As people are living longer, they must consider where they’ll live as their mobility decreases. Many seniors are choosing to age in place and are more likely to live in a multi-generational home. When moving into a home that needs to provide features for everyone, or even updating a current home, here are some elements you should consider in your plans.
Stairs eventually become an impossibility for anyone at an advanced age. As you consider a home that you want to grow old in, or that you want to move your parents into with you, look at single-story homes.
Another option would be purchasing a home with an elevator or installing one later. This allows everyone to access every story of the home.
Think about how difficult it is for an older person to maneuver in certain situations. If there are slippery surfaces in the bathrooms or kitchen, consider replacing them or installing mats to decrease the chances of an accident.
For those aging in place, countertops in the kitchen and bathroom should be at multiple heights or adjustable. This allows a person in a wheelchair to use them as well. As you design or redesign your home, be inclusive-minded.
Keep wheelchairs in mind for the width of room entrances and the ability to maneuver in hallways. An open floor plan can make wheelchair use much easier.
Door and Faucet Handles
Arthritis makes mobility in the fingers more difficult. For door openings and faucets, the lever style can provide easier control and functionality.
For all openings in the home, make sure they are easy to push or pull. A general rule of thumb is to make sure nothing requires more than five pounds of pressure to open or access.
For an aging person, plenty of lighting is necessary to avoid accidents. For natural light, consider remotes for opening curtains and blinds. Room lighting switches should be easy to reach and easy to turn.
For seniors, living with younger members of their family is more affordable than assisted living options. As multi-generational households increase in popularity, so should design features.