There’s no place like home, as they say—and for most Americans, that rings just as true (if not more so) as they age. According to AARP, older home owners overwhelmingly prefer to age-in-place, a term that applies to the desire to continue living in your home safely, independently, and comfortably–regardless of age or ability—rather than moving into a nursing home, assisted living facility, or other elder-care focused residences traditionally seen as the primary or even only housing option for aging Americans.
Sadly, while a recent AARP survey shows that three out of four adults age 50 and older want to stay in their homes and communities as they age, many don’t see that happening in reality. According to the study, “While 76% of Americans age 50 and older say they prefer to remain in their current residence and 77% would like to live in their community as long as possible, just 59% anticipate they will be able to stay in their community, either in their current home (46%) or a different home still within their community (13%).”
What’s more, the survey found that of the 63% of U.S. adults who own their own homes, about one-third expect their homes will need major modifications to accommodate aging needs. According to Home Innovation Research Labs, some of the many features to consider for aging in place new builds or home remodels include:
- Low maintenance exterior and interior finishes
- Easy to operate hardware
- Main living on a single story, including full bath
- 5-foot by 5-foot clear/turn space in living area, kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom
- Hallways that are 36-inches wide or more
- At least one no-step entry with a cover
- Non-slip flooring
- Upper wall cabinetry three inches lower than conventional height
- Open shelving for easy access to frequently used items
- Electric cook top with level burners for safety in transferring between the burners, front controls and downdraft feature to pull heat away from user; light to indicate when surface is hot
- 30-inch by 48-inch clear space at appliances or 60-inch diameter clear space for turns
- At least one wheelchair maneuverable bath on main level with 60-inch turning radius or acceptable T-turn space and 36-inch by 36-inch or 30-inch by 48-inch clear space
- Bracing in walls around tub, shower, shower seat, and toilet for installation of grab bars to support 250-300 pounds
- Bathtub – lower for easier access
- Fold down seat in the shower
- Adjustable/handheld shower heads, 6-foot hose
- Toilet two and half inches higher than standard toilet (17-19 inches) or height-adjustable
To address the growing number of consumers that will soon require these and other modifications for aging in place homes, the NAHB Remodelers of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in collaboration with Home Innovation Research Labs, NAHB 55+ Housing Council, and AARP developed the Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) program.
Burgin Design Remodel is proud to be a CAPS certified builder specializing in Aging in Place new builds and home remodeling.
Whatever your building or remodeling plans, it’s most important to work with a professional company that you can trust. When it comes time make improvements or changes that will help you remain in your home safely and comfortably as long as possible, it’s especially important to make sure you hire a company that will do it right. Burgin Design Remodel is an award-winning design-build firm and a CAPS certified builder specializing in Aging in Place in Orange County, California. We’ve been serving Santa Ana, Anaheim Hills, Laguna Niguel, North Tustin, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Yorba Linda, and other areas of Orange County for more than 30 years.
Contact Burgin today to discuss your aging in place needs and how we can help!