You may be ready to spend your golden years in your current home, but is your current home ready for you?
We gain lots of things as we age – experience, family members, free time, and senior discounts – but with age also comes health issues and common aging concerns. Aging-In-Place refers to a person in their golden years when they choose to live in a residence of their preference and are still independent from assistance. However, staying in your house as you grow older often requires some modifications.
If you or someone you know is in this stage of their life (congratulations!) consider making these suggested (Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist) CAPS updates to your home:
ONE STORY LIVING ► if you have an upstairs, no need to get rid of it, but instead just use the main floor for all of your living needs (bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and bedroom)
LOW OR NO-STEP ENTRY INTO YOUR HOME ► this is also crucial from room to room
BRIGHT LIGHTING ► helps with poor vision and helps everyone else see better too
LEVER-STYLE DOOR HANDLES AND ROCKER LIGHT SWITCHES ► great for those who can’t grip very well or if your hands are full
FLOORS AND BATHTUBS WITH NON-SLIP SURFACES ► this is a great safety measure no matter your age
HANDRAILS ON ALL STEPS AND IN SHOWERS AND BATHTUB AREAS ► in areas where falling is a possibility, it’s better to take the safe route
HANDHELD SHOWERHEADS AND SINGLE-LEVER FAUCETS ► installing these will just make life easier, for anyone
CONTRASTING COLORS TO AID IN DEPTH-PERCEPTION ► same colored walls, floors, and even stairs can cause depth-perception issues such as mistaking the last step for the floor
PULL HANDLES ON CABINETS AND DRAWERS ► these are easier to use than standard knobs and better for arthritic hands
AT LEAST ONE LOWER TOILET IN THE HOUSE ► this is great for kids too!
INSTALL VARIED HEIGHT CABINETS ► having cabinets at all levels is beneficial no matter the age and abilities of the resident(s)
It’s also suggested that doorways and hallways are widened should the need for a wheelchair arise. Along the lines of wheelchair use, installing ramps to the front door is another modification that will make moving around your house easier. (For reference: ADA standards for width of a door opening must be a minimum of 32 inches.)
Contractors can assist with these home modifications without making your home look hospital-like or unattractive. When adhering to a universal design (the design of a home which is usable by all people), you’re able to incorporate accessibility for everyone without sacrificing visual appeal and style.
If this concept is new to you and you’re already in your home, modifications can be made, but it’s best to keep in mind that these modifications are best installed (and more affordable) during a new construction project. In general, these changes may also be far less expensive than moving into an assisted living facility in the future.
If budgeting is your main concern when making universal design modifications, start with what will convenience you the most. Be sure to talk to your contractor about your wants and needs, because after all, you’re the one living there.
Some seniors may qualify for home improvement grants based on their income and where they live. Speaking with a local agency such as Montrose’s Region 10 Area Agency on Aging should steer you in the right direction on those types of grants.
If you are considering a home remodel that fits your aging and health needs, give Stott Custom Homes a call at 970-433-0103. With over 35 years of construction experience, we are ready to help you with your Aging-In-Place needs.
“Let’s Build Your Future Together”