As we age, different measures need to be taken. This is especially true when it comes to our homes. As the number of people aged 65+ continues to increase, one-in-three U.S. households will be headed by someone older that is 65 compared to one-in-five today, making decisions about where and how to live are more important than ever. Today, many are deciding age-in-place. Aging-in-place is the option to remain in your home as you get older. While it is becoming a more popular decision compared to entering a retirement home or other type of accommodation; for people opting to remain in their homes, some changes will need to be made to help ensure your comfort and safety.
As your lifestyle and abilities change as you get older, many features in your home will need to as well. Here are some important things to consider for your aging-in-place remodel.
Annually one-third of persons over the age of 65 will have a fall. Two-thirds of those will fall again within the next six months. 80% of these falls occur in the bathroom. One way to mitigate this risk is with a walk-in tub. The slippery floors and high threshold to access a top are a dangerous combination as we age; walk-in tubs remove this hazard. There are many benefits that walk-in tubs offer for a variety of health conditions that come with age, like arthritis. Entering and exiting your tub has never been easier.
Eliminating the barrier in the shower is just as beneficial as removing it in your tub. With simple access into, and out of the shower, the risk of slipping and falling can be significantly reduced. Also, shower seats are a great way to stay safe and comfortable in the shower.
Wider doorways may be necessary as we age to accommodate wheelchairs and other devices. Standard doorways are 26”, handicap accessible doors per building code are 32”; however, due to the thickness of the door and projections from the door jambs, the door should be 36”. This will make any new adjustments much more manageable while mitigating any massive reconstruction needs.
Universal design is the concept of creating environments that can be used by all people to the greatest possible extent. It is based on these seven principles:
- Equitable use
- Flexibility in use
- Simple and intuitive use
- Perceptible information
- Tolerance for error
- Low physical effort
- Size and space for approach and use
These tenants accommodate your space to allow for an attractive, stylish home that everyone can use regardless of size, age, or ability. Whether it’s meant for residents or guest, your current abilities or future ones, universal design considers all.
CAPS (Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist) Certified Remodeler
Deciding to age-in-place is an important one, however choosing the right remodeler to make that a reality is also important. Selecting an experienced contractor and design team to make the necessary updates and upgrades to your home, with your best interest in mind is crucial. This is why selecting a CAPS certified remodeler is so important. This experience, expertise, and designation proves that this team knows what to consider, recommend, and how to advise in the renovation process to meet every need.
Acadian House Kitchen + Bath Design is a CAPS certified remodeler and has been helping homeowners in the Baton Rouge area for over 40 years.