Aging in Place Remodeling: Guide for Empowered Living

Home's Emotional Value: Aging in Place

Our homes hold cherished memories and offer unmatched comfort. As years roll by, our evolving needs require spaces that offer familiarity without compromising on functionality. At Live in Place Designs, we don’t merely offer aging in place home modifications. We provide a holistic solution that blends healthcare insights with the principles of universal design, ensuring your home remains a sanctuary of comfort, safety, and independence.

“According to AARP, over 90% of seniors prefer to stay in their own homes as they age.”
AARP Home and Community Preferences Survey

Diving Deeper into Aging in Place

Aging in place has gained traction in recent years, but what does it mean?

At its core, it’s about creating a living environment that allows individuals to stay in their homes safely and comfortably, regardless of age or ability. It’s about recognizing that our homes, which have been sources of comfort and familiarity for years, can continue to be so with the right modifications.

  1. Evolving Needs:  Our physical and sometimes cognitive abilities change as we age. Simple tasks like climbing stairs or using a traditional shower can become challenging. Aging in place addresses these challenges head-on, ensuring our homes evolve.
  2. Healthcare Insights: One of the unique aspects of our approach at Live in Place Designs is our deep understanding of healthcare conditions and their progression. Whether it’s adapting to a chronic condition like arthritis, which might make gripping doorknobs difficult, or ensuring safety after a sudden event like surgery, our designs are informed by medical insights.
  3. Empowerment & Independence: Aging in place is as much about mental well-being as it is about physical safety. By making necessary modifications, individuals can maintain their independence, continue their routines, and feel empowered in their own spaces.
  4. Economic Sense: Beyond the emotional and physical benefits, aging in place can also make economic sense. The cost of assisted living facilities or nursing homes can be significant. By investing in home modifications, individuals can often save in the long run, all while staying in the comfort of their homes.

“The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that by 2034, older adults will outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history, emphasizing the importance of aging-in-place solutions.”

U.S. Census Bureau Projections, 2020.

The Philosophy of Universal Design


Universal Design isn’t just a design philosophy; it’s a commitment to creating spaces that are accessible and usable by everyone, regardless of age, ability, or circumstance. It’s about recognizing the diverse needs of individuals and ensuring that homes are beautiful but also functional and inclusive.

  1. Human-Centered Approach: At the heart of Universal Design is the understanding that every individual has unique needs. Whether it’s a young child, an elderly individual, or someone with a temporary or permanent disability, spaces should cater to everyone.
  2. Seamless Integration: One of the misconceptions about Universal Design is that it might make a home look clinical or impersonal. However, with thoughtful planning and design, accessibility features can be seamlessly integrated, ensuring homes retain their warmth and personal touch.
  3. Safety & Comfort: Features like non-slip flooring, wider doorways, or lever handles aren’t just about accessibility; they enhance safety and comfort for everyone. For instance, a bathroom designed with Universal Design principles can be safer for a child, convenient for an adult, and accessible for an elderly individual.
  4. Flexibility & Adaptability: Universal Design is also about future-proofing homes. Our needs change over time, so homes designed with these principles can quickly adapt, ensuring longevity and relevance.
  5. Inclusive Aesthetics: At Live in Place Designs, our commitment to Universal Design goes beyond functionality. We believe that homes should reflect the personalities and tastes of their owners. Thus, while prioritizing accessibility, we also ensure that aesthetics are never compromised.

Key Home Modifications for Empowered Living

As we remodel homes for aging in place, we must understand the specific modifications that can make a significant difference. These simple changes can profoundly impact daily life, ensuring safety, comfort, and independence.

Bathroom remodeling for handicap accessibility:

This involves making changes to the bathroom to ensure that it is accessible and safe for people with disabilities or mobility issues. It may include installing grab bars, slip-resistant flooring, and other modifications to help with movement and balance. (More on Handicap Bathrooms).

Transitioning from traditional tubs to walk-in showers with no-step entry not only ensures safety but adds a touch of modern luxury. Our design integrates slip-resistant flooring and strategically placed grab bars, ensuring every shower is a stress-free experience.(More on Luxury Handicap Showers.)

We’ve observed the varying needs of individuals, especially those using wheelchairs. Adaptable sink heights are not just about accessibility; they provide dignity and ease.

We often recommend the addition of shower seats, especially for those who might find prolonged standing challenging. It provides a place to sit and rest while showering, making the shower experience more comfortable and safer. Beyond safety, it’s about enjoying a moment of relaxation.

accessible shower
adjustable height sink
handicap accessible shower with shower seat

Illuminating Ideas for Living Spaces & Mobility

The essence of a home is in its living spaces. Over the years, we’ve recognized that simple modifications can significantly enhance mobility and comfort.

Positioned at accessible heights, these modifications ensure everyone can reach them without strain.

Accommodating wheelchairs or walkers becomes seamless with broader doorways.

Transitioning to slip-resistant flooring reduces the risk of falls, a common concern as we age.

lighting solutions for aging in place
wider doorways are a good modification for the elderly or disabled

Revolutionizing Kitchens for Accessibility

The kitchen is often the heart of a home. We believe every individual should enjoy their time in the kitchen regardless of physical abilities. A kitchen renovation for accessibility involves modifying the space to ensure that it is safe and accessible for people with mobility issues.

By adjusting countertop heights, we’re not just ensuring accessibility; we’re enhancing the culinary experience for everyone, seated or standing.

Our designs often incorporate pull-out shelves, allowing easier access to items and reducing the need for excessive bending or stretching.

Traditional knobs can be challenging for some. Our lever-handled designs are not only stylish but also user-friendly, catering especially to those with limited hand strength.

kitchen where a woman is using an adjustable countertop
accessible kitchen design
kitchen accessibility product: pull out storage

Main Floor Living: A Comprehensive Approach

Over our years of service, we’ve observed a rising preference for “first-floor” dwellings. It’s not just about accessibility; it’s about crafting a cohesive living experience. The objective of aging in place home remodeling projects is generally a “first-floor” dwelling, meaning having all necessary amenities on the home’s main floor. If the primary floor does not meet your needs, you can ask your remodelers about adding an elevator or chair lift.

Even if existing rooms are on the primary floor, they might not meet aging-in-place standards. Our expertise ensures these spaces are functional and exude warmth and comfort.

For homes where the primary floor doesn’t cater to all needs, we bring in cutting-edge solutions like elevators or chair lifts, ensuring the entire home remains accessible.

home elevator
Remodeling for accessibility

 Contact us and schedule a free initial call.

Busting Myths: Addressing Common Concerns about Aging in Place Remodeling

When considering aging in place remodeling, homeowners often have reservations. These concerns, while valid, are often based on misconceptions. Let’s address some of these to provide clarity.

Reality: With the right design choices, aging in place modifications can be seamlessly integrated into your home’s existing aesthetic. Features like grab bars or ramps can be customized to match your home’s style, ensuring functionality doesn’t come at the expense of beauty.

Reality: While there’s an upfront cost associated with remodeling, viewing it as an investment is essential. When compared to the ongoing expenses of assisted living facilities or the potential medical costs from home-related accidents, aging in place remodeling often proves to be cost-effective in the long run.

Reality: Aging in place remodeling isn’t just for the elderly. It’s about anticipating future needs and ensuring your home evolves with you. Starting early can mean a smoother transition and less drastic changes.

Reality: While physical changes form a significant part of the remodeling process, it’s also about creating a space that caters to emotional and psychological well-being. A home that allows for independence, comfort, and safety contributes positively to one’s mental health.

Reality: While DIY projects can be fulfilling, aging in place remodeling requires expertise. It’s not just about installing grab bars or widening doorways. It’s about understanding individual needs and potential health challenges and ensuring that every modification aligns with safety standards and enhances the home’s overall functionality.

Why Choose Live in Place Designs?

At Live in Place Designs, our range of services is designed to cater to diverse needs, ensuring that every home is a haven of comfort, safety, and accessibility. Here’s a glimpse of what we offer:

Design Consultation:

  • Before diving into remodeling, we conduct thorough home assessments. This helps us understand the current state of your home, identify potential challenges, and craft solutions tailored to your needs. Learn more about our assessment process.

Accessible Product Selection

  • Our age in place products and technology services are designed to improve the quality of life for those with chronic conditions or anyone who wishes to stay in their home as they age.

Bathroom & Kitchen Remodeling:

  • These are often the most frequented spaces in a home and require special attention. From slip-resistant bathroom flooring to accessible kitchen countertops, we ensure these spaces are functional and stylish. Explore our remodeling solutions.

Customized Solutions:

  • Every home and individual is unique. Beyond our standard services, we offer customized solutions addressing your needs and preferences. Explore our bespoke offerings.

Learn more about our Aging in Place Design Service.

Addressing Real-Life Challenges with an Aging in Place Remodel

Aging Boomers struggling to reach kitchen storage

Life is unpredictable, and we may encounter various challenges in our homes over time . Here are some specific scenarios and how aging in place remodeling can provide solutions:

The Evolving Kitchen:
  • Challenge: Once a hub of activity, the kitchen might now seem daunting. Reaching higher shelves becomes a task, and the layout might not be as accommodating.
  • Solution: With aging in place remodeling, kitchens can be transformed with pull-out shelves, lowered countertops, and ergonomic designs that make daily tasks effortless.
Bathroom Safety Concerns:
  • Challenge: The comforting bathroom might now present unforeseen challenges. Accessing the jacuzzi or stepping up into the shower becomes a safety concern.
  • Solution: Bathroom remodels can introduce walk-in showers, slip-resistant flooring, and strategically placed grab bars, ensuring safety without compromising luxury.
Navigating Multi-Level Homes:
  • Challenge: Stairs can become a significant obstacle, especially for those with mobility issues or those recovering from injuries.
  • Solution: Introducing home elevators stairlifts, or even reconfiguring the home layout to ensure essential amenities are on the main floor can make a world of difference.
Maintaining Independence with Health Conditions:
  • Challenge: Chronic health conditions or sudden injuries can make certain home features inaccessible.
  • Solution: Our team’s expertise in understanding healthcare conditions ensures that remodels are proactive. Whether it’s wider doorways for wheelchair access or specific modifications for conditions like arthritis, we’ve got it covered.

Financial Considerations for Aging in Place Renovations

Investing in a future-ready home requires strategic financial planning, especially when contemplating aging in place remodeling. By approaching these costs as an investment, homeowners are not just enhancing their property value but also ensuring a safer, more comfortable, and independent living space tailored to their evolving needs.

Costs of aging in place remodel
Breaking Down the Costs:

The expense associated with aging in place remodeling can be influenced by:

  • The existing condition of your home.
  • The degree of modifications needed.
  • The choice of materials and specific services employed.

For instance, a bathroom tailored for accessibility can start around $25,000. However, more extensive changes, such as accommodating wheelchairs or incorporating specialized accessibility features, can increase these costs. Wider doorways, an essential for wheelchair accessibility, come at an average price of $975. Significant modifications like adding an elevator can even approach the $20,000 mark.

Weighing the Alternatives:

It’s vital to juxtapose these renovation costs against potential long-term expenses. For example, the average yearly cost of an assisted living facility is about $51,600 but varies based on where you are. In the northeast, this can run upwards of $84,000 annually. Considering the comfort of staying in a familiar environment and the added property value, the financial argument for remodeling becomes even more compelling.

Customized Solutions for Diverse Financial Needs:

At Live in Place Designs, we recognize that budgetary constraints vary among homeowners. Our dedicated team collaborates with you, ensuring that our solutions not only meet your accessibility needs but also align with your financial boundaries, without sacrificing quality or safety.

The Long-Term Perspective:

Investing in aging in place renovations provides numerous enduring benefits:

  • Property Appreciation: Homes equipped with accessibility features appeal to a wider buyer demographic, enhancing the potential market value.
  • Comfort and Autonomy: Beyond the tangible financial gains, the intangible benefits are manifold. The confidence and contentment derived from a home tailored to your specifications, ensuring safety, comfort, and cherished independence, are invaluable.

As you plan for the future, it’s worth noting that while initial costs might seem daunting, the long-term advantages, both financial and emotional, make aging in place remodeling a prudent choice for many homeowners.

“The Genworth Cost of Care Survey from 2020 indicated that the national average monthly cost for an assisted living facility was about $4,300, whereas the average cost of a home health aide was around $4,500 per month.”

Genworth Cost of Care Survey.  

Crafting a Future with Live in Place Designs

certified aging in place specialist

Live in Place Designs is among the select group of national professionals who have earned the Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) designation. 

The National Association of Home Builders certification has designated Live in Place Designs as a major building professional with knowledge and techniques specific to home construction for individuals more than 50 years old and those with disabilities and chronic conditions. 

As certified aging in place specialists, our work integrates safety and functionality with comfort and beauty. We draw on the principles of Universal Design and years of direct experience observing how people’s needs change over time. 

Live in Place Designs offers a range of services to help individuals and families make confident decisions about living in place safely. Whether you’re a couple aging in place, an adult child of aging parents, a parent of a child with a chronic condition, or an individual with a chronic condition yourself, they can work with you to create a plan that meets your unique needs and goals.

If you’re considering aging in place remodeling, Live in Place Designs is here to help. Contact them today for a design consultation and take the first step towards creating a safe, comfortable, and accessible home for the future.

Updated 10/21/23. Originally Published 8/20/2019.

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