If this is the first time you’re reading the term “aging in place” – it means exactly what you think it means: growing older in your own home comfortably and safely. The term needs to be rebranded, if you ask me, but the industry doesn’t seem to agree. Anyway, if you have a goal of staying in your home for as many years as possible, you’ve come to the right place. Our team specializes in universal design and ADA compliant residential remodeling, and we love helping our clients create a home they can thrive in no matter their age or life experience! There are many things you can do to create a more accessible home, but we’ve narrowed it down for you. Here are our 10 design essentials to create an accessible, safe, and stylish home.
1. Curbless Shower.
No matter if you need a walker, wheelchair, or have limited mobility, a curbless shower makes transitioning in and out of the shower much safer and easier for you! This is a project you’ll want to call us for as you’ll want to ensure the shower floor is perfectly sloped and your floor is watertight. We’re happy to help!
2. Bathroom Benches.
You don’t have to be in retirement to appreciate a well-placed and thought-out bathroom bench. There are countless ways to include a bench without making it seem like it’s intended to address limited mobility.
3. Handheld Showers.
Handheld shower heads are easily adjustable for height and, when placed adjacent to your shower bench, enable you to wash up while seated. They are great additions to any bathroom for all of life’s stages.
4. Grab Bars.
Not all grab bars need to be ugly, eye sores! We make sure to install grab bars that are tasteful and fit the style of your home, so they do not look out of place. We recommend adding them in both the shower and toilet area (at a minimum) to help you safely navigate the space. Check out your options if you’d like to incorporate them into your renovation but aren’t at the stage where you necessarily need them. Every family has different needs, Mitch will be able to help you determine the correct amount for you!
5. Railings for Steps.
Ensure all steps in and around your home have a secure railing.
6. Door Levers and Cabinet Pulls.
Arthritis is a common condition we face as we age. It can make daily tasks, such as grasping knobs, extremely painful. Replace your doorknobs with levers, which require less gripping action. On cabinet doors, swap out your knobs for pulls.
7. Lever and Touchless Faucets.
Faucet levels make it easy to turn the faucet on and off and adjust the temperature. Touchless faucets make turning the sink on and off even easier and always impresses houseguests!
Pullouts aren’t exclusively for the aging homeowner; they are for everyone! Pullout drawers are a convenient way to easily access everything in your cabinet or pantry – without having to crawl around or dig for the item you’re looking for!
9. Smart Appliances.
Today, many home appliances can be controlled remotely and have more functions than ever before. Many have built-in safety features that let you know if you accidentally left something on or open on accident. Be sure to check out our guide about selecting the right kitchen appliances for universal design.
10. Stairs, Elevators, and Chair Lifts.
If you have stairs in your home, we recommend installing lights on a sensor, so they turn on automatically whenever you approach your stairs. Keep in mind, there may come a time when you or a loved one are unable to go up or down stairs unassisted. Have a plan in place to relocate your owner’s suite to the main floor or be prepared to add a chair lift or elevator. Yes, elevators can be costly, but if you begin planning and saving for one now, it can allow access to your home for years to come.
If you’ve enjoyed reading these design essentials for aging in place, be sure to check out our other blogs covering the topic. Our team specializes in universal design, and we love helping our clients create a home they love and can thrive in for many years to come. When you’re ready to tackle some of these projects, we’re here to help!