Remodeling ideas for aging in place
Submitted by Handyman Connection
“Aging in place” means to live in your current home safely, independently and comfortably regardless of your age or ability level. Most people older than 45 want to continue living in a familiar environment through their twilight years rather than be in an assisted care facility or a nursing home.
With the growing number of baby boomers, aging in place is moving front and center of design and construction trends. According to an AARP study, 83 percent of people 45 and older own their homes. The 2003 AARP survey, "These Four Walls," sampled this age group and found that 75 percent expect to stay in their homes for the rest of their lives, and 51 percent want to take the necessary steps to make it happen.
AARP says one of the first modifications in a home should be a bathroom remodel. Having a bathroom on the first floor is crucial to seniors. It is often less expensive to install a first-floor bathroom than it is to install a lift to the second floor in your home.
Some additional aging in place remodeling recommendations are:
- Doorways. The doorways should be a minimum of 32 inches wide so a walker or wheelchair can fit through.
- Tub/shower. Trade your bathtub in for a walk-in shower or install a curbless shower with a bench and grab bars.
- Toilet. Adding a grab bar next to the toilet makes getting up from a seated position easier.
Keep in mind, your remodeled bathroom doesn’t need to be sterile like a hospital. Many building material options exist today, so you can select styles crafted towards your tastes as you or your family member age in place.
For any remodeling project, it is a good idea to look at what changes can be put in place now that will support aging in place, even if you are years away from needing it. If you decided to sell your home later, it only increases the value.
As of July 6, 2011, Handyman Connection was a highly rated service provider on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check AngiesList.com for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.