8 Essential Home Features for Aging in Place


Older woman in a wide doorway of her home
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People are getting older. (I really feel it — don’t you?) In reality, the Inhabitants Reference Bureau estimates that the variety of People age 65 and older will practically double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060.

Our ageing inhabitants signifies that extra options are wanted to assist seniors reside nicely. Enter universal design, an idea that strives to make merchandise and constructions usable by everybody no matter age, capability or different components.

Many elements of common design praise “ageing in place” — the concept high quality of life improves for seniors after they’re allowed to reside safely and independently in their very own houses.

However ageing in place requires houses that accommodate our wants as we age. Right here’s a listing of eight design options patrons centered on accessibility are on the lookout for primarily based on survey information from the Nationwide Affiliation of Dwelling Builders’ 2021 “What Home Buyers Really Want” report.

8. Decrease counter tops

Woman in an accessible kitchen with low countertops
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Respondents who contemplate this function important or fascinating: 43%

The kitchen is the hub of the house and an essential a part of common design. Counter tops which might be 3 inches decrease than the usual top of 36 inches permit seniors and people with restricted mobility to completely take part in meal prep.

Talking of kitchen counters, Houzz recommends rounding all countertop edges and corners. Fewer 90-degree angles might cut back bumping and bruising and reduce damage within the occasion of a fall.

7. Decrease kitchen cupboards

Accessible kitchen with low countertops
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Respondents who contemplate this function important or fascinating: 59%

Small modifications can have a huge impact. According to Aging In Place, higher kitchen cupboards which might be 3 inches decrease than commonplace top reduces the tendency to overreach and probably lose stability.

Decrease cupboards that function pull-out cabinets, “lazy Susan” nook cupboards and easy-pull handles supply extra comfort for seniors and those that depend on a wheelchair or mobility scooter.

6. Toilet aids

Accessible bathroom
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Respondents who contemplate this function important or fascinating: 61%

The toilet: It’s the one house in each house that will get used every day, a number of occasions a day. However for seniors, utilizing the toilet safely will be difficult.

Getting older-in-place design may also help. These options make bogs extra sensible and handy:

  • Stroll-in tub or a bathe with non-slip seating
  • Adjustable or hand-held showerhead
  • Consolation-height bathroom
  • Floor-fault interrupter (GFI) shops that cut back the danger of shock
  • Seize bars close to the bathroom and bathe

5. Entrance with out steps

Couple in front of home
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Respondents who contemplate this function important or fascinating: 64%

Common design extends to the outside of houses, too. To age in place safely, AgingCare recommends {that a} house’s main entrance should not have steps and will have a threshold top of not more than half an inch.

Listed below are few methods an entryway with out steps could make life higher for seniors:

  • It facilitates clean entrance/exit by wheelchair, scooter or walker.
  • It reduces the danger of falls, notably in snowy or icy circumstances.
  • It makes it simpler to retrieve deliveries and enter with groceries in-hand.

4. Non-slip flooring

Cork flooring
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Respondents who contemplate this function important or fascinating: 65%

In accordance with statistics from the CDC, greater than 35 million older adults fell no less than as soon as in 2018, and 32,000 died from fall-related accidents.

Although it’s unimaginable to forestall each fall, non-slip surfaces reminiscent of low-pile carpet, cork and slip-resistant vinyl can reduce the danger. Should you’re contemplating including non-slip flooring to your property, hold the following pointers in thoughts:

  • Select a flexible floor that’s straightforward to stroll on and works nicely with a wheelchair or scooter.
  • Get rid of the necessity for thresholds by putting in the identical flooring all through the house.
  • Keep away from space rugs; they’ll simply change into a visit or slip hazard.

3. Extensive hallways

Accessible home with wide hallways
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Respondents who contemplate this function important or fascinating: 73%

Extensive hallways — outlined as no less than 4 ft huge within the survey — permit ageing residents to entry each house of their house with a walker, wheelchair or scooter, or with the help of a house well being aide.

For best maneuvering, the People with Disabilities Act (ADA) recommends a minimal hallway width of 36 inches, or 3 feet.

2. Extensive doorways

Home with wide doorway
Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com

Respondents who contemplate this function important or fascinating: 77%

Commonplace doorways will be as slim as 24 inches. That’s a decent match for seniors who depend on wheelchairs, scooters or walkers. Respondents to the survey stated they need huge doorways, outlined as no less than 3 ft huge.

In accordance with the ADA, doorways ought to have no less than 32 inches of clear width. And to make sure straightforward transitioning from room to room, thresholds must be as flush to the ground as potential.

1. Full bathtub on principal stage

Bathroom
Artazum / Shutterstock.com

Respondents who contemplate this function important or fascinating: 80%

A full bathtub on the primary stage of a house isn’t solely handy, it’s a vital security function for seniors. Apart from eliminating the necessity to navigate stairs a number of occasions a day, principal ground bogs additionally permit the aged to:

  • Reply to incontinence points extra rapidly.
  • Observe common self-care.
  • Entry a non-public house when wanted.

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