According to one forecast of homeowner age distribution in the United States from 2010 to 2040, people from age 45 to 65+ comprise over 50% of homeowners for this 30 year span.* While this is not really a surprise, it does indicate there is a majority of aging homeowners who need to be prepared if they plan to remain in their homes as part of the “aging in place” trend that began over ten years ago.
“We work with homeowners in and around the metro Atlanta area who need to make home improvements to accommodate an aging parent or family member,” said Chuck Brownlow. “But it’s also clear our clients are concerned with their own future well-being as they intend to remain in their home for as long as possible.”
Here are five areas of your home that must be carefully considered when you have an aging or disabled person living with you or regularly visiting your home. These are also areas that are essential to prioritize as you prepare to age in place yourself.
Be sure to have personal security and overall safety. A hard wired alarm system as well as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are essential. Making sure electrical switches are accessible for use is important and technology can help with this aspect. Improving the type, amount and angle of lighting adds to the safety of your home, too.
You’ll need accessible doorways for walkers, wheelchairs, etc. along with ramps with handrails that are easy-to-reach and slip-resistant. Exterior lighting and your house number clearly viewable from street for emergency first responders are very important. You’ll need doors with easy to use knobs, locks and bolts. You may even want to install outdoor security cameras that are very affordable and easy to use with the new technology available.
Two primary accessibility issues include reach and use of appliances, countertops, cabinets and pantries. And then safety and mobility are paramount aging in place issues in the kitchen. There are a growing number of products with “universal design” allowing you and someone with limited ability to use the same product with ease. With some design help, your kitchen will look and feel modern, but still comfortable and safe for a person with physical limitations.
Like the kitchen, safety and accessibility are most important when remodeling a bathroom to accommodate an aging or disabled person. You can read more insights and get ideas from our blog on bathroom remodeling as you plan to age in place.
Obviously, the most important issue with a person using a walker or wheelchair is ease of mobility. Smooth, but non-slip surfaces or low pile carpet are just two recommended options. Like with your kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects, you have a lot more versatile designs to choose from than ten years ago. Your home’s flooring will remain beautiful, but also functional and safe.
Since 1945, Brownlow and Sons has worked with many homeowners in the metro Atlanta area. And now, we provide the right solutions to help make their existing homes more enjoyable, accommodating and safer with expert remodeling services as they plan to stay in their homes for as long as possible. Brownlow and Sons has a full time staff of experienced professionals who are ready to support you through the entire process of remodeling any room or area of your home. When we show up, you’ll experience a satisfying confidence that your remodeling crew is capable, reliable and trustworthy to deliver a high quality job for you. Contact us to see how we can help make your existing home even more wonderful as you age in place.