Magnetic Refrigerators
Magnetic Refrigerators
Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric have teamed up to create a revolutionary new type of refrigerator that uses magnets to create cold, also known as the magnetocaloric effect (lowering or raising the temperature of the material by changing the magnetic field).
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
The Building Technologies Office is ushering in the next generation of heat pump systems, which warm and cool your home by moving heat from one space to another. A fuel-fired, multi-function residential heat pump that can reduce primary energy consumption by 30 percent.
Clothes Dryers
Clothes Dryers
The same concept behind heat pump technologies that keep your home comfortable can also be used for another important application: drying your clothes. Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric are developing a new type of clothes dryer that uses a heat pump cycle to generate hot air needed for drying.
Smarter, More Connected Homes
Smarter, More Connected Homes
We live in an increasingly connected world -- the same is true for our homes. New electronic devices and appliances can now be linked to the Internet to provide real-time data that makes it easier to understand and lower energy use.
Next-Gen Insulation
Next-Gen Insulation
Insulation is one of the most important ways to reduce your home heating and cooling costs. The Industrial Science & Technology Network is developing new foam insulation made with environmentally friendly and advanced composite materials that ensure heat doesn’t escape from the attic, walls and other areas of the home during cold winter months.
Advanced Window Controls
Advanced Window Controls
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Pella Windows are working on new highly insulated windows that use sensors and microprocessors to automatically adjust shading based on the amount of available sunlight and the time of day to ensure proper lighting and comfort, saving consumers energy and money.
Reflective Roofing Materials
Reflective Roofing Materials
Cool roofs coated with materials containing specialized pigments reflect sunlight and absorb less heat than standard roofs. Expect these types of roof systems to get even “cooler” due to new fluorescent pigments developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and PPG Industries that can reflect nearly four times the amount of sunlight of standard pigments.

Energy-Saving Solutions

From heating and cooling to electronics and appliances, it takes a lot of energy to power our daily lives. Our homes use 37 percent more energy today than they did in 1980. But without energy efficiency -- through technology innovation and federal energy conservation standards -- this number would be a lot higher. In fact, even though our total energy use has grown, our energy use per household is down about 10 percent, despite that our homes are larger and contain more devices.

Save Energy Systems

19 June 2019

Aging in Place: 5 Stylish Home Modifications That Are Also Senior-friendly

More and more frequently, seniors are choosing aging in place rather than other methods of senior care. Naturally, this brings with it challenges for adapting a home for senior living. While it seems to be an overwhelming chore, a few...

The post Aging in Place: 5 Stylish Home Modifications That Are Also Senior-friendly appeared first on HomeSelfe.


More and more frequently, seniors are choosing aging in place rather than other methods of senior care. Naturally, this brings with it challenges for adapting a home for senior living. While it seems to be an overwhelming chore, a few...

The post Aging in Place: 5 Stylish Home Modifications That Are Also Senior-friendly appeared first on HomeSelfe.

More and more frequently, seniors are choosing aging in place rather than other methods of senior care. Naturally, this brings with it challenges for adapting a home for senior living. While it seems to be an overwhelming chore, a few tips and tricks could make it much simpler and more cost effective.

Aging in place may be defined as receiving elderly care in the home you currently live, rather than moving to senior or assisted living communities. An alternative would be to move to homes of family members, but the safety of the elderly person must still be guarded to accommodate aging.

Why age in place?

For many seniors, the idea of moving out of the home and away from family is difficult. For others, it is cost-prohibitive. Some seniors do not want to give up their independence, and in many cases do not need to.

Often, adjusting to senior living can be just a matter of making simple changes, rather than rearranging one’s whole life. There are even grants and low-interest loans available to help pay for it.

There are a lot of modifications seniors can do or have done on their own, too. One need not sacrifice style to accommodate their aging.

Simplifying Doorways

Doors can pose unexpected challenges for seniors. Round door knobs can be hard to grasp and many doorways can be too narrow for walkers or wheelchairs.

Lever door handles come in a variety of attractive options and make opening doors easier.

Doorways can also be widened by the complete removal of the door, which adds valuable inches for wheelchairs and walkers. For privacy, other types of doors, such as pocket doors, can be installed.

Steps and stairs can be dangerous for seniors

Working Around Steps and Stairs

As we age, sometimes even single small steps can be difficult, especially every day. This can make something a daunting task out of something as simple as getting in the front door.

Small ramps can accommodate wheelchairs or just make it easier to ascend low steps. Adding a doorway with no step can be as simple as modifying a window.

Moving downstairs is the simplest way to avoid steps and staircases. However, it is not always the best solution, so elevators and lifts might be a better option. Adding one can increase the value of your home, but be sure to hire a reputable contractor to install it.

Switch the Switches

Most homes are equipped with knobs for turning on plates and switches for turning on various lights and appliances. These can be difficult to manage, but there are attractive alternatives.

Levers for faucets and sinks are much easier to grasp and handle than knobs, and are also easier to adjust.

Lever switches are great for all kinds of lighting. Larger levers and adjustable dimmers can also be a great contribution to aging in place design.

A Safer Bathroom

Even youthful people can slip and fall in the bathroom, but for seniors, the risk can be much higher. Installing grip bars is the most common way seniors use principles of aging in place.

However, the bathroom can be modified in other ways to accommodate seniors. Handheld showerheads can be of great assistance. Walk-in showers can replace bathtubs for safer entry. Grip bars are not only for the shower but can be used all over the bathroom.

Flooring Hazards

The floors of a home create hidden challenges that can be life-threatening. Obvious hazards include slipping on tile or linoleum, and these should be averted with non-skid mats, especially under rugs.

However, tripping is also a hazard from flooring. Rugs and carpet can bunch up, and be just as responsible for falls as wet tile. Wheelchairs and walkers face their own challenges from floors, as they can get caught on lumps in carpeting and transitional spaces, such as thresholds in doorways.

For seniors aging in place, modifying this can be as simple as changing carpeting or adding no-skid finish to certain types of hard floors.
Aging in place has become a more attractive option for many seniors. Whether living in their own homes or residing with family members, modifying a home with aging in place design doesn’t have to be difficult or costly. Seniors can enjoy their golden years in comfort, surrounded by family and friends, and as independent as they can be!

The post Aging in Place: 5 Stylish Home Modifications That Are Also Senior-friendly appeared first on HomeSelfe.


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