People use the term “forever home” pretty loosely nowadays, but when you are building a home that you hope to have as your “forever home,” there are certain considerations you should be aware of. For instance, when you say your “forever home” you are essentially saying the home you will grow old in. So, with that in mind are you designing the home to accommodate the details of life as an older person in the future?
We don’t often like to think of growing older, but if you are investing money now into a home that you truly hope to grow old in, that home needs to be designed in such a way as to accommodate that. This quick guide will provide you with some ideas that an aging-in-place contractor might suggest.
Consider Stairs Carefully
A two-story house has a lot of benefits, but when it comes to accommodating older adults, stairs are not always ideal. If you are currently working with an aging-in-place specialist, one of the first things they will want to discuss will be stairs. Stairs present so many complications when it comes to older adults. Not only are stairs more difficult to navigate, but they can also be a safety hazard as well.
A ranch style or one-story house is a much better option if you plan to stay in your home for years to come.
Visibility is also an important topic to consider with aging-in-place construction. Lighting will have a huge impact on mobility and safety. It is harder and harder to see at night and early in the morning as we age. The property should have plenty of outdoor lighting as well as indoor lighting. Increasing natural light as much as possible will help with this.
To save on energy expenses, motion sensor lighting can also be added for hallways, closets, or even main rooms.
Consider Adjustable Heights
When installing things such as cabinets, counters and furniture, you might want to consider adjustable height products. These products provide a wider range of options for individuals as they age. These items will work great now and when you are older.
Quality handrails are an important part of a home that is safe for older people. Handrails should be installed in bathrooms, beside beds, and even in closets.
Consider the Bathroom
The bathroom is a prime spot for accidents involving older people. Planning the bathroom for safety now, can help you avoid problems or accidents in the future.
Elements such as curbless showers equipped with a hand wand can make bath time a smoother and safer experience. A curbless shower will even allow for wheelchair access should that be necessary later on.
Bathroom flooring and shower flooring should be designed out of no-slip materials that will decrease the chances of falls and accidents. Placing shower knobs at lower heights is also a great way to ensure that an aging person can safely reach everything they need.