high enough to prevent tall people from having to bend over to enter your house without bumping their head or shoulders. Sidewalks should be free of debris, boxes and items that children and adults would have to climb over or maneuver around. Wheelchair ramp – A wheelchair ramp needs to be sturdy and wide enough to support several hundred pounds. During inclement weather, including hard rains and icy conditions, the ramp should be cleared and kept dry. Bathroom support rails – People with conditions like sickle cell anemia, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s may need to hold onto a railing to get in and out of the tub or shower. So too might someone who suffered an injury or who is recovering from surgery. Hardware stores sell steel bathroom support rails, but, they must be properly installed. You could hire a professional to install support rails. Adequate lighting – Motion detector lights outside your home serve multiple purposes, including deterring burglars and preventing falls. The lights can be installed near front and back walkways and along roof corners. Nonslip surfaces – Keep sidewalks shoveled and salted in the winter. You could also place rubber mats on porches and inside doorways year round to prevent slips and falls after a rain or whenever people get their feet or shoes wet. Open floor plan – An open floor plan is great at making it easy for parents to keep an eye on young children. An open floor plan also reduces the numbers of doors that people have to push through to go from room to room. Keyless door entry – Similar to benefits derived from an open floor plan, keyless door entry can take the strain out of fumbling with keys. You can also opt for door handles that operate with levers rather than knobs to reduce the numbers of times people with arthritis and other tissue and muscle issues have to work to open doors. Level flooring – Uneven flooring can cause people to stumble, trip and fall. Whether floors are carpeted, tiled or hardwood, ensure that they are even or level. Replace areas that have started to curl or bubble. Security alarms – Install security alarms that not only alert first responders to burglaries but that also alert first responders to falls and accidents on your property. Cabinets – If needed, lower cabinets so that shorter adults can reach plates, cups and glasses. However, avoid placing frequently used items in bottom cabinets that require adults to bend to the floor, potentially making it hard for aging adults or people recovering from injuries to reach the items. The National Directory of Home Modification Resources and state agencies list organizations that provide tools that you can add to your home to make it easier for aging parents, injured people and children and adults with physical disabilities to visit or live in your home. Who knows? Modifications that you make today could allow you to remain in your home years from now.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 12/25/2016

Working from home is a job benefit many dream of. However, despite what some may think working from home is not all fun and games. While it may make for an easier commute it also can make for more distractions that keep you from your work. Learn how you can create an office in your home that is a productivity oasis. Function before form. It may be tempting to run out and buy all the beautiful office supplies and knick knacks, but before you do plan out the function of your office first. Create a list of must-have items. Will you need a printer, file cabinet or shelves for your reference binders? Perhaps a fax machine, large whiteboard or a sprawling desk with plenty of elbow room. Knowing what you need on hand to create the most efficient work environment will give you the ability to sit down and productively work without running out to get supplies or inventing workarounds. You will also want to invest in a good ergonomic chair since you will be spending so much of your time sitting in it. Your back will thank you. Location. The location of your home office in your house may be more important than you think. Choosing a quiet secluded room with lots of light will create an ideal working environment. If you have children or a partner that will be home during the day you will want the room in a place where they will not have to tiptoe around like if you, for example, set up shop in the dining room. Creating some “do not disturb” signs may be a good idea to further set boundaries with your family. Organize. Set yourself up for success off the bat by developing an organization system that works best for your home office. Since home offices tend to be set up in smaller rooms of a house make the most of your space by organizing vertically as well horizontally. Neatly manage and label cords when you set up any electrical equipment. Keep the items you use daily within easy reach so you don’t need to jump up and down all day to dig through your cabinets. Inspire. This is your home office, after all, and not a cubicle so don’t be afraid to add personality to work your space. Pick up posters with uplifting quotes or imagery or a cork board to pin inspiration and goals. Paint your office a color that uplifts and inspires you. A calm blue paired with a vibrant yellow can help boost your focus and alertness. Setting up a home office is an exciting house project, especially when you will have the opportunity to work from home. While it’s tempting to make your new office one that is visually appealing don’t forget to keep function at the forefront of your planning process. In the end, you’ll have the best of both worlds and may even be more productive for it!




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