The golden years of life are best described as those wonderful years post-retirement. Whether they be spent on a houseboat in Seattle, or a one-bedroom walk up in Brooklyn, or even a garden shed in the Napa Valley, the idea of staying at home or creating a home where you can age in place is quite attractive. There is no downsizing. There is no pulling up roots. There is no finding new friends or discovering new restaurants. You don’t even have to find a new general practitioner once you have created that custom home that incorporates attractive and functional space. The River Landing Custom Home Program and the builders it trusts understand that life is every bit as exciting at 60 as it was at 30 and especially when lived with a bit of foresight and planning.
There is no “one size fits all” solution to a custom home you can grow old in. There is no “stock house” that will work for everyone. Thankfully though the American Disabilities Act provides guidelines for designing buildings for the currently disabled and for those who want to be prepared for anything that may challenge our future. The guidelines are minimum standards based on the general population. They are just that though; minimum. Provided you keep an open line of communication with your builder, do your own due diligence homework, and don’t be afraid to be a tiny bit unconventional, the possibilities are truly endless for your forever home!
WHAT IS UNIVERSAL DESIGN?
One of the terms that has become popular in recent years is ‘Universal Design’. Universal design is the principle of designing space for people with disabilities, size issues, or limited mobility. Universal design is able to make your dream home a barrier free environment that allows you to age in place. After all, who wants to leave home when it has taken this long to discover it?
In fact, almost 90% of people over 65 want to live in their home and community as long as possible, according to a report by the AARP Public Policy Institute and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Moreover, 80% believe they will stay in their home until they die. So what are a few tips to help you build your custom dream home and make it one you can enjoy your golden years in?
Install 36″ wide doors with lever door knobs throughout the house.
Ask your builder to put wood bracing behind the drywall and tile in the bathroom walls for future grab bar locations.
Include a roll in shower without a step or lip (slope floor to drain in at least one bathroom).
Install lever faucets in this bathroom and an adjustable hand held shower head.
Minimize any step-down to the garage.
Locate extra security system and lighting controls in the rooms where you plan to spend most of your time.
Make all hallways a minimum of 5 feet wide.
We all get older. There is no longer a reason it has to prohibit us though from living the best life possible in the spot we want to be in!