Aging in place is a concept that is sweeping the nation. The Center for Disease control defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”
When we build a home, more often than not we view ourselves remaining in that home for a significant amount of time. Periods of our lives come and go – a home that was built in someone’s mid-30s may look different than someone who is in their 60s and building a custom home, but with the aging in place mantra, the concept is to design a home that will be adaptable throughout the years. By incorporating a design in your home that is adaptable, you have a lesser risk of needing renovations or even a new home for a later stage in life.
Aging in place is not only for those who build or own the home but for guests or perhaps family members who end up living there unexpectedly. Perhaps your grandmother is coming in town – she gets around relatively well but stairs are a challenge. Having an open-floor layout with a guest suite on the main level of the home gives her the option to visit without any dangers.
5 WAYS TO AGE IN PLACE:
- No-Step Entry – Having at least one step-free entrance will allow guests who can’t climb stairs the ability to still visit.
- Storage – Lower-level storage and cabinetry provide an option for those who may have difficulty reaching higher cabinets.
- Ground-Level Master Bedrooms – this is fairly common in homes nowadays, but having a master suite on the ground level eliminates any issues if a homeowner is hindered by stairs.
- Accessible Bathrooms – Luxurious, over-sized tubs are now being replaced with large walk-in showers. Not only are zero-entry showers appealing to the eye, they are also accessible with a wheelchair or walker. Other bathroom tricks? Comfort-height toilets which are a couple of inches taller than the standard require less bending, while installing grab bars that can double as aesthetic accent pieces make for both safety and appeal.
- Wider Doors and Hallways – Not only does this assist when moving large furniture – we’ve all tried to move that too-large couch into the living room – it works great for when someone you are caring for, a family member, or a friend is in a wheelchair. 36-inch doorways and 42-inch hallways are accommodating for multi-generational members.
Adding a universal design to your home that not only allows you to age in place but also accommodates those who visit will reduce the need to renovation at a later time. Want more ideas of how to age in place? Contact us.