Housing and health care industry professionals are abuzz about “Aging-in-Place”. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably regardless of age, income, or ability level.” Adapting to change gets harder as we age. People are living longer and many desire to stay in their homes and familiar environment as long as possible. Whether building a new home or renovating an existing one, plans can be made to allow for aging in place.

Among many considerations to make when building a new home are an open floor plan, wider hallways/doors, higher than usual electrical receptacles, counters with knee space, countertop space on each side of appliances, space for a large side-by-side refrigerator/freezer, raised dishwasher, 5’ turning radius in each room, bathroom walls reinforced for grab bars, and an adjustable height hand-held shower head.

Some easy and inexpensive renovations to an existing home are improved lighting including motion-detectors, contrasting color palettes, lever door handles, remote controlled lighting/heating/cooling, audible and visual alarms, full-length windows near entrances, and a bench or table near doors.

Our Featured Home this month was designed for aging in place. The owners pointed out some of their favorite accessibility features in the kitchen: full-size freezer, double pull out garbage, chair-height warming drawer and double oven, and a wide pantry with adjustable shelves.

It is said that renovating a house to allow for the needs of mobility-impaired persons will increase its property value by as much as 25%. These universal design costs will be miniscule if a need arises due to accident, health problems, or aging. Contact Stanton Architects, Inc. with any questions regarding making your home accessible.