As the number of seniors in North America continues to rise, it is becoming more common for home buyers to seek out homes that allow them to continue to age in place as they become unable to move from their current homes. This trend has been a big part of the construction industry as well, and aging in place design is now a hot topic in both new and existing construction.
Aging in Place: A Growing Trend
Designing a home for aging in place means considering different construction details or elements to ensure that the home is safe, comfortable and accessible for individuals who may need help as they become older. This could include a caregiver coming into the home to help an aging parent or relative maintain their independence and quality of life in their own familiar space.
A full-service home construction company has professional project managers and other team members that can answer all of your questions and concerns. They also know how to communicate with you and other team members in a clear manner, so that everyone on the project stays in the loop with all of the details.
A reputable Boise home builder will be able to provide you with a thorough bid that accurately reflects the scope of your project and will include all the necessary materials, labor and services. They should also be able to give you an honest and upfront price for the project.
A Home for the Aging: The Next Step
Almost 90% of Baby Boomers want to remain in their homes as they get older. However, they don’t want to live in nursing homes or retirement homes, and a 2011 AARP study found that many are uneasy about moving into these facilities.
One way to ensure that aging in place isn’t a negative issue for a homeowner is to design a home that can be easily updated in the future to accommodate changing needs as they evolve. This requires an understanding of the aging population in your area, and a solid business plan to guide your efforts.
Start by evaluating your market for potential clients that need to design a home for aging in place, and if you’re already operating in the field, take the time to learn how your direct competitors approach the same project. This will give you an idea of what you’ll need to do to compete in the field and make an early impression on potential customers.
In addition, a market study will help you identify what your competitive set is in the area, and what they’re currently charging for their services. Knowing this will help you develop a more robust business plan and give you a competitive edge once you’re ready to step into the market.
Kitchens: Easy Accessibility
In an age-friendly kitchen, the floorplan should be wide enough for a wheelchair or walker to maneuver through. This is particularly important in the main cooking and prep area, and it’s especially helpful to keep sight lines open and layered with lighting. Layered lights and a kitchen that includes a range hood with a height-adjustable hood vent can help to create an airy, welcoming environment that’s both appealing and functional for aging cooks.
The kitchen shouldn’t be oversized, and the counters should be at a comfortable level for aging cooks to work on, says Pierce. The countertop should also be anti-fatigue, to reduce the risk of knee and back injuries caused by the repetitive motions necessary to prepare a meal.
Bathrooms: Safety & Comfort
In the bathroom, a sink that’s positioned at a comfortable height and a shower that doesn’t require stepping over a tub are both crucial for aging homeowners. These can be accomplished through the use of grab bars, extra ceiling lights or even a roll-in shower that can be accessed from a low-step entrance.