Most of us want to remain independent in our homes as long as we can. Making some simple changes as you remodel through the years can help you continue to live comfortably in your home as you age.
The same changes can also make your home more marketable if you decide to sell because your home will appeal to buyers who need accessible homes as well as those who don’t.
What The Data Says
A recent study from AARP and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies found much of the nation’s housing inventory lacks basic accessibility features that help older people, especially those with disabilities, live safely and comfortably in their homes.
While you may not currently have a disability, chances are pretty good you eventually will. The Centers for Disease Control says that 56.5 percent of women and 45.3 percent of men age 65 and older have a disability.
3 Things You Can Do
Here are three things you can do as you remodel your home over the years:
1. When you replace door knobs and faucets, opt for lever-stylehandles. Arthritis and rheumatism are the most common causes of disability and lever-style handles are easier to use than round knobs.
2. Considering knocking down walls to open up your kitchen or remodeling your bathroom or owner’s suite?
Ask your architect or home improvement contractor to widen doorways and hallways to make them more wheelchair friendly.
If you remodel the master bath, replace that giant jetted tub you never use with a luxurious roll-in shower you can use now and years from now.
3. As you make exterior improvements, look for ways to remove steps. A no-step entry can be beautiful as well as practical if it flows naturally with your landscaping.
Want More Ideas?
Want to know more about universal design and aging in place? Try these resources:
- AARP’s Aging in Your Own Space
- Houselogic Universal Design: It’s for Everyone
- National Association of Home Builders Aging-in-Place Design Checklist
You can always contact me if you need help making home improvement decisions. I know what home features buyers in our market are seeking and can also help you find a reliable contractor.