The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) defines Aging-In-Place as, “The ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”  As defined, the concept of remodeling for your future is often geared towards the senior population, but homeowners of all ages and abilities can benefit with a well thought out, attractive, functional, handicapped modification.
More and more retiree’s and ability challenged people are choosing to stay in the home they love and adapt it their changing lifestyle rather than move. We all want to remain as independent for as long as possible, right? Done well, your modification does not look like a “handicapped” home, and family members appreciate a beautiful, yet accessible, living space. Following are just a few Aging-In-Place ideas when planning a remodel.
When remodeling your bathroom, planning for the use of wheelchairs, walkers or similar assistive devices is a good idea. You must have plenty of open space to accommodate a wheelchair around the toilet, bathtub, shower and cabinets. The right toilet needs to be selected and installing grab bars can dramatically increase safety in the bathroom. For showers, the most accessible option is a no-threshold shower with a shower seat.
When remodeling the kitchen, an aging-in-place design can greatly increase usability and safety. Pull out shelves reduce the strain of bending over and pull down shelves in the upper cabinets reduce the amount of reaching to access the cabinets. Installing multi-level counter-tops allows people of different abilities the use of the countertop and appliance that is easiest for them. Adjusting the height or location of the sink to suit your needs can really impact your experience in the kitchen.
Susan Lawson is the Business Development Manager for Guedes Construction and the Community Network Coordinator for the non-profit organization Soldiers’ Angels. She can be reached via email for Guedes at email@example.com or for volunteering and information on how to support our military through Soldiers’ Angels email Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org