Aging In Place
GUEST ARTICLE BY SLOANE HAYHURST OF JAGOE HOMES
It’s amazing what you can do when building a home when thinking about aging in place. This involves making thoughtful design and structural choices to ensure that your home remains comfortable, safe, and accessible as you grow older. Here are some ways to build a home that is well-suited for aging in place:
Single-level living: Design your home on a single level to eliminate the need for stairs. This makes it easier to move around the house, especially if mobility becomes an issue.
Wider doorways and hallways: Wider doorways (at least 36 inches wide) and hallways (at least 42 inches wide) accommodate mobility aids like wheelchairs and walkers.
Zero-step entry: Ensure that the main entrance to your home has a level or ramped entry without any steps to make it wheelchair and walker-friendly. I see this often in garage to home entry’s. Let us take care of that now!
Lever-style door handles and faucets: Choose traditional doorknobs and faucet handles with lever-style handles that are easier to grip and turn.
Non-slip flooring: Choose flooring materials that are slip-resistant and easy to walk on, such as hardwood, laminate, or textured tile.
Grab bars and handrails: Install grab bars in the bathroom, near the toilet, and in the shower or bathtub. Also, add handrails along hallways and staircases for added support.
Curbless shower: Design a walk-in or roll-in shower with no curb or a low curb to make showering more accessible.
Comfort-height toilets: Install toilets that are taller than standard height for easier use, making it simpler to sit down and stand up. Hymont elongated commodes are more ideal for these situations or if you are 6’4” like me!
Well-lit spaces: Ensure ample lighting throughout the home, especially in high-traffic areas, to reduce the risk of falls. Consider motion-activated lighting for added convenience. We have
Open floor plan: Create an open floor plan with spacious rooms to allow for easy maneuverability. Nowadays, open floor plans are the norm with new construction.
Kitchen modifications: Design a kitchen with countertops at various heights to accommodate sitting or standing and even pull-out shelves for easy access to items.
Accessible appliances: We provide you with a selection of appliances with user-friendly controls and features like side-opening ovens, pull-out refrigerator doors, and front-control cooktops.
Ample storage: Plan for ample storage on lower shelves and cabinets for easy access.
Easy-to-reach switches and outlets: Install light switches and outlets at a comfortable height to reduce the need for stretching or bending.
Smart home technology: Consider integrating smart home technology, such as voice-activated assistants, to control lights, thermostats, and other devices without needing to physically reach them. We include smart tech in all our new homes.
A flexible bedroom: Design a bedroom with enough space to accommodate various types of furniture and mobility aids. A ground-floor bedroom is ideal.
Not to limit yourself to one community like Ironwood, which is designed for less maintenance and ease of living, but we can do this in any home in any community. So essentially you are future proofing your home. Consulting with a Senior Real Estate Specialist like Nikki or personalizing your home with us and can be invaluable in creating a home that suits your specific needs and ensures you can comfortably age in place.