As people age, they often want to continue living independently for as long as possible.
The difficulty? Many find themselves coping with chronic conditions. Or they are dependent on medical equipment (such as walkers or other assistive devices). Or they have an ADA (American Disabilities Act) disability.
This is where an experienced designer can help. With an aging in place design, independent home living is possible for many.
What can knowledgeable designers do? In short, redefine home living by designing aging in place house plans. This means creating accessible and attractive spaces that allow seniors to stay in their current home.
With the right plan, older adults can live safely and comfortably in their own homes — and experience that fosters more purpose, meaning, and growth.
Is It Possible to Live in Place with Aging in Place Design?
Aging in place designs provide families and individuals with a comprehensive plan for remaining in their home. Qualified designers are able to craft customized solutions and simplify the decision process by:
- listening to where an individual is in the aging process, and
- understanding their physical and medical needs.
These design solutions save a family precious time and unnecessary emotional stress. All while providing the assurance that a trusted and experienced adviser is on their side.
Living in place is about empowering seniors to make their own choices to improve quality of life. Aging in place design is about redefining home living. And helping you access the necessary resources.
When you participate in the aging in place design process, you will undergo a thorough needs assessment, addressing your needs now and for the future. This is to ensure that your remodeling will provide security, comfort, and wheelchair accessibility (where required).
The process combines home modification solutions with access to community-based resources. This not only makes independent living possible, but promotes good health.
Recommended services may include:
- Emergency medical alert and health monitoring systems
- Medication management solutions
- Caregiver and companion care placement
- Therapies (physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist)
- Nutrition and meal planning
- Mental health support
Home Modifications for Safety & Accessibility
Living in place matters. Before making any changes, designers will consider the unique circumstances, medical needs, and functional abilities of each resident.
The point of their modifications will be to enable safety, ease of use, and comfortable living. Aging in place house plans may consist of home modifications or new construction.
What Does Aging in Place Design Look Like?
Aging in place design focuses on incorporating safety features and products to help people stay in their homes.
An aging in place design checklist includes elements such as:
- ramp or a no-step entry through the front door (for wheelchair access or increased convenience)
- handrails and grab bars throughout the house (particularly in showers and hallways)
Interior design solutions may also include modifications like:
- fixing placement issues of light switches in the kitchen and master bedroom
- adding new faucets that are easier to turn
- reorganizing furniture to improve access and reduce clutter
Kitchen modifications could include:
- Larger cabinet pulls
- Pull-out shelves
- Lower countertops for wheelchair access
- Moved sink faucets for easier access
- Front controls for stove or oven
- Multi-level kitchen counter tops with open space under (so the cook can work while seated)
- Refrigerators with two doors for easy access to frozen food storage
Master bath modifications could include:
- Grab bars and transfer benches in bathtubs
Converting a tub to a curbless shower for wheelchair access
Installation of pocket doors
Whole home modifications could include:
- Raised washer and dryer
- Installation of sliding doors
- Lever door knobs
- Planning for elevator installation
- Adding walls for a stair lift
Importance of Lighting and Technology in Aging in Place Design
One of the biggest issues in the homes of seniors is lack of proper lighting.
Dark hallways, poor outside lighting, and an overall lack of natural light can create trip hazards throughout the home. Additionally, dim lighting in closets, around the shower area, and by the stairway can also be dangerous.
Because of this, improving lighting is always important for aging in place design.
Lighting design solutions can include:
- installing indirect lighting to reduce glares and shadows,
- adding motion-activated lights inside or outside
- ensuring all light switches have easy access to find and reach, even in a wheelchair.
- using full-spectrum lighting to improve mood
Along with lighting, another primary area to focus on is technology. Today’s smart technology makes tasks like turning on lights and adjusting the thermostat easier than ever.
Yes, there is often a learning curve for seniors. However, new technology is user friendly and can help people of all ages live more comfortably in their home.
One of the most important aspects is that homeowners can control parts of their house without having to move around. Often, it’s as easy as making a few clicks on their smartphone — or even just saying a few words.
Planning for Your Quality of Your Later Years at Home
Your comfort at home matters. A good designer will plan for your comfort by identifying the wellness factors that affect your health. Some can even help coordinate the personal care and community resources you need to have a better quality of life at home.
Together, you’ll outline and create a customized plan for your aging in place design. This will ensure you have a more complete solution for your immediate and long-term needs.
Have you experienced a life-changing event? Are you aware of changes occurring? Do you simply foresee issues in the near future?
If any of these sound like you, it’s time to start a conversation with partners, family, and loved ones. Don’t wait for a crisis to make plans for the future.
Why Choose Live in Place Designs?
Our team offers a unique approach to designing a functional and comfortable home.
We have over 20 years of designing and building experience. Fifteen years of care coordination solution experience.
We’re certified by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). And our main goal is to create home solutions that allow disabled and older individuals to live in their home in a way that works for them.
In other words, the Live in Place Design team knows how to create accessible spaces. We use universal design principles that allow individuals of all abilities to live comfortably in their home as long as possible.
Our solutions add both functionality and safety to our clients’ homes.
We are here for our clients every step of the way. Even after the work is finished. Because we want to make sure our solutions are what our customers really need.
Being able to use the kitchen or step outside to talk to neighbors should be easy and convenient. That’s why our team focuses on products that will allow our clients to not only stay in their homes. But enjoy them, too.
Whether you live in a crowded city like New York or a more rural area by Raleigh, we want everyone to be able to live in their home and feel good about it. Maybe you need a completely remodeled house. Or help finding a brand new idea or product created for your unique situation.
Whatever your needs, our aging in place specialists and engineers will be with you every step of the way to tailor a Live in Place design solution just for you.