Increasing numbers of Americans want to remain in their own homes longer. According to a report from the National Council on Aging, approximately 90 percent of seniors intended to continue living in their current homes for the next five to 10 years. That’s a trend that has continued to gain momentum. However, it’s one thing to want to stay in your own home—and quite another thing to prepare your home so that you can stay there safely and comfortably. Let’s look at aging-in-place and how remodeling can help you stay in your home longer.
There is more to creating a comfortable, safe, and beautiful home than simply adding a few grab bars in the shower. It takes some careful planning to make sure your home will meet your needs now—and into the future. That’s why it makes sense to work with a contractor that specializes in Universal Design/Aging in Place. Imagine Remodeling is Fresno’s only certified aging-in-place contractor (accredited by the National Association of Home Builders). That allows us to help our customers reconfigure any space in their homes.
Aging in Place in the Kitchen
Just because you’re maturing doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll spend less time in the kitchen (unless you want to). Chances are that your kitchen will continue to be the heart of your home and the center of a lot of your activities. You’ll still want a kitchen that looks great—and is efficient and enjoyable to use (Here are tips for designing an effective kitchen). With a universal design kitchen, you can still update your kitchen and have it look great. But you can pay attention to details that will make you more comfortable (and safer) in your kitchen. Some of the things you may want to consider may include:
- Knee space cabinets
- Variable Height Counter Tops
- Pull-Down Upper Cabinets (for easier access)
- Accessible Appliances (such as microwaves mounted at lower levels)
- Pull-out Drawers and shelves (that make it much easier to get at kitchen items)
Aging in Place in the Bathroom
Your bathroom should continue to be a comfortable, convenient place to get ready for your day—or wind down at night. As you mature, safety in the bathroom area becomes even more important. Just because you’re planning for aging-in-place doesn’t mean you have to settle for a lack of style (and here’s a post that can help you find your bathroom style). Here are some of the features you’ll want to think about for your bathroom.
- Barrier-free showers (to eliminate tripping danger)
- Adjustable shower devices (allowing you to better control water stream)
- Built-in seating for comfort and safety)
- Walk-in tubs (Eliminate the discomfort and tripping danger of normal tubs)
- Slip-resistant flooring
- Grab bars (for additional security)
- Higher toilets (to prevent falling when sitting or standing up)
Additional Aging-in-place Considerations
There are features you'll want to think about for the rest of your home as well. Hard flooring can reduce the danger of tripping. Wider doors provide easier access should you ever need a walker or a wheelchair. Swapping out conventional doorknobs for levers can make it easier to manage doors (plus, they are a current trend for homes where universal design isn't even a consideration). Depending on your situation, you may also want to consider entrance ramps or handrails.
Great remodeling results begin with a great design that meets your desire for great aesthetics and your changing physical needs. That's why working with a certified aging-in-place specialist makes so much sense.