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Remodeling with Aging-in-Place in Mind

by | Jul 12, 2022 | Project Planning, Remodeling Tips | 0 comments

As the general population ages, more people are choosing to live at home. According to a recent United States Aging Survey, 90% of senior citizens plan on staying in their homes for at least another decade. Retirees may be physically more active and living longer, but they should also consider not only today’s needs but also those of their future. The best way to do this is to remodel for better function and more convenience for later. Aging residents should consider how they currently use their home and what changes will make it easier to live in as they age in place. Additionally, more people are opting to add on to their homes or renovate to accommodate aging loved ones. Depending on the current design of your home and your parent’s level of mobility, you may need to do some remodeling.

Redesign the bathroom

One of the most important rooms to consider remodeling first is the bathroom. Frankly, most bathrooms are designed for young homeowners with children. In general, a standard restroom is not safe for those who may be disabled or elderly. This space is used every day and can become dangerous if an aging-in-place bathroom design hasn’t been considered.

  • luxury handicapped accesible shower with ceramic tilelocation of the bathroom near the bedroom, preferably on the first floor
  • non-slip floors especially when wet
  • adjustable height shower head and a handheld shower head
  • eliminate the bathtub for a shower zero threshold or walk-in shower
  • placement of a seat in the shower
  • grab bars in the shower as well as near the toilet
  • vanity height easy to reach, even at the back
  • if planning for a wheelchair, consider open space under the sink
  • widen the bathroom door
  • sensor lights that come on automatically

Redesigned kitchen

Remodeling your kitchen with the goal of aging in place can help you or your loved ones remain comfortable and safe where they live. Factoring in considerations such as safety, convenience, and accessibility into your kitchen remodel now will make all the difference later.

  • Middle aged man with disability sitting by electric oven in large comfortable kitchen in home environmentmulti-level countertops for ability to sit
  • the use of drawers rather than base cabinets
  • keep the sink close to the stove with workspace between
  • Place the microwave at counter height or installed under the counter
  • choose standard counter-depth appliances
  • side by side refrigerator freezer units with slide out shelves
  • focus on the clearance space between the cabinets, walls, and appliances of at least 36”
  • side swing oven over pull down
  • rounded countertop edges
  • mount kitchen exhaust fan control at front of counter

General aging-in-place design tips:

  • A disabled senior man in wheelchair indoors playing with a pet dog at home. put electrical outlets in easy-to-reach places
  • widen doorways from 32” to 36”
  • Hallways should be at least 42” wide
  • flush thresholds
  • non-slip flooring and elimination of carpet and rugs
  • rocker light switches over toggle
  • Lever door handles rather than round
  • Safe stairs; both inside and outside of the home
  • addition of grab bars throughout the home
  • adequate lighting throughout
  • keep in mind that a wheelchair requires a 60” minimum to make a 180-degree or 360-degree turn as well as a 3-point turn

A recent study from AARP found that “77% of adults 50-years old and older prefer to age in place.” Multiple studies advertise the benefits of aging in place, such as the comfort of home, family, pets, social engagement in the community, cost-effectiveness, and the ability to maintain dignity and independence. Although your renovations will cost you financially, you and your family will benefit from time spent with your loved ones.

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