Aging in place: getting the home's checklist ready
According to the AARP, nearly 90 percent of people over age 65 indicate they want to stay in their home as long as possible.
There are several reasons why Baby Boomers would prefer to age in place, including having a more comfortable, healthier and happier quality of life.
To make aging in place work, remodeling and design professionals and aging homeowners must consider making a number of modifications to their living spaces.
To get started, the NAHB provides a detailed checklist that addresses a number of their long-term mobility needs. Beyond dimensions, amenities and features, it includes low-maintenance considerations.
Here are a few other options to add to the checklist:
- Glare-Free Task Lighting – This is most essential in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry and maintenance areas, but also important anywhere homeowners spend a lot time with hobbies, reading, etc. to illuminate areas without too much reflectivity. If possible, select recessed lighting and avoid light fixtures, lamps and ceiling fans that require dusting.
- Contrasting Colors and Border Treatments – For countertops and other surfaces, this will help facilitate recognition of edges and differing heights to prevent accidental drops and spills, which can cause slips and falls.
- Tankless Water Heater – In addition to the comfort and convenience, tankless hot water heaters lower energy bills—in some cases up to 40 percent—for up to 20 years—a cumulative savings that speaks well to budget-savvy Baby Boomers and retirees. They also save up to 16 square feet of space when compared to a traditional tank-style water heater, offering homeowners additional usable space.
- Non-Slip Entries – Adding non-slip tape to steps or installing a textured surface can prevent dangerous entrance conditions, especially if these areas are wet and not adequately surfaced.
While everyone’s needs may be different, providing an adequate layout for mobility and making the home as safe and low maintenance as possible should be top priorities.
What are other considerations that should be added to the list?