Housing for aging in place can be beautiful if it is thought through beforehand and not when there’s a crisis. Most of our clients remember going to an elderly relative’s home and seeing a hospital bed in the living room with medical equipment. In our experience, Baby Boomers and other homeowners don’t want their home to look like a hospital, retirement facility or an old person’s home. They want safety, but with the current look of home remodeling. Today your home might have mobility problems that should be thought about before you or your relatives reach an age when there are steps galore, narrow doorways, and bath tubs and showers that require the agility of younger bodies to use.
Rather than wait for a crisis, Pykles can start by retrofitting your space – for example, moving the laundry room from the basement to the first floor, converting the downstairs den into a bedroom and building additions. Pykles can put in kitchen counters at different levels for sitting or standing, recess mats into your floor to reduce the risk of tripping, stack closets where an elevator could later go and install backing for grab bars – just in case.
These days, many grab bars look like pretty towel racks or elegant toilet tissue holders. A ramp into your house can be disguised with landscaping on both sides as a gently sloping walkway. Tweaks such as a curbless shower with a bench or drop-down seat, wide doorways, levers instead of doorknobs, and nonskid flooring are just good universal design, better for not only walkers and wheelchairs, but baby strollers and bikes, too.
Here are 7 steps you can use to get started in making your home age-friendly:
- Talk to real estate agents before you renovate to make sure it’s a good investment for resale.
- Compare the costs of renovating to moving.
- Think about the community, not just your house. Will you be too isolated as you get older? What kind of services and opportunities are nearby (not just doctors, but transportation, stores, restaurants and movies)?
- Figure out what changes you can make before you need to. (Do you have a bedroom or full bath on the first floor, or room for them? Easy access from the driveway or sidewalk? Slippery rugs?)
- Be realistic. If you’re redoing a bathroom or kitchen, design it for the future you, not just today’s needs.
- Call Pykles Remodeling for a free in home consultation from a Certified Aging in Place Specialist.
- Check out these resources:
- AARP HomeFit Guide, aarp.org; search “Home Fit Guide.”
- AARP Livable Communities Index, aarp.org; search “Livable Communities.”
- MetLife Aging in Place Workbook, metlife.com; search “Aging in Place Workbook.”
- National Aging in Place Council, ageinplace.org
Remodeling your home to be better suited for tomorrow’s challenges is something that many of us must face one day. A recent study conducted by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies found that fewer than 25% of homeowners age 55 and older have a no-step entry into their house or between rooms, or a first-floor bedroom and full bath. Pykles Remodeling is here to help you prepare your home for the future! Call (619) 463-1600 today to schedule your free in home consultation with a Certified Aging in Place Specialist.
Pykles Remodeling – 8348 Center Drive Suite A – La Mesa, CA – 91942 – (619) 463-1600 P