TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- As baby boomers become senior citizens, some face the reality of finding an assisted living facility to meet their needs.
One local contractor offers another option: remodeling homes to keep seniors where they feel most comfortable.
Sandy Higdon is always on the move, but a knee replacement last year prompted her to think about where to live.
"I knew when I came home that I have stairs, so the question was, 'how would i be able to manage the stairs?'" she said.
Higdon got in touch with Sandy Garber, a veteran contractor who's worked on projects for seniors and the disabled.
Last week, Garber launched Age & Accessibility Home Solutions.
"I want to see how someone functions in their home and what they say that their needs are, what is causing them problems of not being able to get around and their mobility issues," she said.
"I remodeled in 2005 and got the house exactly the way i wanted it," Higdon said, "and my object at that point was to be able to stay in my home as long as I possibly can."
Garber installed a lift to transport Higdon between floors and installed grip bars in her bathroom.
The modifications to the home cost about $25,000, but it saved Higdon from having to move out of her home. The lift is one of many options Garber provides for her customers.
"Innovative ramps, innovative transitioning doorways, automatic door-openers," Garber said, "all sorts of things now that have come on the market."
While the cost is significant, Garber says it actually saves Higdon more in the long run.
"When you calculate the cost of moving into assisted living versus a modification like a lift, it was at least half as expensive," Garber said.
"So many people are not ready to go into assisted living. they would like to stay in their own house, and this is very much an option," Higdon said.
Garber says her projects are done alongside an occupational therapist, who can specify the exact needs for an individual in his or her home.