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Published On: Mon, Mar 25th, 2019

Home Remodeling Ideas for Aging in Place

As more people reach retirement age, homeowners are increasingly looking toward aging in place. Retirement communities and moving away from home are no longer as desirable as they once were. With grown children more frequently remaining at home or returning to their parents’ home later in life, it often makes sense. For those who are considering remodeling projects aimed at making living at home longer possible, here are a few tips and tricks.

Focus on Comfort & Mobility

The number one concern for most people as they age is keeping the same level of mobility they have now. This means extra considerations need to be taken in common areas like the kitchen, bathroom, and upper floors. Some tips include comfort-height toilets, bath bars, and step-through tubs in bathrooms. Redoing shelving in the kitchen to make it more accessible can be a boon, too. Stairs are always a challenge for any older population, which is why chair lifts and home elevators have become so popular. You may think there’s no space for an elevator in your home, but through the floor home elevators can be retrofitted in most rooms.

Focus on Usability

When performing a remodel to any room in the house, think about the usability of everyday items in the home. Replacing door knobs with levers can make it easier for arthritis sufferers to operate them. Faucets and sinks with blade handles or motion controls also help in the bathroom and kitchen.  Here are a few usability tips:

– Anti-scaling temperature controls for showers and faucets

– Lower wall switches to make them easier to reach while seated

– Wall ovens with doors that open to the side, rather than folding down

– Countertop burners to make cooking accessible for wheelchair users

– Eliminate upper cabinetry in the kitchen

– Lazy Susan can help keep kitchen dishes arranged and accessible

Focus on Routine

If you are planning on making modifications to your house to make it easier to live in as you age, think about your daily routine. If you live in a home with multiple stories, you will need a way to get between levels without using the stairs. Home elevators have become popular for Baby Boomers looking to age in place. They can add value to the home and be retrofitted into any room in the house. The cost of installing an elevator in your home will depend on the type of elevator, but you can generally expect to spend around $20k-$50k for a full elevator system installation, including labor.

More than three million Americans will turn 65 every year for the next decade or so. Aging in place and redesigning a home to accommodate this trend is one way to make a home more valuable in a seller’s market, too. Homes with universal design principles are good for helping an aging population retain their independence. But they’re also great for families who are raising young children, too. That makes many of these remodeling tips timeless for buyers and sellers.

Author: Justin R.

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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