Aging in Place Remodel Enables Homeowners...
As we age, our homes may not meet our changing needs. Aging in place remodeling enables homeowners to remain in their homes as they age or when living with a chronic condition by modifying the space to accommodate needs for improved accessibility.
Many older adults and baby boomers can maintain independence, comfort, and safety as they age by remodeling their homes for aging in place. The quality of life improvement is one of the greatest advantages of remodeling a home for aging in place.
Why Aging Americans Modernize their Home
Most Americans live in homes that were built more than 15 years ago. These homes were designed and built for the baby boomers as they moved through their 30s and 40s. The homes served them well when they moved in and lived most of their adult lives, through age 50 or even 55. But the truth is, most houses were not built using accessible or barrier-free design or using current home technology.
So, as this group continues to age, they’re faced with a new reality. They need a different, modernized kind of housing. That’s where aging in place remodeling comes in. It enables homeowners to create a home that meets their changing needs.
Many people start an aging in place construction project due to a change in their physical or mental limitations, the desire to modernize a home for ease of use or style. An in-law or older adult who plans on moving into or continuing to live in an independent home, a traumatic event that creates an immediate life change, limited mobility due to the aging process, or an exacerbating chronic condition.
But some aging Americans have concerns about hiring aging in place remodelers. No one wants to live in a place that feels like a sterile medical environment. And many may worry about losing the warm and welcoming feel their home currently has. This is where universal design principles become so important.
What is Universal Design?
Universal Design is essentially human-centered design. It seeks to create environments and products that offer safety and comfort for all people, without the need for adaptation or functional changes.
Homes that incorporate principles of universal design are perfectly suited for the needs of aging baby boomers and people with disabilities. And they are also appropriate for those who live with their extended families, even those with young children. The environment is safer and more comfortable for everyone.
What Changes May Be Needed?
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).
Converting a bathtub to a walk-in shower with no-step entry: This modification is ideal for people who find it challenging to step in and out of a bathtub. By converting it to a walk-in shower with a no-step entry, it ensures that the bathroom is safer and more accessible for those with mobility issues. (More on Luxury Handicap Showers.)
Addition of a shower seat:
A shower seat is a great addition to a bathroom remodel, especially for those who have difficulty standing for long periods. It provides a place to sit and rest while showering, making the shower experience more comfortable and safer. It can be easily installed in most showers and can be removed when not needed. Shower seats come in different materials and designs to suit different needs and preferences. Some even have adjustable height and non-slip features for added safety.
Accessible Light Switches and Electrical Outlets:
Another key modification to consider is installing accessible light switches and electrical outlets. These can be placed at accessible heights and locations to make it easier for people with mobility issues to reach and use them without difficulty.
Countertops with Rounded Corners:
Countertops with rounded corners are another modification to consider for aging in place remodeling projects. They are safer and more accessible, especially for people with mobility issues. Rounded corners prevent accidents and provide a smooth surface that is easy to clean.
Kitchen Renovation for Accessibility:
A kitchen renovation for accessibility involves making modifications to the space to ensure that it is safe and accessible for people with mobility issues. It may include lower countertops, accessible storage, and other modifications to make the kitchen more comfortable and functional. For example, installing pull-out shelves or drawers can make it easier to access items stored in lower cabinets.
Main Floor Living:
The objective of aging in place home remodeling projects is generally “first floor” dwelling, meaning having all necessary amenities on the main floor of the home. This covers the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and laundry. Even if you already have these rooms on your primary floor, the current design may not necessarily exhibit the qualities you need for aging in place. If the primary floor does not meet your needs, you can talk to your remodelers about adding an elevator or chair lift.
Will My Home Look Like a Medical Facility?
One common concern about aging in place remodeling is that the home will look like a sterile medical environment. However, this is not the case. In fact, many of the modifications can make your space look more modern and comfortable. Homeowners can often participate in the process of selecting colors and materials for changes, enabling them to create the home they always wanted.
Learn more about our Aging in Place Design Service.
Just have some questions? Contact us and schedule a free initial call.
Cost of Aging in Place Remodeling
The cost of aging in place remodeling can vary depending on the state of your current house and the changes needed to make it more accessible. However, when compared to the cost of assisted living or nursing homes, aging in place remodeling is often a more cost-effective solution. Additionally, it can add value to your home.
Timelines for aging in place remodeling vary widely. Some modifications can be completed in just a few days. For more extensive changes, it might take up to 6 months.
The price largely depends on the state of your current house and what changes are needed to continue living there.
For example, the cost of a bathroom remodeling project typically starts at about $15,000. If the space needs more extensive aging in place renovation to accommodate walkers or wheelchairs, wider doorways, or new flooring, the price can climb.
Depending on local labor costs, choice of specialized accessibility products, and other factors, an aging in place remodel for a bathroom can run $30,000 and up.
Those numbers can seem high. But when compared to the cost of an assisted living or nursing home, you often still come out ahead. Plus you are usually adding to the value of your home.
Seeking Professional Help with Aging in Place Design
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 4/8/23. Originally Published 8/20/2019.