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Aging in Style

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As the “Baby Boomer” generation begins to reach retirement age, one of their most important decisions will be deciding if and how their home can accommodate them as they age. Many will also be faced with aging parents, the possibility of an adult child moving home, or making their home “grandchildren friendly”.

Most people either plan to remain in their current home and make modifications or plan to move to a one story home, maintenance provided community, or condominium.

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As an interior designer and Certified Aging in Place Specialist, I am seeing a trend in remodeling a homeowner’s current home to meet their needs as they age. What does this mean? It can mean as little as creating wider doorways or reinforcing walls during a bathroom remodel (for future grab bars) to serious planning to accommodate the possibility of wheelchair use.

Two areas of the home can be modified to benefit homeowners of any age with the following changes:

In the Bathroom

  • Sinks and vanities at comfortable heights
  • Lever handles on faucets and doors
  • Grab bars
  • Comfort height toilets
  • Built in shower seating
  • Five foot radius for wheelchair turning

In the Kitchen

  • Under cabinet task lighting to prevent eyestrain
  • Slide out drawers for easier access
  • Elevated dishwashers to reduce bending over
  • D-shaped pulls are easier to grasp
  • Anti-scald devices on faucets
  • Countertops at 36” heights; varied countertops to accommodate sitting
  • Softer flooring
  • Variation in color from floor to cabinet to countertop

Aging in Place doesn’t mean you can’t also remodel incorporating Universal Design into a beautiful and luxurious home. Grab bars that double as beautiful towel bars are an option. Many other new products are available that just make “life easier” and more comfortable for everyone.

When making plans for your remodel or move, I can help you determine some easy solutions to make your house a “home for all ages”.

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