Preparing Your Home For Aging In Place
Aging in place has gained popularity over the last decade. If you’re wondering what is aging in place, in simple terms, it’s preparing your home for your “golden years.” Rather than going into a retirement community or moving into a smaller home, you adapt your current house with an aging in place design. That way, you can continue to live in it as you get older.
Sounds smart. It is. In fact, in many cases, it’s a safer and healthier environment than in nursing homes. There’s a tremendous cost savings when you choose to upgrade your current home for later years rather than spend tens of thousands per year in a facility.
And that’s what many baby boomers in New York and CT are doing. Especially those with large families, grown children, and grandkids. Remaining in the family home means many more years of gatherings, celebrations, and memories.
One of the options older homeowners choose is to build or renovate separate quarters for a full or part-time live-in caregiver. It’s similar to creating in-law quarters. Having separate living quarters like a mother-in-law suite for guests, family, or caregivers is multi-functional.
Interior Aging In Place Design
There are many designs for aging in place. Here are some of the more common inside safety and accessibility features homeowners request.
Master Bathrooms – custom showers with no thresholds and built-in benches with grab-bars near tubs, toilets, and showers.
Stairs – for a long flight of stairs, solutions range from built-in elevators to chair lifts. For even a few steps, ensure they have good tread, aren’t slippery, and have a sturdy handrail.
Lights – make sure there’s a light switch at the top and bottom of any stairs. And with Smart home features, they can be programmed to come on at certain times.
Laundry room – relocate it to the same floor as the master bedroom. That makes washing clothes and linens so much easier.
Hardware – replace any handles on doors or faucets with ones that are easy to turn.
Exterior Aging In Place Design
Don’t forget to make the exterior of your home safe and accessible too.
Pathways – need to be smooth with no tripping hazards and well-lit.
Stairs – make sure all stairs are in good repair, no loose boards or tripping hazards, and have sturdy handrails. For those needing a wheelchair, install a ramp.
Lights – besides making it easier to see at dusk and in the dark, lighting is a huge deterrent for criminals. Exterior lights can be programmed to come on at a certain time or turn on with motion.
Garages – may need to be expanded to ensure easy access in and out of the vehicle. That’s especially true if you have a larger car, and your garage was built years ago.
Shop – no matter your age, who doesn’t love working in a shop? Just make sure it follows the same guidelines of safety. These include no tripping hazards, well-lit, and well- ventilated.
We hope you’ve enjoyed these tips on getting your home ready to age in place.
Westchester County, NY, and along the NY border in CT, including New Canaan, Greenwich, Westport, Wilton, and Stamford. You can call our New York office at (914) 381-6900 or our Connecticut office at (203) 321-1250.