I’m an Interior Designer that specializes in transforming spaces for my clients that creates a world in which they want to live.
In 1998, my Grandmother made the decision to sell her house in Puerto Rico and move to New York where her only daughter, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren lived.
Unfortunately, Mom’s house wasn’t set up to properly fit her needs.
The bedrooms and bathrooms were all upstairs, posing a concern for her safety. Although she was very independent and active, thinking long term and having to navigate the stairs posed a fear for us.
An “active living” community was not an option for us as our goal was for her to be an active participant in the everyday life of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Due to its location on the main floor, these all prompted the decision to turn the formal living room into a main floor master suite with a private bathroom for her.
And It was the best decision EVER!
Giving my grandmother the ability to have her own private space was instrumental in giving us all the peace of mind we needed to know she was comfortable at home and in the community she had grown to love. It allowed her the ability to maintain her daily walks with her great-grandchildren, her involvement in her church, activities with her friends, and dinners at home with the family.
Later that year, she was diagnosed with cancer. As we learned that it was going to progress in a way that would cause her to lose the ability to walk, we knew that the home modifications we made were exactly what was needed.
An assisted living facility would have never been an option for us. We were actively involved with her treatment, we wanted to be the ones to care for her as much as possible, and from a cultural perspective, we don’t really believe in assisted living facilities. As we faced the uncertainty of her illness, we were grateful to be able to enjoy having her at home participating in everyday life. The initial diagnosis was for one year which ultimately was extended for two more years. We believe that being happy and comfortable at home with her family and in her community was a major contributing factor to that extension. For us knowing that she spent the last few years of her life happy and safe was our piece of mind.
It is with this experience that’s caused me to focus my design skills on helping others “Age at Home”.