Future living situations have become a priority for the ever aging baby boomer generation as they help their parents age in place. According to a poll by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs, Americans 40 and older say their top priorities are living close to their children in a ranch home with no stairs that is close to a medical facility. Makes sense, right?
Planning for the future is necessary. For the 50 and 60-something, foresight will make it much easier to age in place with practical home renovations...nothing that screams, “I’m getting old” but renovations that are done tastefully without looking institutional.
Some renovations are as simple as replacing door, window and faucet handles with levered ones or installing wireless motion detector lights near the floor allowing for greater visibility during late night trips to the bathroom or kitchen. As stairs become more difficult to maneuver, homeowners should also consider having a second stair railing installed as well as designer grab bars in the bathroom.
When remodeling a kitchen and/or bath, homeowners should consider rounding the corners of the countertops to reduce bruising if they are bumped into during the night. Rope lighting underneath the base cabinets also creates a nice ambiance while providing a great safety feature. Building an over-sized walk-in shower with handheld devices and a built-in seat allows for easier bathing if the homeowner should lose mobility.
Other design choices like low shelves, wider doorways and console bathroom vanities mean that the homeowner can continue to use the room if immobility becomes an issue. Lowering kitchen cabinets to a comfortable height for reaching and counter space that allows for sitting while preparing food offers seniors the independence they desire.
Seniors as well as baby boomers plan to age in place and hopefully live out their days in the home that they love. Well thought out renovations along with an experienced builder and/or contractor can help ease this process.