Senior Windows

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Senior windows (539 words, US)

Let’s face it. As the body gets older, it can’t easily perform the same day-to-day tasks that it could when it was younger. That includes opening, closing and caring for windows in the home.

“When you’re in your 30’s or 40’s, opening a Double Hung window requires no special thought,” says Christopher Burk, product manager with Simonton Windows. “However, as you get older, your back and hands may feel the strain more of operating these ‘lift-style’ windows. By the time you’re in your 50’s, it makes sense to think about installing easy-to-operate windows in the home, such as Casement windows that require no lifting action.”

Casement windows, which operate on a crank-out system with a side-hinged sash that opens outward for ventilation (up to a full 90 degrees with most windows), can be used in all areas of the home. Casement windows are especially appealing when combined into large Bay or Bow window configurations because they allow a maximum amount of light and airflow into the home.

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For those senior homeowners looking for a smaller crank-out window style option, Simonton offers both Awning and Hopper windows. With Awning windows, the sash is hinged on top and the window cranks out and upward. A pull-out Hopper window is easy to operate and the sash is hinged on the bottom of the window. A special panel insert, made to resemble acrylic block, is also available as a privacy feature on a Hopper window.

Finally, Burk recommends Slider windows. “Slider windows glide effortlessly from side to side, so there’s no strain on arms or back muscles to operate them,” says Burk. “The Slider windows provide great views with either 2- or 3-lite configurations and allow for maximum ventilation in the home.”

AARP Recommendations

According to a checklist of home safety aspects available from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), ease of operation is tops on their list for window considerations for seniors. Another item to consider is the availability of sturdy, easy to operate locks to secure windows in the home.

“While locking systems are important, we’re also seeing an increasing number of homeowners ordering windows featuring impact-resistant glass to enhance security in the home,” says Burk. “These sturdy windows typically are used in coastal areas that are subject to severe weather. However, the impact-resistant nature of these windows also makes them appealing as a home safety enhancement.”

Another consideration of window selection for seniors should be long-term maintenance and care. Burk stresses that vinyl-framed windows require only minimal cleaning. “With vinyl window frames you never need to worry about upkeep such as the scraping and repainting required with wood frames,” says Burk. “Vinyl windows resist rotting, decay, insect infestations, and provide years of effortless beauty in the home.

“Most seniors these days are very active. They want to enjoy life and the rewards of retirement rather than worrying about maintaining their homes. Vinyl windows are the perfect, enduring, maintenance-free solution.”

For additional information on easy-to-operate, ENERGY STAR(R) qualified windows, visit www.simonton.com. (MS)

CAPTION: Two-Lite Slider windows are easy for older people to operate without straining back or arm muscles.

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